Nehemiah Fountain (1834-1876)

Nehemiah Fountain was born in Denton, in Caroline County, Maryland in December 1834, one of the five children and the only son of Nehemiah and Lydia Fountain. His father was a shoemaker and a prominent citizen of the small town. The son was educated locally and entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with the class of 1854. Good looking and elegant in dress, he was an excellent and popular student. He was a member of Zeta Psi and was elected to the Union Philosophical Society and graduated near the top of his class. Following graduation, he studied law, passed the Maryland bar, and opened a practice in his home town.

Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, he had moved to Woodstock, Virginia to continue his profession. At the outbreak of war, he enlisted as a second lieutenant in Company F of the 10th Virginia Infantry. His unit fought at the first battle of Manassas (Bull Run), in the Shenandoah Valley campaigns of 1862 near his home, and then in the fighting around Richmond later that year. He was elected captain of his company during the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. On July 2, 1863, he was captured early in the Battle of Gettysburg and remained a prisoner of war in Maryland, Delaware, and Ohio for almost two years before being exchanged in February 1865.

Following the war, he returned to practice law in Woodstock. He had married Mary Catherine Welsh, a woman from the area, on April 23, 1861, five days after his enlistment. In January 1876, Nehemiah Fountain died at his home in Woodstock. He was forty-one years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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