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.
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