HISTORY OF MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS DESCRIPTIVE OF ITS SCENERY,
AND

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.

Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1879



Page 184:

WILSON, EDMUND - One of the farmers of Chesterfield township, was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, May 28th, 1836. His father was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and moved to Ohio. He married Sarah E. Lewis, who was descended from a Virginia family. Her uncle was Col. Lewis, a prominent man in Virginia before the revolutionary war, who gained great notoriety by his achievements as an Indian fighter, for which service the state erected a statue in his honor, which to this day stands in the city of Richmond, as a lasting memorial to the bravery of this man, one of Virginia’s true and valiant sons.

When Mr. Wilson was a small child his father removed from Pickaway county to Franklin county, Ohio, and dealt largely in horses; buying them up in the adjacent country, then taking them to eastern markets. They were generally sold in Philadelphia or Baltimore, as prices were better in these cities than in Cincinnati; they were herded and with the aid of a few young men to lead or drive, made their way tediously, and by easy stages through the forests and over the mountains intervening between the points of starting and destination. Mr. Wilson’s father died when Edmund was only 14 years of age, and then, in 1854, he moved to Christian county, Illinois, and employed himself at farming. On January 7th, 1857, he married Louisa Bell, who was born in Garrard county, Kentucky, and moved to Christian county, Illinois and settled where is now the town of Palmer. After his marriage Mr. Wilson went to farming for himself, being so engaged for two years, when he went to Springfield, Illinois. In 1859 he began farming again in Christian county, and was at it when the late war broke out. Being of a patriotic spirit, in July, 1861, he enlisted at Taylorville, and on the 5th of August was mustered into the services at Decatur, in company G, 41st Illinois Infantry volunteers. He reached St. Louis, August 12th, and from that city started for Bird’s Point, Missouri, where after remaining some time he went to Paducah, Kentucky, and remained there until February 5th, 1862. On that day he left Paducah, and the next day he camped near Fort Henry. He took part in the famous battle which resulted in the capture of that stronghold. On the 12th of the same month the regiment was ordered to Fort Donelson, and was engaged in eh battle in front of that fearfully stubborn array of breastworks, for three days and nights, commencing on the 13th. Even though fatigued, and having fought hard for nearly a week, the troops behaved nobly, and on the third day Fort Donelson’s colors came down. On March 8th, the regiment was ordered back to Fort Henry, and on April 6th and 7th, they participated in the battle of Shiloh. Mr. Wilson had passed through all the other battles unscathed, but his good fortune here waned. On the first day of the battle, about 5 p.m., a flying piece of shell struck him on the elbow, completely shattering the whole lower arm; it was amputated on the field, and he was moved to a temporary hospital at Savannah, Tennessee, twelve miles from the battle ground, where he remained until the middle of April, when he was sent to the hospital at Keokuk, Iowa. It took some time to recover, and he was honorably discharged June 14th, 1862.

Mr. Wilson then went back to Christian county, and lived there until the fall of 1863, when he bought out a grocery store at Carrollton, Greene county. When Carrollton was incorporated into a city, he was elected city marshal, and held that office for eight years. In 1875 he came to Macoupin county, and went to farming in Polk township. In the spring of 1879, he moved to his present location on section 26, in Chesterfield township. He has nine children, six boys and three girls. He has always been a republican in politics, and his first vote cast for president was in 1860, for Abraham Lincoln. His children are Nathan E., Hiram L., Francis M., Ulysses Grant, Lillie B., Edgar J., Frederick, Emma and Eva. The last two are twins. Mr. Wilson is a good citizen, and a man who in years to come, when this history comes to be read by children of future generations, will receive credit for his services in battling for his country, and in the loss of an arm, in one of the severest struggles of the entire war. He was elected justice of the peace in Polk township in 1877, but did not service on account of his intending to leave the township. While at Carrollton he organized the firm of “Edmund Wilson & Co., Independent Detectives,” and transacted a large amount of detective business; arresting many criminals and traveling over a considerable portion of the country. At the present time he is a member of the Secret Service at Cincinnati.


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