Melville Farrar - Machias Civil War Soldier

Taken from "Presidents, Soldiers and Statesmen" Published in 1899
My name is Melville Farrar and I was born on January 3rd, 1841 in Machias, New York, the son of Royal and Sarah (Bradley) Farrar. I was one of the first to volunteer during the war. I enrolled in May 1861 at Machias in Company I, 2nd Excelsior, 72nd N.Y.V.I., Excelsior Brig., Hooker's Division, and 3rd A.C. as a private promoted to corporal. My command participated in the Peninsular Campaign, Seven Days Retreat from Richmond to Harrison's Landing and Gettysburg, where on July 23rd, 1863, I was wounded.

It was 6:00 P.M. Our troops were lying in the wheat field near the rebel lines. I was struck in both thighs by gunshots. The ball entered the right thigh and shattered the bone to the knee. The other entered the left thigh about three inches from the hip joint.

I lay in the field until 7:00 P.M. of July 4th and a rebel colonel came and knelt by my side and asked me, "Do you wish to be taken to our rear? Our doctors cannot tend you as we have hundreds of wounded, but if you think it will be safer, we will carry you back to our lines." I reflected and then said, "No, I guess not. I'll stay here." I knew that our artillery would open on the rebel position and I was safer where I was. The colonel took a doughnut from his pouch and gave it to me, saying, "This is all I have. It isn't very inviting." But I was thankful for it.

I was examined in the field hospital and then went to Baltimore, Maryland where I stayed about five days. I was then sent to a hospital on Broad and Cherry Street in Philadelphia and at last transferred to a hospital on the corner of 16th and Gilbert Streets. In November 1863 I was given a thirty day furlough and then returned to the hospital. I received my honorable discharge in June 1864. My history, while in the army, is one of which any man might be proud.

I first married Verona Reed, by whom I had two children. Capitola born Sept. 1869 and Franc was born August 28th, 1871. I was married secondly to Lucina (Cornwall) Wilson the daughter of Rufus and Harriet E. (Shedley) Cornwall. She was born on Sept. 6th, 1853 at East Concord, New York. Martin V. Farrar, my brother was in the 104th N.Y.V.I. and my uncle Wiggin N. Farrar was in the War of 1812. I was postmaster under Cleveland's Administration. I was an ardent Democrat and a member of the Phillips Post 329, G.A.R. at Machias.

~ Submitted by William Watkins, Deputy Historian of Machias

Melville FARRAR is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Machias.
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