Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FARNHAM, Noah Lane, soldier, born in New Haven, Connecticut, 4 June 1829; died in Washington, D. C., 14 August 1861. His ancestor, Henry Farnham, came from Kenilworth, England, and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1644. In 1833 Noah's parents removed to the City of New York. He was educated in New Haven and at Cheshire, Connecticut, and entered business in New York at the age of sixteen. When eighteen years old he joined the City guard, and was present with that corps at the Astor place riot. He subsequently joined the fire department, and was soon chosen foreman of a "hook and ladder" company, where he introduced new methods of drill, and practiced his men in climbing, jumping, and other athletic exercises, in 1856 he was elected assistant engineer of the New York fire department, and in 1857 joined the 7th regiment, soon attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant. He became acquainted with Colonel Ellsworth on the arrival of the latter from Chicago in April 1861, was persuaded by him to accept the lieutenant colonelcy of the New York fire zouaves, and succeeded to the command after Ellsworth's death. When the regiment was ordered to march on Manassas, Colonel Farnham was confined to a sickbed, but left it, and,'ode into action at the head of his men. He was wounded early in the engagement and removed to a hospital in Washington, where he died a few weeks afterward.
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