HATCH'S BATTALION MINNESOTA VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: August & September, 1863
Mustered In: Inf. Not Avail.
Mustered Out: April, May & June, 1866
Hatch's Battalion was a six company cavalry unit. It was created in August and September, 1863 not to fight Johnny Reb, but Native American Indians who were rampaging along the Minnesota/Dakota frontier. That region was then considered to be the U.S.'s western "frontier." The unit was named for E.A.C. Hatch, the battalion's major.
On 10/5/63 the force acted as escort for a transportation wagon train moving from St. Cloud, MN. A sudden thaw compelled the train to rest days and travel nights thus losing "the road." During this period animals and men suffered severely. Two hundred fifty pack horses, mules and oxen died because contractors failed to deliver hay and grain as agreed.
In December, '63 a detachment of the battalion captured a party of the Indians. Many more soon surrendered or were captured. After trials, many of the hostiles were executed.
On 5/5/64 the entire unit moved to Ft. Abercrombie in the Dakota Territory. Major Hatch resigned the following month because of ill health. Post and patrol duties were the order from that time until 1866 when the battalion was mustered out by companies.
REGIMENTAL LOSSES: ***
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 0; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 0; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 0; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 21.
***Based on available officers' reports the casualty numbers presented may be on the low side.
Residence: Age: 20.11 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/11/65 Harrisburg or St. Paul Hennepin Co., MN Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 2/11/65
Discharged: 2/14 or 17/66 St. Paul, MN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Justus Wiley was created in March, 2021 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Justus Hugh Wiley was born on 2/28/44. The place of his birth was Tupper Hall Meigs County, OH.
Parents of Justus were Hugh (b. 4/24/06 PA - d. 8/2/80 Champlin Hennepin County, MN) and Huldah (nee Fellows b. 1/10/08 Orleans County, VT - d. 2/17/69 MN) Wiley. The Wileys were a farm family.
Hugh and Huldah were married 8/6/29 in Meigs County, OH. They produced nine children. Justus was seventh of the nine.
Older than Justus were: George W. Wiley (b. 7/4/30 OH), Syrintha Jane Wiley (b. 8/14/32 OH), Lucy Ann Wiley (b. 5/21/34 OH), Samantha Huldah Wiley (b. 3/27/36 OH), Thomas Jefferson Wiley (b. 3/26/38 OH) and Henry Harrison Wiley (b. 7/24/40 OH). Younger than Justus were: James Gaston Wiley (b. 1/12/48 OH) and Mary Elizabeth Wiley (b. Meigs County, OH).
As noted by the birth states of the Wiley children, all were born in Ohio. So, it was sometime after January, 1848 and prior to the census of 1860 that Hugh moved his family from Ohio to Spencer Brook Isanti County, MN. Unfortunately, U.S. Census data for 1850 pertaining to the Wileys has not been found to help further pinpoint the move window.
6/1/65. By that date Hugh and family were still in Minnesota, but then residing in or near the community of Brooklyn located in Hennepin County. Of particular note in this tally is the fact that Justus is listed as being within the home. According to the American Civil War Research Database he should not have been there as he had enlisted and been mustered into the U.S. Army on 2/11/65.
Setting this anomaly aside, without accessing his service records not much can be said about Private Wiley's term of enlistment. All we know for sure is that he survived the ordeal and returned to civilian life.
Where Justus settled and what he did with his life after The War are unknowns. He is next heard from almost a decade later and a long way from home.
On 10/26/75 in Marion County, OR Justus married. His bride was Susan Caroline Richardson. Susan had been born on 7/8/58 in Linn County, OR. What had drawn Justus to the far west coast, when he had arrived in the Pacific Northwest and how he and Susan met are unknowns.
During their years together Justus and Susan produced five children. All five were living as of 1910.
