The Wisconsin Veterans Museum would like to share the thank you cards from Ms. Alt’s 5th Grade class at Huegel Elementary (Madison) for the Talking Spirits Cemetery Tour XVII at Forest Hill Cemetery. We look forward to seeing more classes this October 4th-7th for Talking Spirits Cemetery Tour XVIII!
Thank you to all who attended, volunteered and participated!
On Sunday, October 11, 2015 the Wisconsin Veterans Museum hosted the Seventeenth Annual Talking Spirits Cemtery Tour at Forest Hill Cemetery (1 Speedway Road, Madison) from 12-4:00 PM. Cemetery Tour 2015 featured the stories of Sally Blair Fairchild and Francis Bull Fairchild, August Bartsch, Albert Lamson, and Alice Whiting Waterman. This year’s tour was the most successful yet. Roughly, 2,500 students from grades four through ten attended the event over a four day span, and 500 visitors attended our public day tours. The weather was beautiful and once again the Wisconsin Veterans Museum was able to share the stories of our Wisconsin Civil War heroes. The tour was made possible by support from the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation.
Sally Blair Fairchild, the wife of Jarius Fairchild, the first Mayor of Madison, was the mother of Civil War soldiers Cassius and Lucius and sailor Charles Fairchild. Cassius Fairchild joined the 16th Wisconsin immediately after war broke out and quickly became Lieutenant Colonel. Lucius Fairchild, Wisconsin’s first three-term Governor, saw action at Falling Waters, Second Bull Run, Gettysburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville among others. Francis Bull married Lucius Fairchild in 1864 after spending the war years volunteering in military hospitals around Washington D.C.
One of the first Madisonians to enlist when the Civil War broke out, Bartsch fought with the 26th Wisconsin at Gettysburg, Missionary Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta and Chancellorsville. Bartsch was just one of thousands of German immigrants who enlisted to fight during the war alongside other European immigrants.
Lamson was a soldier in the 104th New York Infantry when she was captured after the battle of Gettysburg and held prisoner at Libby Prison. After being transferred to camp Sorghum near Columbia, Lamson and a fellow soldier, E.E. Sill, made a daring escape in broad daylight and fled to the nearby woods. Lamson lived on turnips and bark as he traveled toward Union lines. After the war, Lamson and his wife lived on a farm south of present-day Nakoma and were pioneer strawberry growers.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Waterman moved to Madison in 1868, She took a very loving interest in the Confederate soldiers buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, beautifying this spot by planting shade trees and replacing wooden grave markers with stone. The soldiers buried at Confederate Rest were captured at the Battle of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River and were brought to Madison to be held at Camp Randall. Waterman is buried in Confederate Rest among ‘her boys’, as she fondly call them.
We look forward to seeing the public on Saturday, October 8th from 5:30 to 7:30 for our first ever CANDLELIT TOURS, and on Sunday, October 9th from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM for our Public Day tours!
Click on the images below to read some of the letters we received!