Entered the service as Captain of Company G, May 27, 1861; promoted Major, February 1, 1862; Lieutenant-Colonel, August 22, 1862 ; Colonel, October 30, 1864.
Actions in which Engaged. Shepherdstown, September 9, 1861 ; Front Royal, May 23, 1862, (taken prisoner and escaped ;) Mary land Heights, July 7, 1863; Funkstown, July 12, 1863; Hay market, October 19, 1863 ; Harris Farm, May 19, 1864 ; Spottsylvania, May 20, 1864 ; North Anna, May 23 to 27, 1864 ; Shady Grove, May 30, 1864; Bethesda Church, May 31 and June 1, 1864; Cold Harbor, June 2 to 5, 1864 ; Assault on Petersburg, June 17 and 18, 1864; Siege of Petersburg, 1864- G5; Weldon Railroad, August 18 to 21, 1864; Poplar Grove Church, September 30, 1864; Chapel House, October 1 to 3, 1864; Peeble sFarm, October 7 and 8, 1864; Hatcher s Run, October 27, 1864; Hicksford Raid, December 7 to 12, 1864; Dabney s Mill, February 6, 1865. Killed in action at Dabney s Mill, Va., February 6, 1865.
Killed in action at Dabney s Mill, Va., February 6, 1865.
He was born in Lancaster county, Pa., February 2, 1828 ; received a common-school education, and subsequently removed with his father to Baltimore county, Maryland, where he was engaged in
On the breaking out of the war with Mexico, he enlisted as a private in Captain Lloyd Tilghman s battery of light artillery, and took an active part in the principal battles fought under Lieutenant-General Scott. Returning home, after the close of the war, he resumed his former vocation.
In 1860, a company called the Union Rifles was formed in Baltimore county for home defense, because of threats to drive Union men out of the State, in which were five boys, sons of Mrs. Wilson, of Biltirnore county. On April 19, 1861, at the call of the Captain, John W. Wilson, they met at Cockeysville to resist at tempts of the Maryland Guard and Towaontown Cavalry to burn the bridges on the Northern Central Railroad. About 12 o clock at night two omnibuses, with about forty-seven men, drove up, in quiring for Hay field Merry man. Noticing the uniform on the men, they asked, What company, and who commanded ? I do, said Captain John W. Wilson.
The man in command of these men asked of him a private interview. They went into the parlor. After a few words, the Captain was heard by those outside to say The city of Baltimore could not raise money enough to hire him to do such a thing? when he immediately came out, slamming the door, and said, Will you stick to me, boys ? These men say Governor Hicks has ordered them to come up here and offer me five hundred dollars to burn Big Gunpowder Bridge. If they do it, they will walk over my dead body first. Being foiled in their plans, the men got into the omnibuses and drove down the turnpike, Wilson and others following to the Ten-mile Gate to see that they did not take any side road to accomplish their work. Out of this, with others, a company was formed, which entered the service on May 27, 1861, in which were the five brothers. Afterward, Robert A. raised a company of cavalry, and Malcolm, a company in the Second Maryland Regiment."
Captain John W. Wilson tendered the services of his company to the Government on the 11th of May, 1861, and being accepted, it was mustered in as Company G of the First Regiment of .Maryland infantry on the twenty-seventh of that month. The Captain, was promoted Major of the regiment February 1, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel August 22, 1862, and Colonel October 30, 1864. He was present with the regiment in all its encounters with the enemy up to the time of his death, and his example on the field of battle was a strong inspiration to those under his command.
As a disciplinarian he was surpassed by none ; and it is no empty eulogy to say that Colonel Wilson was one of the bravest soldiers that the war for the preservation of the Union produced.
In his death the service lost a gallant officer, the country a true patriot, and his regiment a friend and commander whose greatest pride was to lead them against the foe.
His remains were taken to Cockeysville, and interred side by side with his brothers, Malcolm, (killed at Antietam,) and Robert, (who died of wounds received at the same time the Colonel was killed,) in the graveyard of the Presbyterian church at Chestnut Grove, Baltimore county.
An appropriate monument was erected over his grave by the surviving members of his regiment.