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Taylin

Corporal
Joined
Oct 27, 2017
Messages
367
Location
Rolling hills of southern Indiana
#2
Hello and welcome to the forum from southern Indiana. The GAR is the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans organization exclusively for those who served in the Union during the Civil War, think of it as the Legion or VFW of its day. I'm betting his Uniform was probably not in the best of shape and he opted to make use out of what was left of it. That's a great piece of family history you have my friend.
 

John Hartwell

Major
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Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
7,875
Location
Central Massachusetts
#5
Wisconsin service records are not yet online, but according to the index, William D. Niles, jr, served as private in both the 4th and 9th Wisc. Independent Batteries of Light Artillery, before being commissioned 2nd Lt. in Co. E, 16th Wisc. Vol. Inf.

Also, attached is a page of the Minneapolis Journal, of August 16, 1906, which includes an extended account of the Survivors of Shiloh Reunion held there that year. William D. Niles is mentioned as attending, at the very bottom of the report on "The Gallant Sixteenth Wisconsin."

cheers
jno
 

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John Hartwell

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Forum Host
Joined
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Messages
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Central Massachusetts
#6
The closest thing to an obituary I find for him, is the following from the Wausau Daily Record-Herald of March 27, 1918;
niles1.jpg

niles2.jpg


Grand Army of the Republic records may be available, but you have to know the Post to which he belonged. I see that Necedah had no G.A.R. Post of its own. He was probably a member of the closest one to there. HERE is a list of Wisconsin's 100 Posts, and the cities where they were located.

William also attended the 1909 dedication of the Wisconsin Monument at Shiloh. You might be interested in the book Wisconsin at Shiloh published at that time.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
4
#7
The closest thing to an obituary I find for him, is the following from the Wausau Daily Record-Herald of March 27, 1918;
View attachment 294345
View attachment 294346

Grand Army of the Republic records may be available, but you have to know the Post to which he belonged. I see that Necedah had no G.A.R. Post of its own. He was probably a member of the closest one to there. HERE is a list of Wisconsin's 100 Posts, and the cities where they were located.

William also attended the 1909 dedication of the Wisconsin Monument at Shiloh. You might be interested in the book Wisconsin at Shiloh published at that time.

This is great John !! Had to take a break for a second just to say thanks!!The book has a lot of really good details and I've got a lot of studying to do.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,386
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
#9
I Just started researching this for my mother, she has had it for quite a while and wasn't having much luck.William D. Niles served in Company E of the 16th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

View attachment 294269

View attachment 294270

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View attachment 294272
Shiloh after battle report:

Report of Col. Benjamin Allen, Sixteenth Wisconsin Infantry.

SIR: Having heard various and conflicting reports in regard to the part
taken in the engagement of the 6th and 7th of April by the regiments
comprising Gen. Prentiss' division, I deem it my duty to myself and
command to submit a statement, which I should have done sooner but
for the painfulness of a wound received on the battle-field.
The regiment which I have the honor to command formed the left of
colonel Peabody's brigade, and was encamped on the south road leading
from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth. On the evening of the 5th four
companies of my regiment and two companies of the Twenty-first
Missouri, under the command of George K. Donnelly, acting assistant
adjutant-general, First Brigade, Sixth Division, was sent by order of
Col. Peabody, on picket duty. At about 5.30 a.m. on the 6th a part
of this force discovered some of the enemy's cavalry about 1 1/2 miles
in front and to the right of our camp, and while advancing upon them
came upon a large force of the enemy concealed behind a fence and
were fired upon by them. This was the first fire of the enemy. Capt.
Saxe and Sergeant Williams, of Company A, in my regiment, were
killed, and Col. Moore, who had just arrived with re-enforcements
from the Twenty-first Missouri, was wounded. After firing they
retreated followed by our men, but they were soon re-enforced, and our
men fell back toward our camp.

At about 6 o'clock I was ordered by Gen. Prentiss to form my
regiment and advance on the enemy. This I did, taking my position in
a thicket of small timber about 80 rods in front of my camp. After
remaining in this position about thirty minutes, waiting the approach of
the enemy, I was ordered by Gen. Prentiss to change front to the
right, which I did, and in this position received the fire of the enemy,
who appeared simultaneously on my front and left flank. We held this
position, and delivered our fire with great effect, checking the advance
of the enemy on our front, until we were ordered by Gen. Prentiss
to fall back, which I did, forming my second line about 40 rods in front
of my camp. At this time the regiment on my right and left had fallen
back, and we were entirely unsupported by any force. We maintained
this position against a greatly superior force of the enemy until again
ordered to fall back.

