John Raush Fesler was born on Novermber 16, 1835 near Springfield, Ohio. Before the war, he was a merchant in Morgantown.

On September 12, 1861 he became captain of Company G, 27th Indiana Infantry Regiment . By July of 1863 he had risen to lieutenant colonel, and took command of the regiment at Gettysburg when Colonel Silas Colgrove assumed brigade command. Fesler mustered out on November 11, 1864.

He died on February 19, 1920 in Indianapolis, Indiana.