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Fairfax Downey

Fairfax Downey

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Fairfax Davis Downey, 1893–1990, was a writer and military historian. Fairfax Downey graduated from Yale and served in the U.S. Army as a Captain of the 12th Field Artillery
12th Field Artillery Regiment (United States)
The 12th Field Artillery Regiment is a unit of the United States Army.- Description and Symbolism :The unit's insignia is gold color metal and enamel device 1 inch in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Gules, a Fleur-de-lis Argent crowned Or; on a canton of the like an Aztec...

 in World War 1. He was a recipient of the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

 for gallantry during the Battle of Belleau Wood
Battle of Belleau Wood
The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred during the German 1918 Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the U.S...

. During the Second World War he served in North Africa, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Kansas City and New York City and retired to West Springfield, New Hampshire in the 1950s, where his wife's family had summered for a number of years. He was married at the time of his death to Washington DC socialite Mildred Adams, daughter of Dr. Samuel S. Adams, and had one daughter and four grandchildren.

He wrote biographies of Richard Harding Davis
Richard Harding Davis
Richard Harding Davis was a journalist and writer of fiction and drama, known foremost as the first American war correspondent to cover the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and the First World War. His writing greatly assisted the political career of Theodore Roosevelt and he also played...

, Charles Dana Gibson
Charles Dana Gibson
Charles Dana Gibson was an American graphic artist, best known for his creation of the Gibson Girl, an iconic representation of the beautiful and independent American woman at the turn of the 20th century....

, and Richard Francis Burton
Richard Francis Burton
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS was a British geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as his...

. His books on history and military history included Our Lusty Forefathers, (1947), Sound of the Guns (1956), and Storming of the Gateway (1960).

Fairfax Davis Downey, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

. Fairfax Downey was the son of General George F. Downey and the grandson of Captain, Brevet Major, George Mason Downey, 14th, 32nd, and 21st Infantry
21st Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 21st Infantry Regiment is a United States Army infantry regiment.-Lineage:*Constituted 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry*Organized 20 May 1862 at Fort Hamilton, New York...

, U.S. Army (1861–1888).


  • Disaster Fighters, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1938), hardcover
  • Indian-Fighting Army
  • Horses of Destiny
  • Dogs of Destiny
  • Cats of Destiny
  • Mascots, illustrated by Augusto Marin, Coward-McCann (1954), hardcover, 150 pages
  • Dogs for Defense
  • Sound of the Guns; the story of American artillery from the ancient and honorable company to the atom cannon and guided missile, David McKay Company (1956), hardcover
  • General Crook, Indian Fighter, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, (1957), hardcover, 192 pages
  • The Guns at Gettysburg
  • Clash of the Cavalry: Battle of Brady Station, June 9, 1863
  • Famous Horses of the Civil War
  • Storming of the Gateway: Chattanooga, 1863, David McKay Co (1960), hardcover
  • Indian wars of the U. S. Army, 1776-1865, Doubleday (1963), hardcover, 248 pages
  • Louisbourg: Key to a Continent, Prentice-hall, Inc., hardcover
  • Cannonade; great artillery actions of history, the famous cannons, and the Master Gunners
  • Fife, Drum & Bugle
  • Our Lusty Forefathers: Being Diverse Chronicles of the Fervors, Frolics, Fights, Festivities, and Failings of Our American Ancestors, Books for Libraries Press (1947), Ayer Co Pub (1971), hardcover, 359 pages,
  • The Red/Bluecoats: the Indian Scouts, U.S. Army
  • Texas and the War with Mexico, with Paul M. Angle & The Editors of American Heritage, American Heritage Junior Library (June 1961), hardcover, 153 pages,
  • The Buffalo Soldiers in the Indian Wars, McGraw-Hill (1969), hardcover, 127 pages


  • The Grande Turke: Suleyman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottomans
  • Burton, Arabian Nights Adventurer
  • Richard Harding Davis: His Day, Charles Scribner's Sons (1933), hard cover, 321 pages
  • Portrait of an Era as Drawn by C.D. Gibson: A Biography


  • My Kingdom for a Horse: Greatest Horse Stories of All Time, edited by Fairfax Downey, Doubleday (1960), hardcover
  • Great dog stories of all time, Doubleday (1962)
  • Races to the Swift: Great Stories of the Turf, Doubleday (1967), hardcover

Historical novels, Juveniles

  • War Horse
  • Dog of War, illustrated by Paul Brown, Dodd, Mead & Co (1943), hardcover, 153 pages
  • Jezebel the Jeep
  • Army Mule
  • Cavalry Mount
  • The Seventh's Staghound
  • Free and Easy: The Story of a Narragansett Pacer, illustrated by Frederick Chapman, Charles Scribner's Sons (1951), hard cover
  • Trail of the Iron Horse
  • A Horse for General Lee
  • The Shining Filly
  • Guns for General Washington

Humor and Light Verse

  • A Comic History of Yale
  • Father's First Two Years
  • When We Were Rather Older, illustrated by Jefferson Machamer, Minton, Balch & Co, NY (1926), hard cover
  • Young Enough to Know Better
  • Laughing Verse, collected by Fairfax Downey, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York (1946) hardcover, 86 pages


  • It Happened in New Hampshire
  • Contribution, Reunion in Print, Yale, 1916, Twenty-Five Year Book
  • Editor, Julia Marlowe's Story

External links and further reading