Justus' and Susan's children were: Howard Elmer Wiley (b. 6/5/77 Stayton Marion County, OR), Linnie Wave Wiley (b. 1/79 OR), Wade York Wiley (b. 6/16/84 Palouse, Whitman County, WA TERR), Ida Dean Wiley (b. 2/14/87 WA TERR.) and Lois Irene Wiley (b. 1/98 Medford Jackson County, OR).
As noted by the birth "states" of the Wiley children Justus and Susan spent their child-producing years moving between Oregon and Washington. What prompted these moves is not known.
In 1880 the Wiley family was in Stayton Marion County, OR. That year Justus noted his occupation as being "peddler."
By 1/17/82 the Wileys had moved northward to the community of Palouse located in eastern Washington Territory's Whitman County. We know they were in Palouse on that exact date because that was when Justus was appointed as the town's postmaster.
In an 1887 Palouse census Justus noted his occupation as "merchant." Likely, then, Justus ran the post office from a mercantile store he operated. The family was still in Palouse when the American Civil War Veteran Schedule was tallied in 1890.
During June, 1897 Justus applied for a U.S. Government disability pension based on ailments or other physical conditions that traced back to his days of Civil War soldiering. On 11/27 of that same year his request was granted and he began to receive a monthly stipend. Unfortunately, without accessing his pension files the amount of the pension at the time it was initiated is not known. By the time of his passing, however, it will have grown to $72 per month. More on this later.
1900. By the dawn of the twentieth century the Wiley's had quitted the far eastern part of Washington State and moved westward to the Puget Sound Region of Ballard King County, WA. Ballard, then a separate community northwest of the nearby City of Seattle, is now a "neighborhood' of that city. In Ballard Justus was employed as a ship carpenter.
A decade later. In 1910 the Wileys were still in King County, but then noted their community of residence as Seattle rather than Ballard. Likely by that year Ballard had been assimilated into Seattle proper. Justus' 1910 occupation was millman. In 1920 Justus was farming north of Seattle. His address was Useless Bay, Island County, WA.
It appears that with the onset of the ‘20s Justus' health bean to fail. His family, apparently unable to care for him, had him admitted to one of the country's Old Soldiers' Homes. These facilities had been established to care for Civil War veterans during their waning years. Although there were two such homes in Washington State - one in Orting Pierce County, WA and another in Retsil Kitsap County - it was neither of these facilities which accepted Justus into residence. Instead, he was admitted into a Home located in Leavenworth, KS. Without pension files the reason for this is not known, but perhaps that was the only “bed” available.
Admitted to the Leavenworth, Kansas Home on 12/31/22, it is from that admission that we gain a glimpse of Justus Wiley the physical being. At 78 years of age, he was noted as being 6'2" tall, having a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and - not surprisingly - gray hair. His admittance was based a partial left hernia, arteriosclerosis and chronic bronchitis.
Still married, while Justus was in Kansas, Susan was noted as residing in Langley Pierce County, WA. With whom she may have been living at the time we do not know.
It appears that Justus remained in the Kansas Home until 11/4/24. He was then transferred to another Home located in Sawtelle, CA. He remained in that facility until his death on 11/20/28. His remains were then transported northward to King County, WA where they were interred in a mausoleum located in Acacia Memorial Park located north of Seattle City in unincorporated King County. The grounds are now part of the City of Lake Forest Park.
Following Justus' passing Susan applied for and was granted a portion of her late husband's Government pension. In 1930 she was living in Saratoga Island County, WA with her farmer son, Wade. She died in Seattle King County, WA on 8/11/44 and was/is interred in the Acacia mausoleum with Justus.
* American Civil War Research Database shows first name as Justice and surname as Wylie.
** 3/28/21 Other known members of Hatch’s Battalion buried in Washington State: Brunelle, Joseph Co. “B”. Buried Calvary, Yakima Leyde, Samuel F. Co. “A. Buried G.A.R. Seattle
Buried at Acacia Memorial Park Cemetery
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