J.B. Fuller & the 11th Rhode Island Regiment
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
John Benjamin (J. B.) Fuller (1821-1895)
John Benjamin (J. B.) Fuller was born in Walpole in 1821. His father was Joel Fuller and his mother, Susan A. Billings Fuller. J. B. had been a currier in the leather business in Providence prior to his enlistment in the Eleventh Rhode Island Regiment. He was mustered into his regiment on October 1, 1862 for a term of service of nine months. The regiment was originally commanded by Colonel Edwin Metcalf, then Colonel Horatio Rogers and finally George Earl Church.
The regiment left Rhode Island for Washington, D.C. on October 6 and was attached to the Military District of Washington D.C. until December of 1862. They saw duty at East Capitol Hill, Fort Ethan Allen and Miner’s Hill, until January 14, 1863. They were assigned guard duty at the Convalescent Camp until April 15, then moved to Norfolk and then Suffolk, Virginia, where they participated in the Siege of Suffolk from April 19 through May 4. From May 16-27, Fuller and his regiment were part of an expedition to destroy the Norfolk & Peterburg Railroad and the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad. They later were moved to Blackwater, Norfolk, Yorktown, and Williamsburg until June 30. They left for home on July 2 and were mustered out on July 13, 1863.
Following the war, Fuller lived in Norwood with his wife Sarah, and worked at the tannery. He died of heart disease on April 12, 1895 at 74 years of age. His widow applied for and received a Civil War widow’s pension.
The June 1, 1895 Norwood Advertiser and Review noted a special memorial service to the memory of recently deceased comrades, including Fuller, was well attended at the Baptist Church. Local GAR Post chaplain spoke in endearing terms of those, “who though dead, still lived enshrined in hearts of friends and comrades.”