6th WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: July, 1861 Camp Randall Madison, WI
Mustered In: 7/16/61 Camp Randall Madison, WI
Mustered Out: 7/2/65 Louisville, KY
The 6th Wisconsin was a three eastern theater infantry organization. It was mustered into Federal service on 7/16/61 and left Wisconsin for Washington City on the 28th. Arriving in Washington it encamped on Meridian Hill. It remained there until September when was ordered to picket and guard duty at Ft. Lyon located south of Alexander VA.
In March, 1862 the regiment marched to Manassas, VA. That August it began destroying Confederate railroads. At First Manassas/Bull Run (7/21/1861) it lost 9 killed and 91 wounded.
Engaged at SOUTH MOUNTAIN, MD (9/14/62) the unit lost another 15 killed or mortally wounded plus 67 WOUNDED. At Antietam (9/17) 38 were killed or mortally wounded and 160 were wounded.
July, 1863. Gettysburg, PA saw another 30 killed with 116 wounded and 22 missing. The combat year ended at Mine Run, VA. (11/27 - 12/2).
During May, 1864 the 6th began Union Gen. U.S. Grant's Overland Campaign. From May 5th until June 10th it lost 44 killed and 110 wounded. From June 11th to July 1st another 17 were killed and 31 wound. August saw 7 more killed plus many wounded.
February, 1865 found the unit fighting gallantly at Dabney's Mills aka Hatchers Run (2/5/65). A few days later it played a prominent role at Five Forks (4/1). After that (4/9) the regiment had the satisfaction of helping capture Confederate Gen. R.E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse.
Participation in the Grand Review at Washington City preceded final muster at Louisville, KY.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 16; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 228*; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 112.
*The 6th was one of but a few ACW regiments that lost more men in combat than it did to disease, accidents, etc.
Residence: Shawano, WI Age: ca. 25 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 6/18/61 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 6/18/61
Mustered Out: 7/14/65
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Charles Foster was created in October, 2020 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 will be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Birth years for Charles Foster waver between 1836 and 1838. Herein we are adopting the former with his month of birth being November. No specific birth day/date has been found in available documents. He was born in the state of Ohio.
Parents of Charles were Thomas (b. 1797 Devonshire England - d. unk.) and Rosetta (nee Laska/Laski b. 1795 New Brunswick Canada - d. unk). It appears the two came to America from Canada sometime between 1832 and 1834. In the U.S. Thomas listed his occupation as both (brick) mason and minister.
According to one source Thomas and Rosetta produced 11 children. Available documents, however, provide names for only eight. Identified Foster children in addition to Charles were: John (b. 1822), Joseph Thomas (b. 4/10/28 Hamilton Ontario, Canada *), Sarah Ann (b. 1830), Stephen (b. 1832 **), Mary Elizabeth (b. 1836) and James (b. 1839).
By 1861 Charles had departed his parental home and was residing in Shawano, WI. While there on, 6/18/61, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His regiment of choice was the 6th Wisconsin Infantry.
Without access to his military service records, not much can be said pertaining to Private Foster's period of enlistment. We do know, however, that he received a HAND WOUND during the September 14, 1862 battle of South Mountain, MD. Continuing to serve, our private re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer and survived The War.
The first post-war information found pertaining to Charles comes from the year 1877. On May 8th of that year, in Polk County, IA he married. His bride was Matilda A. or C. Huntington (b. January, 1854 OH or IL). The union did not produce children.
Where Charles and Matilda settled following their marriage is not known. By March, 1885, however, they had made their way to the Puget Sound region of Washington Territory. Two of Charles’ older brothers Thomas and Stephen already resided here.
In Washington the Foster’s first noted community of residence was Duwamish – now Tukwila - in King County. This was where his brothers Thomas Foster (now known as the “Father “of Tukwila”) and Stephen Foster resided.
Charles had earlier noted his occupation as "brick layer". In Duwamish, WA he turned to farming.
As of 1889 the family address remained Duwamish. In the Foster home at that time were a number of adults and children. At least some of the adult males appear to be Charles' brothers.
By 1890, when the Civil War veteran tally was undertaken, the Fosters may have moved into Seattle, proper. A decade later and into 1910, however their King County home community was listed as Sprague.
Former Civil War infantry soldier Charles Foster died on 3/5/15 in Foster (first an area of Seattle and, later, Tukwila) King County WA. His death record noted Interstitial Nephritis (Kidney Inflammation) as cause of death. Burial was/is in the Riverton Crest Cemetery located in Tukwila.
After arriving in Washington Territory/State, on 6/12/89 Charles applied for and was granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. Basis for the pension granting appears to have been his wounded hand and continuing chronic diarrhea. Without his pension files details regarding the monthly stipend are not available.
Immediately following her husband's death, on 3/17/15, Matilda began the paperwork process necessary to seek continued reception of at least a portion of Charles' pension. That request was granted, but as with Charles, without the pension files dollar amounts are not known.
U.S. Census tallies for 1920 and 1930 show the widow Foster continuing to reside in the community bearing her married surname. She died in King County on 3/8/33 and was/is buried beside Charles in the Riverton Crest Cemetery.
* Joseph Foster. Joseph served in Co. “G” of the 1st Washington (Territorial Volunteer Foot) Infantry.
during the Puget Sound Indian Wars of the mid-1850s. He died 3/17/1915 and was/is buried in Lake View Cem. Seattle, King Co. WA). Foster High School in Tukwila King County, WA is named after him.
** Stephen Foster. Stephen served in Co. “H” of the 1st Washington (Territorial Volunteer Foot) Infantry during the Puget Sound Indian Wars of the mid-1850s. He died on 10/2/11 and was/is buried in the Washington Soldiers Home Cemetery located in Orting Pierce County, WA.
Buried at Riverton Crest Cemetery
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