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and Surgeon Charles Leonard Wilson, U.S.V.
Major and Surgeon Charles Leonard Wilson, U.S.V.
Major and Surgeon Charles Leonard Wilson's military career began in the
early months of the war of the Rebellion with his appointment as assistant
surgeon of the Seventy-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Upon the
merging of this command with the Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in
December, 1861, Dr. Wilson retained a similar post with the consolidated
regiment, which he accompanied into action at McDowell, Shaw's Ridge,
Franklin, Strasburg, Harrisonburg, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Freeman's
Ford, Warrenton Sulphur Springs, Waterloo Bridge, Bull Run (second
battle), and Aldie, and was also on duty on the battle-field at
Fredericksburg, though not with his regiment.
In these engagements it was seldom the lot of the Seventy-fifth to occupy
other than a position of honor. The gallant achievements of the regiment
at McDowell, Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and the heavy
losses they sustained are matters of history. These events entailed upon
Dr. Wilson the most arduous duties, and formed an excellent training for
the increased responsibilities he afterwards assumed.
In February, 1863, Assistant Surgeon Wilson was selected to organize the
First Division Hospital, Eleventh Corps, Army of the Potomac, near Brooks
Station, Virginia, where he remained in charge until the breaking up of
the hospital the following summer, at the time of the Eleventh Corps'
march to Gettysburg. While stationed at this hospital Dr. Wilson obtained
permission to rejoin his regiment for a few days at Chancellorsville, and
was present at the several engagements there. Upon his return he was
mustered out as assistant surgeon, to accept promotion as surgeon of the
same regiment May 16, 1863, Major Wilson was detailed brigade surgeon,
Second Brigade, First Division, Eleventh Corps. During the three days'
engagement at Gettysburg he had charge of the Eleventh Corps Hospital,
established in the High School-house of the town and an adjoining church.
These buildings falling into the hands of the Confederates on the first
day, the doctor and his charges remained prisoners until the end of the
battle, when they were retaken.
It is not surprising that the conscientious devotion to duty evinced by
this officer in the efforts recorded, meeting extraordinary demands upon
his endurance to the exclusion of every selfish consideration, should
already have told severely upon his health. We find, nevertheless, that
Surgeon Wilson was afterwards on the field at Hagerstown, Maryland, and
later accompanied his regiment, of whom less than a hundred men then
survived, to Morris Island, South Carolina, where he took part in the
assault upon Fort Wagner. It was not until October, 1863, and after he had
been confined to his tent at Folly Island for more than a month, that the
doctor yielded to the advice of his colleagues and resigned. From Port
Royal, South Carolina, he returned to his home at Athens, Ohio.
||The following spring, being much
improved in health, Dr. Wilson accepted a commission as surgeon of
the One Hundred and Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and
remained with that regiment during his term of service, being
finally mustered out as surgeon September 3, 1864.
Surgeon Wilson enjoyed the friendship and confidence of his superior
officers, especially General N. C. McLean, and was unusually beloved
by his comrades and the sick and wounded committed to his care. His
services in the Eleventh Corps were several times highly commended
by Major Sukley, medical director, in his reports to the
Dr. Wilson is the second son of the late Josiah Wilson, Esq., of
Athens, Ohio. Born at Athens, October 13, 1831, he completed his
education at Cleveland, receiving the degree of M.D. from the
Western Reserve College in 1854.
The following year he married a daughter of James Dickey, Esq., of
Bern, Ohio. Since the war Dr. Wilson has practiced his profession in
Athens, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia, and Indianapolis, Indiana, at which latter
place he now resides, a successful specialist in orthopedic and plastic
surgery. He is a member of Beta Chapter, Beta Theta Pi; of the Grand Army
of the Republic; of the York and Scottish Rites in Masonry; a Knight
Templar; a Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the
United States, Indiana Commandery (his eldest son, Dr. Charles A. Wilson,
being a Companion of the second class), and was a United States pension
surgeon from 1866 to 1872.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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