Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FARNUM, John Egbert, soldier, born in New Jersey, 1 April 1824; died in New York City, 16 May 1870. He was educated in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, entered the army as sergeant major of the 1st Pennsylvania infantry in 1846, and served through the Mexican war. Subsequently he joined the Lopez expedition to Cuba that left New Orleans in 1850, and also took an active part in Walker's Nicaraguan expeditions. Still later he was captain of the slave yacht "Wanderer," and was indicted at Savannah for carrying on the slave trade. He is said to have regretted this episode in his life, and at the beginning of the civil war he became major in the 70th New York volunteers, which was raised and commanded by General Sickles. He distinguished himself for gallantry in all the engagements in which Sickles's brigade took part, and was promoted colonel of his regiment. At the battle of Williamsburg, 5 May 1862, he was severely wounded, but recovered in time to take part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and was brevetted brigadier general for gallant conduct in those engagements. He was then compelled by his wounds to abandon active service, and accepted the colonelcy of the llth regiment of the veteran reserve corps, which he retained till the close of the war. Later he was appointed inspector of customs in the City of New York, which office he held at the time of his death.
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