Ignacio Hamilton Fotheringham, (Southampton, England, September 11, 1842 - Río Cuarto, Argentina, October 14, 1925), Argentine military man of British origin, of Scottish descent, who participated in the Paraguayan War and in the Conquest of the Desert . He was the first governor of the National Territory of Formosa.
Son of Robert H. Fotheringham and Inés María Huddleston, was a rebellious teenager whom his father forced to enlist in the naval squad of East India. An incident in a mosque, in which he refused to take off his shoes as prescribed by Islamic custom, led to scandal and was discharged.
Returning to England, he met Manuelita Rosas, who gave him a poncho and gave him recommendations for employment at the Los Cerrillos ranch in Monte, province of Buenos Aires. This had been owned by Juan Manuel de Rosas and at that time belonged to the family of Máximo Terrero, the husband of Manuelita Rosas, daughter of Juan Manuel de Rosas.
He arrived in Buenos Aires in 1863, but life in the countryside was not pleasant. Upon learning that the War of Paraguay had broken out, he enlisted as a volunteer for the rural militias in Chascomús. President Bartolomé Miter himself incorporated him into the Argentine Army as a second lieutenant, and joined an infantry battalion under Colonel Keen.
He fought in almost all the battles of the war, in Pehuajó, Estero Bellaco, Tuyutí, Boquerón and Curupaytí. He was one of the few officers who saved his life in that terrible defeat. He was a personal friend of Dominguito Sarmiento, son of Sarmiento, the president (1868-1874)
In 1867 he participated in the repression of the Revolution of the Colorados, which had managed to control all the provinces of Cuyo, fighting in San Ignacio, in which the leader Juan Saá was defeated. During the following years he was assigned to various destinations in the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis. For a time he was subordinated to Lucio V. Mansilla in the south of the province of Cordoba, whom he considered his friend.
In 1871 he was promoted to the rank of major and participated in the fight against the guerrilla chief Ricardo López Jordán on orders of Julio Argentino Roca - whom he would accompany for nine years - and fought in the Battle of Ñaembé.
The following year, depending on the same Roca, he joined the border with the ranqueles Indians in Río Cuarto and led a brief expedition to the tolubias of Leuvucó. On May 8, 1873, he married the parish church of Río Cuarto with Adela Ordóñez
He participated in the campaign of Roca against the Revolution of 1874 and fought in the Battle of Santa Rosa, which earned him promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He established his home in Rio Cuarto and commanded several campaigns against the ranqueles.
At the command of the 7th Infantry Regiment he participated in the Conquest of the Desert in 1879. His was the first regiment to arrive at the Negro River valley and occupied the Great Island of Choele Choel, raising the Argentine Flag in it. When General Roca arrived with his staff at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers, he offered his officers and soldiers a prize to find a ford to cross this last one; Major Fabregas and Lieutenant Colonel Fotheringham crossed it, but the prize was for the superior officer.
He participated in the repression of the Revolution of 1880 and had a special participation in the Battle of Barracas. He was promoted to colonel.
In 1883 he was appointed governor of the National Territory of the Chaco, with capital in the city of Formosa; and when that Territory was divided, it became the first governor of the National Territory of Formosa.
From that position he participated in the campaign of General Benjamín Victorica, with which the territory of the Chaco region was pacified, still in the hands of Guaycurú and Wichí Indians. He was promoted to general in 1886, the following year he made a brief trip to Europe, and remained in the Formosan government until 1891.
In 1894 he was appointed Director of the War Arsenal. At the time of the first conscription, in 1896, he was the commander of the Córdoba division, based in the fields of Santa Catalina Holmberg, today headquarters of the Battalion of Arsenals 604, "Lieutenant Colonel José María Rojas". A short time later he was military commander of the provinces of Cuyo, in the years when he feared an impending war with Chile.
He retired from the Argentine Army in 1905 and settled in Río Cuarto.
Later he lived in a mansion on Tucumán street - today Fotheringham - number 176-78, in the place where the Frontier Command had been. The Fotheringham couple introduced important architectural reforms to the house, and there is currently the Regional Historical Museum of Río Cuarto.
He died in his house in Río Cuarto on October 14, 1925. His remains rest in the cemetery of the conception of the City of Río Cuarto.
He left three works written, in addition to two others that were destroyed by order of his widow: the first was a long letter to General Luis María Campos with his ideas about the future Military College. The second was a novel in the first person, telling fantasiously the war that finally did not explode with Chile.
His most important work was a long autobiography, published in 1902 with the name of "The Life of a Soldier" and several times reissued.
All his life was an example of perseverance, rectitude, faith in himself, respect for others, dignity, he was an exemplary father, with his 12 children and his many grandchildren, and a great affection for the land he chose to live. A true scot.