Interesting Anthony/Brady Cdv of Colonel John F Farnsworth the founder of the 8th Illinois cavalry and Uncle to KIA Union General Elon Farnsworth of the same regiment. Evidently the original owner conflated the two personages when writing his period inscription on the front of the image as seen. "Farnsworth organized the 8th Illinois Cavalry at President Abraham Lincoln's direction and was commissioned its first colonel. He helped secure a lieutenant's commission for his 24-year-old nephew Elon John Farnsworth, who would die in action at the Battle of Gettysburg. The older Farnsworth also was instrumental in raising the 17th Illinois. He led the 8th Illinois Cavalry during the Peninsula Campaign, seeing action at the Battle of Williamsburg and in the Seven Days Battles.In September 1862, Farnsworth led a cavalry brigade within the Army of the Potomac during the Maryland Campaign, sparring with Confederate cavalry under J.E.B. Stuart and Wade Hampton in a series of minor engagements near South Mountain and Middletown, Maryland. He was nominated by President Abraham Lincoln for appointment to the grade of brigadier general of volunteers on November 29, 1862 but was not confirmed by the United States Senate. His nomination was ordered returned to President Lincoln on February 12, 1863.Resumption of Congressional careerFarnsworth resigned his commission on March 4, 1863 to take up his duties as congressman. He elected to the 38th and the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1873), and was chairman of the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads. He was a friend of President Lincoln and was among those in the president's room when Lincoln died from an assassin's bullet on April 15, 1865 in the Petersen House in Washington, D.C.Farnsworth supported Reconstruction policies, and voted in favor of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He was defeated for renomination in 1872 and resumed his law practice in Chicago. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1880 and continued the practice of law until his death on July 14, 1897.
top of page
bottom of page