General Frederick Townsend
Research Notes
Charles Fasoldt

1883 Poster
149 Seminar
149 MB
149 Web
Web Horology
AWCo Web

General Frederick Townsend owned Fasoldt No. 88 a marvelous keywind example in its original 18K Baldwin convertible case (patented April 13, 1858). The watch was purchased from Charles Fasoldt in 1863. His unsolicited testimonial on the performance of this watch and its superiority to contemporary Patek Phillipe watches appears in the document to the right. (click to see it full size)

General Townsend's biography from the National Cyclopedia appears below. The link to the right goes to the Civil War site with the description of the Battle of Bethel where Townsend and his troops distinguished themselves in one of the first major battles of the war.

Picture and signature of General TownsendTOWNSEND, Frederick, soldier, was born in Albany, N. Y., Sept. 21, 1825, son of Isaiah Townsend, a wealthy merchant of that city. He comes from a line of ancestors noted for independence of character, high moral principles and true devotion to the cause of liberty. His great great grandfather on his father's side, James Townsend, was deputy surveyor-general of the province. His great grandfather, Samuel Townsend, was actively engaged in the English and West India trade, which he successfully prosecuted until the revolution, when he was interested and employed, although subjected to many annoyances, in advancing the interests of the colonies. This he did until his death in 1790. Frederick was educated in the schools of the day, and at the age of fifteen entered Union college, Schenectady, where he was graduated in 1844, at the age of nineteen years. He studied la wand was admitted to the bar in 1849. The California gold fever drew him to the Pacific coast, where his love of adventure, his keen perception and high appreciation of the beauties of nature, and his careful study of society in its various phases, rendered his experience exciting, interesting, and profitable, as well. Returning home, he was made captain of company B, Washington continentals, of Albany; organized the 76th regiment of militia, of which he was colonel, and, later on, the Albany zouave cadets. His fitness to occupy some higher position in the military ranks becoming appreciated, he was appointed by Gov. King, in 1857, adjutant-general of the state of New York. He left the practice of law and devoted his time as adjutant-general to making reforms and infusing life and vigor into military organizations. In 1859 he was reappointed adjutant-general by Gov. Morgan, and it maybe truly asserted that it was owing to the efficiency of Gen. Towns-end that so many New York troops were ready to take the field when the thunders of Fort Sumter's guns aroused the loyal men of the North to action and called them to arms. In 1861 Gen. Townsend tendered his services to the country at the beginning of the civil war; and organized the 3d regiment of New- York state volunteers, of which he was commissioned colonel in May, and which he commanded at the battle of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, where he was conspicuous for many acts of gallantry. He was appointed by President Lincoln a major of the 18th infantry of the regular army, Aug. 19. 1861; and wits assigned to duty in the West. He commanded his battalion in the reconnaissance to Lick Creek, Miss., Apr. 26, 1802; also in the siege of Corinth, Apr. 30th, driving the rear guard of the enemy from Springfield to Texas, KY., and took part in the battle of Perryville. After the first day of the battle at Stone river. Tenn., Dec. 31, 1862, all the senior officers of the regular brigade having been shot except the brigade commander, he was placed in command of the left wing of the brigade. In all his vigorous battles and engagements. Maj. Townsend proved himsel a brave soldier. He received, successively, the brevets of lieutenant-colonel, colonel and brigadier-general, all in the regular army. In May, 1863, he was detailed for duty at Albany, as acting assistant provost marshal-general. In 1807, on his return from Europe after a leave of absence, he was ordered to California, and as acting inspector-general of the department made an inspection of all the government posts in Arizona. He resigned his commission in 1868. He is a member of the society of the army of the Cumberland, of the Grand army of the republic, and of the military order of the Loyal legion of the United States. Gen. Townsend has been a director of the New York national bank and trustee of the Albany & Bethlehem turnpike company since 1864; a trustee of Vassar college since June 27, 1876; a trustee of the Albany orphan asylum since 1879; a trustee of the Dudley observatory since Apr. 22, 1880, and a trustee of the Albany academy since May, 11, 1886. He was elected brigadier of the 9th brigade, N. G. S. N. Y., in 1878, and resigned that position Jan. 1, 1880, to accept the appointment of adjutant-general of the state of New York. He was nominated by the Republican state convention in 1880 for the office of elector, and cast his vote for Garfield and Arthur. On Nov. 9, 1863, he married Sarah Rathbone, of Albany. Gen. Townsend is tall, well proportioned, of stately, soldierly bearing, active in his movements, courteous in his manners, and endowed with a high order of conversational powers.

Townsend Testimonial

Battle of Bethel