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Wilson Iler 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Letter

Died of wounds received at Pickett’s Mill


Item No. AR79843 Category


Three page, war date letter written by Wilson Iler of the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry to his sister Lydia from a camp near Nashville in early December, 1862. Very sad letter regarding the loss of Wilson’s cousin “Frank” who was had been killed in battle. Wilson was very distraught over the loss of his “favorite” cousin. He also speaks of another family member, “Ira Hartwell” who “had his left arm shot off”. Ira would serve in the 81st Ohio Volunteer Infantry and would be wounded during the Battle of Corinth. Also mentioned is Captain Henry Cunard of the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry who was killed at Perryville as well as a second unnamed acquaintance killed in the same battle. Wilson would serve as musician for the regiment and mentions in the letter fellow soldier William Crates who had returned home on furlough and was supposed to return with a bugle for Wilson. William himself would later be severely wounded at Stones River later that month. Wilson closes his letter with a request for stamps as he could not get any in camp. Mustering with the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in August, 1861, Wilson would serve with Company C as a musician. In June, 1863 he would be promoted to principal musician. It would appear that the Iler family would suffer a number of losses during the war. Wilson would be counted among them. On May 27th, 1864 the regiment would be hotly engaged during the Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Georgia when they emerged from a wooded area into an open field. Confederate artillery opened on the men with terrible effect. Wilson would have his right arm amputated in the fight. Transferred to a hospital in Chattanooga, he would linger for 4 months before succumbing to the wound on September 14th. This one does come with the cover letter addressed to his sister Lydia in Mount Gilead, Ohio as well as a full transcription of the letter.

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