My Great-Great-Grandfather

I’ve posted about him before but I was moved today to post about him again. One of the purposes this blog serves is to document my family’s history for my siblings and their children and that’s what I hope for this post.

My great-great-grandfather Charles Wagner served in the Illinois 59th Infantry from 1861 to 1865, finally mustering out as a captain. There’s some question about that. Some of the records say he mustered out as a second lieutenant. We believe he became an officer because he could read and write.

His unit saw a considerable amount of action with engagements in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. The battles in which he took part included:

Battle of Pea Ridge
Battle of Perryville
Battle of Stone’s River
Battle of Lookout Mountain
Battle of Resaca
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
Siege of Atlanta
Battle of Jonesboro
Battle of Franklin
Battle of Nashville

He died in 1886 at the age of 45 of tuberculosis contracted, I believe, while he was in the war. That had serious consequences for my family that come right down to this day.

2 comments… add one
  • Gray Shambler

    Do you mean your lot would have been better if he had lived longer?

  • No question about it. He was prosperous. His death threw the family into poverty.

    The same is true in my mother’s family. Her Grandfather Blanchard died at 33. He was an engineer (whatever that meant) not an ordinary laborer. Buried in a pauper’s grave. His death threw the family into really abject poverty. All of the boys ended up running away from home. Has nothing to do with the Civil War, though, at least not to my knowledge.

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