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Captain William D. Wilson collection

 Collection — Folder: S1415
Identifier: S1415

Scope and Contents

This collection includes three handwritten Civil War documents, an 1895 handwritten letter from General James Longstreet, and a bound, typed manuscript (13 pages) of the personal recollections of William D. Wilson, drum major, 129th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, from Cahttanoogo to Atlanta, Savannah, Richmond and Washington. The 129th Illinois was attached to the First Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Army Corps.

The Civil War documents include a description of William, who was 17 years old, had gray eyes, dark hair, and was five feet, 7 inches tall. There are four pages listing dates and places where William traveled in 1864 and 1865.

The letter written by General James Longstreet states: Gainesville, Ga., June 23, 1895, Hon. W. D. Wilson, Indianapolis, Ind., My Dear Sir, Your generous letter of the 16th is received and noted. I have to express regrets that my health is not such as to warrant the effort for a lecture. I must say therefore that will [you] accept my excuse and pardon the failure to meet your wishes. I am very truly yours, James Longstreet."


  • 1863-1865 and 1895


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William D. Wilson was the son of Benjamin and Mary Wilson, who lived in Scott County, Illinois, in 1850, when William was five, and his brother Edward was two. In 1860, William was 15 and living with Elizabeth N. Wilson (44), and four other Wilson children: Lucy A. (19), Joseph S. (10), Nanie M. (9), and Charles (3), as well as E. F. Trilley (71) and Mary Trilley (63). On September 8, 1862, William enlisted as a private in Company H, 129th Illinois Infantry. He was promoted to regimental drum major from April 1, 1863. On June 8, 1865, Captain Wilson was musterd out at Washington, D.C. In 1880 and 1900, he was living in Indianapolis with his wife Rosa J. In 1920, he and his wife Lydia were in Ward 4, Indianapolis, Indiana.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/04/09 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Captain William D. Wilson collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.