Joseph Scott Fullerton was born in Chillicothe, Ohio in December of 1835 and graduated from Miami University in 1855 and Cincinnati Law School in 1858. After graduating from law school, Fullerton moved to St. Louis where he set up a practice and became involved in the Union cause in Missouri. In the fall of 1861, he was appointed by President Lincoln to a committee that oversaw the military affairs of the Department of the West.
After being relieved from the commission in the fall of 1862, Fullerton entered the Union army as a private although he was quickly appointed a lieutenant in the Second Missouri Infantry. Rising through the ranks as a staff officer, Fullerton was eventually brevetted a brigadier general “for most valuable services and distinguished personal gallantry.” During the war, he participated in battles at Franklin, Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Pine-Top Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach-Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesborough, Lovejoy Station, Columbia, Spring Hill, and Nashville.
Unhappy with his postwar assignments, Fullerton resigned his commission in September of 1866 and was appointed postmaster of St. Louis. In 1868, he left that post to set up a private law practice. Retiring in 1890, he served as chairman of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Commission.
Joseph Fullerton was killed on March 20, 1897 in a train accident near Oakland, Maryland.
-Base Ball Pioneers, 1850-1870
Fullerton was a member of the Cyclone Base Ball Club during the antebellum era and is one of my favorite pioneer-era players, not so much for his ball-playing but mostly for his career as a soldier and, more importantly, his work with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Park. He was an interesting guy.
I wrote the following about the Kearny letter at the old blog back in February of 2012:
In their Civil War Collection, the Missouri History Museum has a letter, dated August 28, 1862, written to Edward Bredell, Jr., by Louisa Kearny.
This is interesting for several reasons. First, Louisa Kearny was the daughter of Stephen Watts Kearny and the sister of Cyclone Club member Charles Kearny. Obviously, there was some kind of relationship between Louisa Kearny and Bredell or, at the very least, between the Kearny and Bredell family and this helps explain how Charles Kearny ended up in the Cyclone Club. Second, Louisa Kearny mentions several of Bredell's old club members in the letter. While detailing the goings-on of their mutual friends, she mentions Joseph Fullerton and John Riggin in the letter. She also mentions one of her brothers and, given the way she writes about him, I believe she's talking about Charles. Lastly, the letter gives an interesting account of what life was like in St. Louis during the Civil War from the point of view of a Southern sympathizer and is worth reading just for that.
Also, I should add that, according to the Missouri Digital Heritage site, the letter "was intercepted by federal forces and published in the newspaper under the title 'Gems from the Rebel Mail Bag.'" I have to say that the idea of Ed Bredell not getting this letter kind of breaks my heart a bit. And I can only imagine the horror that Miss Kearny felt upon the publication of her private letter. I find the whole story of the letter kind of sad.
I'm posting some of the more interesting parts of the letter below but, if you'd like to read the whole thing, the full letter can be found at the Missouri History Museum's website.
St. Louis, August 28, 1862,
Before I get back to the 1875 season and the second Brown Stockings/Chicago game, I'm going to dump some stuff from my files. I have this bookmark file, labeled "posts," where I stash a lot of the stuff that I find while doing research and it's gotten really big - much bigger than normal. So I'm going to clean the file out and share some of the stuff I've found with you.
Today, you get the last will and testament of Joseph Scott Fullerton, Union general during the Civil War and a member of the antebellum Cyclone Club.
Walter Stevens, in St. Louis: History of the Fourth City, had some very kind things to say about Fullerton:
The memory of such a man as Joseph Scott Fullerton can never die while live monuments remain upon which was imprinted the touch of his noble soul. Duty and honor were his watchwords, and justice one of his strong characteristics. No trust reposed in him was ever betrayed in the slightest degree, nor was he ever known to sacrifice a public interest to the furtherance of his own gains...his memory is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him and remains a blessed benediction to those who were his associates while he was still an active factor in the affairs of the world.
We should all be so lucky to have such nice things said about us after we shuffle off this mortal coil.
The memory of such a man as Joseph Scott Fullerton can never die while live monuments remain upon which was imprinted the touch of his noble soul. Duty and honor were his watchwords, and justice one of his strong characteristics.
Both the above photo and quote comes from Walter Stevens' St. Louis: History of the Fourth City.
Fullerton was a member of the Cyclones, the first baseball club in St. Louis, and, during the Civil War, he rose from enlisted man to general. According to Stevens, Fullerton "participated in the battles of Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard Roost Gap, Dalton, Resaca, New Hope Church, Pine Top Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Altoona, the two battles of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville, besides many smaller fights."
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