Private John R. Fussell

By Danella Dickson

John R. Fussel was born February 7, 1831 in Rankin County, Mississippi, the son of John R. and Sarah Corkern Fussell. Soon after John’s birth the family moved to Washington Parish, Louisiana where he grew up. John was one of seven brothers who served during the WBTS.

On December 7, 1862, at Columbia, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, John enlisted in a cavalry company under the command of captain A.W. Faulkner known as Caldwell defenders. The men equipped themselves and united with the other cavalry companies to from the Third Louisiana Cavalry Regiment. They became part of the Confederate Army with the understanding they would remain in their home area to protect their property and the civilian population rom the threat of Union aggression. As the war continued their position changed from defensive to offensive. The cavalry unit’s “hit and run” tactics allowed them to stay on the lookout for Confederate deserters while they harassed Union forces.

In January of 1863, John’s unit came under the command of Colonel Isaac F. Harrison. The unit was active within the boundaries of Louisiana and saw action during the red river Campaign (March – June 1864). It was finally paroled at various places in Louisiana at the close of the war. During his military service John was never wounded or taken prisoner. He stated on his pension application that he suffered from “hard spells of sickness”