Major Charles A. Richardson, son of Curtis Richardson, who was a farmer in Freetown, Cortland county, New York, has been conspicuously in the public eye, not only as a soldier, but as a lawyer and statesman as well. He was born in Cortland county, New York, August 14, 1829.
He became a student at Cortland Academy in Homer, New York, from which institution he was graduated. He commenced the study of the legal profession in Canandaigua, Ontario county, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1856. After spending four years in traveling throughout the west, he returned to Canandaigua in 1860 and opened offices for the practice of his chosen profession. In 1862 he gave tip his law practice and entered the service of his country, being active in recruiting Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers. He was commissioned first lieutenant of that company, and in the same year received his commission as captain with rank from November, 1862. At the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, he was wounded and given a leave of absence and returned to duty in September following. In the early part of 1864 Captain Richardson was commissioned major, and at the battle of Petersburg, Virginia, June 16, 1864, was severely wounded and permanently disabled by a rifle ball which passed through his face. He subsequently was re-mustered into the service, with the rank of major dating from June 16, 1864, and on September 3, 1864, received his honorable discharge from the army on account of the wounds received. He again returned to Canandaigua and resumed his interrupted practice of the law, continuing along that line until 1895. The Republicans of Ontario county nominated him by acclamation for the office of treasurer of the county in 1864; he was elected and held the office for six years, his administration being noted for efficiency, and he was elected to the office of surrogate in 1893, serving in that capacity for a similar period of time. In 1886 he was appointed one of five commissioners to determine the position and movements of the troops of the state of New York who had been engaged in the battle at Gettysburg, and he is still the incumbent of that office. In 1895 he was appointed by the secretary of war as one of the commissioners of the Gettysburg National Park Commission, their duty being to mark by monuments the positions and movements of all troops, both Union and Confederate, engaged on that historic field; also to determine and mark the lines of battle; construct and maintain avenues and restore and retain the topographical features of the battle field. This position he still holds at the present time (taro). Major Richardson took an active interest in establishing and developing Woodland Cemetery in Canandaigua, which is now (1911) one of the most beautiful in the state, and he has served as trustee and treasurer since the organization of the association. He has also served as trustee and secretary of the Ontario Orphan Asylum for many years, and in. various ways has contributed to the welfare and advancement of the community in which he resides. Scrupulously honorable in all his dealings with mankind, he bears a reputation for integrity and fidelity, and being sociable and genial in disposition has won and retained a wide circle of friends.
Major Richardson never married.