G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
11th IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 9/28/61 Camp McClellan, Davenport, IA
Mustered In: 9/28 to 10/18/61
Mustered Out: 7/15/65 Louisville, KY
The 11th, a three-year “western Theater” unit left Iowa for St. Louis, MO on 11/16/61. It was the first regiment to leave the state fully uniformed. Its initial assignment was an expedition to Booneville, KY to capture gunpowder. Two similar movements closed the year.
March, 1862 found the regiment brigaded at Pittsburg Landing, TN. Taking part in the battle of Shiloh April 6 & 7 it lost over 200 killed and wounded, with more than 30 of that number being killed ;outright. In October the 11th participated in the battle of Corinth, MS before moving into the central part of that state with Union Gen. U.S. Grant.
February, 1863 found the regiment attempting to dig a canal. After the surrender of Vicksburg, MS. The Unit then accompanied an expedition to Monroe which wore out half the command with “little return for the hardships sustained.” By February, 1864 nearly all the regiment had reenlisted. It then participated in the Meridian, MS raid before joining Union Gen. Sherman in Georgia.
The 11th fought at Kennesaw Mtn. and skirmished all the way to Atlanta losing, along the way, over one half of its strength in killed and wounded. It next marched to Savannah, sailed to Beaufort, S.C. and, in January, 1865 moved northward through the Carolinas fighting in several minor affairs and the Battle of Bentonville. The Grand Review at Washington preceded final muster.
Residence: Muscatine, IA Age: 25 yrs.(est)
Enlisted: 9/20/61 Muscatine, IA Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/28/61 Davenport, IA
Discharged: 6/27/62 St. Louis, MO
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Residence: Pike, IA Age: 28 yrs. (est)
Enlisted: 2/4/64 Muscatine, IA Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 2/4/64 Davenport, IA Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 4/25/65 Madison, IN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Charles “Charley” Wilson was born in Campaign Co., OH. Most likely the year was 1836. No information is available on his birth family, formative or teenaged years. In the fall of 1861 the 5’8” farmer, now residing in Iowa, answered his country’s call to duty and joined the U.S. infantry. During actions April 6 & 7, 1862 at Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh, TN Private Wilson suffered a hernia, which not only lead to his hospitalization, but ten weeks later provided him with a medical discharge.
Leaving the military Charley returned to Iowa. His injuries sufficiently mended, in early 1864, he reenlisted for another three years and returned to his old regiment/company. A partial motivation for returning to the army was probably payment of a $300 enlistment bounty of which he received $60 and a $13 advance in pay upon rejoining the infantry.
During his 1864 tenure with the 11th Private Wilson found himself with Union Gen. W.T. Sherman’s troops battling toward Atlanta, GA. Near there, on 8/10/64, he received a gunshot wound to the left arm which resulted in the loss of one inch of bone thereby causing impaired usage of his life elbow. After months of hospitalization the wound was deemed having made Charley unfit for service in the active military or the Volunteer Reserve Corps (a branch of the U.S. Army providing light duty, non-combat roles for previously sick or wounded soldiers) and he was again provided a medical discharge.
The War of the Rebellion ended, Charley returned again to Iowa. There on 6/28/66 in Muscatine he married Maria L. Dickenson (b.1846). The couple would produce two children who would survive into adulthood: Jesse C. (1867) and Flora (1871). When and why Charley and Maria moved to Everett, WA is not documented, perhaps it was to be near the family of daughter Flora.
Charley died in Everett, WA during November, 1914. His obituary read, in part: “Charles Wilson died this morning at home having been sick but a few days…. Mr. And Mrs. Wilson had returned a few days ago from a several weeks’ visit at their old home in Iowa, returning via Denver to visit their son. There Mr. Wilson contracted a cold, that later developed into pneumonia.” He was buried 11/13/14. Following the Civil War Charley appears to have received a U.S. Government pension based on his arm wound. At death it seems this stipend was $30 per month.
As a veteran’s widow Maria petitioned to continue receiving a portion of her late husband’s government income and was apparently successful in doing so. At some point she removed from Everett to live with or near son Jesse in Denver, CO. It was there on 2/2/37 she died at the age of 91 years and two months.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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