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13th Vermont Infantry
Biography

Edward A. FISK

Edward A. FISK, son of Anson Fisk, was born in Waitsfield, February 1, 1842. My father was of the old Puritan stock, his ancestors coming to this country and settling in Salem, Mass., about 1637, and he traces his lineage back more than 200 years further to one Lord Lymond Fisk of Suffolk County, England. My great-grandfather was one of the early settlers of Waitsfield.

I was married November 28, 18786 to Lillian A. Ramsay, of Waitsfield, who was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Children, Annie L., born September 2, 1878, Charles E., born March 25, 1880, Anson H., born November 5, 1882, Harold H., born November 24, 1890.

I enlisted August 18, 1862, and helped to organize Company B. I was never sick enough to be in the hospital, or off duty for any length of time.

At Gettysburg I was slightly wounded by a piece of spent shell, which struck my right knee, just as the regiment started on its charge of July 2nd. Though bruised and lamed I did not leave the field and took part in all the movements of the regiment to the last.

I was utterly exhausted by these hardships and was sick at Brattleboro with what proved to be typhoid fever when I reached home. This nearly cost my life but careful nursing brought me through.

I am a farmer and resided in Waitsfield till 1895 when I removed to the neighboring town of Fayston where I lived till 1906 when I returned to Waitsfield. I was selectman six years in Waitsfield, also school director three years. Chairman of school board in Fayston seven years, also auditor. I represented Fayston in legislature in 1902.

Present address, Waitsfield, R. F. D.

You ask for stories and incidents and I send you the following which you can use if you see fit or not as you please and I shall not feel aggrieved. E. A. F.


Notes From A Soldier's Diary

Feb. 20, 1863. I went on picket. Was stationed at what we call "Sally Davis's Ford," about two miles down the Occoquan from our camp.

This is an important post and there are some twenty men to guard it, though there is not much danger of any one crossing the river to-day as the water is nearly bank high owing to heavy rains. It is a pleasant day, but cold--almost like a bright winter day in Vermont.

We have a cavalryman at this post to act as a messenger in case of need and about noon the new details came from down the river. The path led across a little brook or "run," as they call it here, just below our post. Usually there is not much water in it, though near the river it has a sunken channel with rather steep banks, but now the water had set back from the river so that it was quite deep in the center.

At first as the horse stepped into the water the path seemed all right, but the water was roily and as soon as he was beyond the bank horse and rider were in the water all over. After swimming a short distance the feet of the horse caught in some bushes and the man was thrown off but he struck out boldly and soon reached the shore, a distance of several rods, although encumbered with arms and accoutrements. The carbine, cartridge box, belt and revolver, saber, etc., weighed him down so that it made one think of the Roman knight who swam from the River with his armor on. The horse was rescued at length, by means of a long pole with a hook which we managed to catch into his bridle.

It was a bitter day for such a bath, but we had a good fire and got the man to it as soon as possible, where he wrung out his wet clothing and hung by the fire all he could spare, while he dried the remainder by turning first one side and then the other to the fire, but he was one of the sort that could not be kept still long at a time and soon without coat or boots he was riding his horse back and forth to prevent his taking cold .I often wondered what effect this exposure had upon this man but I never heard from him again. It was such hardship and exposures as this that cost us more lives than the bullets of the enemy. E. A. F.


Source: Ralph Orson Sturtevant, Pictorial History Thirteenth Regiment Vermont Volunteers War of 1861-1865, privately printer, c1910, pp. 461-462.