I made my next stand directly in front of our camp. While holding this
position I was re-enforced by party of Company A, who were out
on picket. A desperate conflict here ensued, in which Lieut.-Col.
Fairchild was wounded in the thigh and carried from the field. I also
had my horse shot under me, and my second horse was shot dead as I
was about to remount. I was again ordered by Gen. Prentiss to fall
back, take to the trees, and hold the enemy in check as much as possible
until re-enforcements could arrive. My men immediately took to the
trees and fell back slowly, firing upon the enemy, until the advance of
Gen. Hurlbut's division made their appearance. I then fell back to the
rear of his lines and formed my men, but finding them out of
ammunition, I drew off for a fresh supply. My men were nearly
exhausted, having been engaged since 6 o'clock without food our
water, contesting the field inch by inch with a greatly superior force of
the enemy.

After receiving a fresh supply of ammunition, and while waiting orders
from Gen. Prentiss, I was requested by a field officer to take the
place of an Indiana regiment he said were out of ammunition and were
falling back. I immediately complied with his request, and opened fire
on the enemy. This position we maintained until we were flanked by
the enemy on our left and were compelled to fall back. In this
engagement I received a wound, the ball passing through my left arm,
a little below the elbow, and I was obliged to leave the field about 3 p.m.

Of my regiment there were 46 killed, 176 wounded, and 23 missing.*

Of the wounded several have since died.

I cannot speak in too high terms of commendation of the bravery and
endurance of both officers and men in my command, although never
before in action. They with very few exceptions exhibited in an eminent
degree the qualities of veteran soldiers, and in the last engagement I lost
some of my brave and valuable men, among whom was Capt. O. D.
Pease, of Company D, who received a wound that caused his death.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. ALLEN,
Col. Sixteenth Regt. Wisconsin Volunteers.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT,

Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 10. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 10
Fourth Light Battery
WISCONSIN
(3-YEARS)

Fourth Light Battery. -- Capts., John F. Vallee, George B.
Easterly, Dorman L. Noggle; First Lieuts., John F. Valee,
George B. Easterly Martin H. McDevitt, William P. Powers, Burr
Maxwell, Spencer S. Hillier, Dorman L. Noggle, Robert
Campbell; Second Lieuts., Andrew H. Hunt, Charles A. Rathbun,
George R. Wright, Dorman L. Noggle, Burr Maxwell, Delos H.
Cady, Martin H. McDevitt, Alexander See, George R. Wright,
Dorman L. Noggle, Levi Westinghouse, Robert Campbell, Benjamin
Brown.

This battery was organized at Beloit, Sept. 14, 1861, and was
sent to Camp Utley, Racine, Sept. 19. It was; mustered in
Oct. 1 and left the state Jan. 21, 1862, for Washington, but
was sent at once to Fortress Monroe, where it was put in
charge of the barbette guns and spent the summer.

It had the honor of firing the gun "Union" during the
engagement between the Monitor and Merrimac. When fully
equipped it was sent to Camp Hamilton near Hampton, Va., and
was engaged there in garrison duty until Jan. 11, 1863. It
was then ordered to Suffolk and assisted in the defense
against Longstreet during April.

It was at West Point during May, constructing fortifications,
and joined Keyes' expedition toward Richmond in June, a
junction with Dix's forces being effected on the 29th. The
battery went into camp at Yorktown July 10, was ordered to
Gloucester Point Aug. 25, and remained there until Oct. 11,
when it was attached to Getty's command at Portsmouth for
permanent duty.

It engaged in small expeditions and reconnaissances until
April 23, 1864, when it was assigned to the artillery brigade,
1st division, 18th army corps which moved up the James River
and took part in the two days engagements about Fort Clinton
on the Appomattox. It was under fire at Proctor's Creek, near
Drewry's Bluff and covered the army's rear as it retired.

