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Charles Lowell Wilder
Born: December 10, 1840
Died: 27 April 1895

(Charles the Elder)

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The grave of Charles L. Wilder, who fought with the Grand Army of the Republic (the north) under General Grant (Co. I, 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry) in the Civil War.

He joined the Army on August 18, 1861 when he was 18 years old. He was assigned to duty as a nurse at Van Buren Army Hospital at Milliken's Bend, LA, by special order of General Grant.

Later he saw combat; he was wounded in the leg in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, GA, on June 28, 1864 or July 23, 1864. (Army records mention two dates.)

The wound in his leg became infected, never properly healed, and he dragged his leg for the rest of his life.

In civilian life he was a farmer and blacksmith near Harlan, IA. He married Mary Eleanor Soesbe on March 19, 1865, and they had five children. Only one child, Charles Lowell Wilder, Jr., survived to adulthood.

Charles Lowell Wilder Sr. and Mary Eleanor are buried in Harlan Cemetary, Harlan, IA. (Only one headstone.)

Extensive records of Charles' Civil War Service exist at Army headquarters in Washington, D.C.

(notes from Margot Ashworth)

Ask me if you really want the following additional information about Charles Lowell Wilder:
  • copies of his Civil war pension records,
  • information about the battle in which he was injured
  • whatever else I have about him

Family Stories from Diana and Cindy

Also, a puzzle about the original Charles Wilder. His birth date says he was born in 1840 but he joined the GAR on Aug 17, 1861 and the papers say he was 18 which means he had to be born later. The page from the book over in Springfield says 18 too. It was published in 1908 and has the listings of the Iowa regiments. His Army papers don't give a birth date only an age. Also, in his Army papers there is a form that stops his pension ($12.00 per month) due to his death and it lists the 21st not the 27th as his death date. Also, the Army papers say he was born in Erie County PA, not just the town of Erie. Which means it could have been any small burg or countryside. And at the time of his enlistment he was farming in Vernon Springs Iowa. Charles was light haired, light skinned, with blue eyes and tall (I think it was 5'10").


The original Charles Wilder (and Lowell is a name handed down-it was my father's middle name and is my sister's son's middle name) was from Pennsylvania and was a farmer. We don't have records from Pennsylvania-no one has searched back that way. He eventually settled in Harlen, Iowa, as a teen (with his family) and from there he joined the Army and fought in the Civil War. His regiment was all over Arkansas and the south. He eventually was wounded in a skirmish just south of Lookout Mountain just a few days after the famous battle. His leg was wounded and never healed right; he also had piles which he said resulted from being in the Army. He spent the remainder of the Civil War working as a nurse, part of it in Louisiana at a hospital there. After mustering out, he returned to farming, but limped, had at times a weeping wound and received a disability payment from the government for the remainder of his life. There are two books about the Civil War in the archives over in Springfield that lists his regiment and lists him personally.