William W. Wilder was born in 1838 in Yates County, New York.
In 1850 there was a 15-year-old William Wilder living with a wealthy farmer named Althea Torrey and her family in Potter, Yates County, New York. That same year there was one Nelson Wilder (b. 1803 in New York) working as a laborer and/or living with the William Bostwick family in Potter, Yayes County. He may have been the same Nelson Wilder living in Ronald, Ionia County, Michigan in 1860.
In any case, William left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan by the time war had broken out.
He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. William was a Corporal and reported as missing in action on July 1, 1862, at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, and was returned to the Regiment on August 6 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. He was wounded by a cannon shell in the right leg on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized in Washington, DC where his leg was amputated. He was discharged as Sergeant on July 29, 1863, at St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington.
In September of 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 22586).
William was married to Annie E.
In 1870 there was a 34-year-old farmer named Nelson Wilder living in Ronald, Ionia County, and a 34-year-old farmer named William Wilder (b. in Michigan) living with the Haines family in Boston, Ionia County (William owned some $3500 worth of real estate).
His widow was probably living in Washington, DC, in June of 1884 (?) when she applied for and received a pension (no. 278370).