It took position in the intrenchments on Bermuda Hundred where
it remained until June 4, when it was attached to Kautz's
cavalry division, with which it participated in the early
assaults on Petersburg, at one time being exposed for 2 hours
to a concentrated fire of 14 guns.

On July 8 the entire battery was converted into horse
artillery and on the 27th the left section moved with the
cavalry and participated in the battle of Malvern hill. The
right section made a short expedition at the same time to
Lighthouse Point on the James and on Aug. 4 went to Prince
George Court House. The battery returned to Petersburg and
was in numerous engagements with the Army of the Potomac in
and about Richmond.

It was mustered out July 3, 1865. Its original strength was
151, Gain by recruits, 62; substitutes, 38; reenlistments, 43;
total, 294. Loss by death, 24; missing, 1; desertion, 15,
transfer, 1 discharge, 82; mustered out, 171.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 79

***********************************************************************************

Report of Capt. George B. Easterly, Fourth Wisconsin
Battery, of operations May 7-21.

CAMP FOURTH WISCONSIN LIGHT BATTERY, Near Petersburg,
May 21, 1864.
MAJ.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the
operations of the Fourth Wisconsin Light Battery from its arrival at
Bermuda Hundred to the present date:

The battery disembarked at Bermuda Hundred on the 7th instant, with
the exception of 53 horses, on board of a schooner, which, on account
of getting aground in the James River, did not arrive until the
forenoon of the 8th instant. On the evening of the same day the
battery reported for duty at the headquarters of the First Division,
Eighteenth Army Corps. At daylight on the morning of the 9th instant
the battery marched with one day's rations, under command of
Brig.-Gen. Martindale, in the direction of Petersburg, on right bank of
the River Appomattox. At 11 a. m. position was taken near the river
on a small bluff to the left of Forth Clifton, a rebel work on the
junction of Swift Creek and the Appomattox, at a distance of 2,350
yards. The enemy immediately opened fire, throwing 32-pound shrapnel.
The fire from the battery soon silenced them. The only casualty
occurring was the loss of my private horse, a shrapnel shell passing
through him. In about an hour I retired from this position, leaving
one section with directions to keep up a fire at intervals. I moved
forward with four guns, with the Third Brigade, First Division,
Eighteenth Army Corps, and camped with it until next morning near
Swift Creek. On the morning
of the 10th instant I was ordered to report to return to camp
occupied the 8th instant, the section posted by itself to return as the
infantry in its front retired by it. Friday, the 13th instant, at 1 p.
m., I received orders to move with my battery to the front on the
turnpike road. I reached there and remained over night on the road.
I reached there and remained over night on the road 2,000 yards in
rear of the Half-Way House.

At 8 a. m. the 14th instant I was ordered into position close to the
first line of works abandoned by the enemy, in a field to the left of
the Friend brick house, and opened fire on a redoubt of the enemy's
second line, 1,00 yards distant. No reply was elicited. While in this
position I was subjected to an oblique fire from the enemy's guns
concealed from view by a strip of woods. On cannoneer was wounded by
the explosion of a case-shell. I expended during the day 232 rounds
of ammunition. At night I camped on the extreme right of the open
ground in front of the Half-Way House, with battery in position. At
daylight the 15th instant I returned with battery and occupied the
same position as the previous day, and was shortly ordered to a position
about 700 yards to the rear, still commanding the enemy's redoubt. I
did not open fire during the day, and at night I retired and camped as
the night before. At daylight of the 16th instant I occupied the
position held the 15th. The dense fog prevented me from opening fire.
I remained here until ordered to gain the turnpike. While leaving my
position I received a few shots from the artillery of the enemy. I
was again posted on a hill to the left of the turnpike and 1,500
yards in rear of the Half-Way House and remained there until late
in the afternoon, when I was ordered to return to camp now occupied,
which I reached at 5 p. m. While returning one section of my battery
was detached and ordered to report to Maj.-Gen. Gillmore, who immediately,
on its reporting to him, ordered its return.

I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient
servant,
G. B. EASTERLY,
Capt., &c.

Maj. THEODORE H. SCHENCK,
Cmdg. Arty. Brig., First Div., Eighteenth Army Corps.


Source: Official Records
PAGE 147-68 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. [CHAP. XLVIII.
[Series I. Vol. 36. Part II, Reports, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 68.]

***********************************************************************************
 



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