William Wilson (1844-1880)
William Wilson was born September 2nd, 1844 in Bennett’s Bayou, Fulton County, Arkansas. He was the son of Jacob and Lydia Wilson. When the War Between the States came along, William’s father, Jacob Wilson, joined with a band of Confederate “Irregulars” while Jacob’s brother, Joshua Wilson, was a strong Unionist. On February 8, 1862, 16-year-old William and his brother, Joseph, who was 18, along with 8 to ten cousins, travelled to Howell County, Missouri and enlisted in Company C of the 4th Missouri Infantry, Confederate Forces.
The Wilson boys served together at Farmington and in the Iuka and Corinth Campaigns where Joseph was wounded and captured. He was paroled and went home. William went on to fight on to the battle of Hatchie Bridge, the final battle for Vicksburg, when his one-year enlistment was up.
After the war, William moved to Coffeen in Montgomery County, Illinois. In December of 1870 in Sharon, Fayette County, Illinois, he married Jane Browning. They were the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. Just ten years after being married, William died on July 8, 1880 from a carbuncle. He was buried in the Browning Cemetery at Shafter.
William was much more than just a soldier in the war. He was a farmer, a husband, a father, a member of the community, and a good Christian man. He served for the Cause of the South, but went on with life. While we honor his service today as an American veteran, we also honor him for his life and the legacy he left for his posterity.
Wilson's descendants are members of the Lt. George E. Dixon Camp # 1962, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Squad East.