Friday, May 06, 2011

Charles Wilkinson

Charles Wilkinson was born in 1822 in England.

Charles left England and came to the United States. He married English-born Isabell (b. 1829), possibly in England; in any case they had at least one child, a daughter Charlotte (b. 1850).

By 1850 he had settled his family on a farm in Crockery, Ottawa County, Michigan. By 1860 Charles was farming and living with his wife in Coopersville, Polkton Township, Ottawa County. Their daughter Charlotte is not listed as living with them but one Henry Hudson (b. 1857 in Michigan) is listed with the family.

He was a 40-year-old farmer, probably living in Coopersville or Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on August 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids, crediting Polkton, Ottawa County. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Charles joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was missing in action May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and returned to the Regiment on October 3 when he was reported as driving an ambulance -- interestingly in November he was also reported as an exchanged prisoner-of-war at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia. It appears he may have been taken prisoner on May 2 and exchanged on or about November 15.

In any case, he was absent sick from December of 1863 until he was transferred to Company C, Twenty-second Veterans’ Reserve Corps January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern sities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.) It appears that Charles died shortly after being transferred to the VRC.

In December (?) of 1864 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 48207). (In 1870 one Henry Hudson, age 13 and born in Michigan was a farm laborer living with and/or working for the Collins Barnes family in Polkton.)

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