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On This Day: March 15

1862 - (Civil War) 17th and 18th Wisconsin Infantry Regiments Mustered In

The 17th and 18th Wisconsin Infantry regiments mustered in at Madison and Milwaukee, respectively. Both regiments would move from the lower Mississippi Valley into Tennessee and Georgia, participate in Sherman's March to the Sea, and converge on Virginia at the end of the war. Before they mustered out, the 17th would lose 269 men and the 18th, 225.

1868 - First Lady Frances Farwell Dies

On this date Frances Amelia Corss Farwell died in Washington, D.C. She was born in 1831 in Watertown, N.Y., and married Governor Leonard James Farwell on September 20, 1853, in Madison. In 1851, at age 32, he had been the youngest governor ever elected in Wisconsin; Frances Farwell gave birth to three children while residing in Madison. After losing their fortune in the Panic of 1857, the Farwells relocated to Washington when President Lincoln appointed Governor Farwell an examiner in the nation's patent office. On April 14, 1865, they witnessed President Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater, and Farwell left this account of that evening, including how he probably saved the life of vice-president Andrew Johnson. After his wife's death, Leonard Farwell moved in 1879 to Chicago, only to suffer more heavy losses in the fire of 1871. He then moved to Granite City, Mo., where lived until his own death in 1889. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin - The Governors' Wives, by Nancy G. Williams, pg.32]