Friday, September 12, 2008

Fiddler's Green: Charles E. Farrand

This Fiddler's Green entry is about an honorary cavalryman. Charles Farrand was actually an infantry officer, but he commanded cavalrymen for a good portion of the war. In my mind, this makes him an enlightened infantryman, but I do admit a touch of bias.

Charles E. Farrand was born in April 1835 in Cayuga County, New York. His father was a US Navy officer who later achieved the rank of commodore in the Confederate Navy during the Civil War. He was admitted to the US Military Academy on July 1, 1853, listing his residence as Brockport, Monroe County, New York. He graduated four years later, 36th in his class. Initially assigned as a brevet second lieutenant to the 2nd US Infantry on graduation, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, 7th US Infantry on January 2, 1858.

After the outbreak of the Civil War, Farrand was promoted to first lieutenant in the newly-created 11th US Infantry Regiment. He didn't reach his new regiment for some time, however. During the early campaigns in the western theater of the war, he commanded Company C, 2nd US Cavalry. This company had been left without officers after the deluge of resignations at the beginning of the war, and was trying to make its way east to join the rest of the regiment in the eastern theater.

Lieutenant Farrand first commanded the company in combat during the battle of Wilson's Creek. He was commended by his superiors for his conduct during the battle and for securing an abandoned cannon during the retreat. In his report on the battle, General Fremont wrote "Second Lieutenant Charles E. Farrand, First Regiment U.S. Infantry, distinguished for gallant and meritorious conduct under the command of General Sigel." (OR, Ser I, Vol 3, pg 56) He was promoted to captain in the 11th US Infantry on October 24, 1861.

Captain Farrand commanded a cavalry squadron consisting of his company and Company I, 4th US Cavalry through the Forts Henry and Donelson campaign, Shiloh, Iuka and Corinth. He became an aide de camp for Major General William S. Rosecrans in October 1862 during the Corinth campaign, and apparently served with him through the remainder of the war.

After the war, the 20th US Infantry Regiment was created by adding two companies to the second battalion of the 11th US Infantry on September 21, 1866. Captain Farrand was transferred with the battalion to the new regiment on the same date. He was honorably mustered out of service on January 1, 1871.

Charles E. Farrand died on September 29, 1900 according to the Colorado State Archives, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Denver, Colorado

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