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Wilson, Albert


ALBERT D. WILSON
145th New York Infantry
Private, Company G
Coram


Wilson, Albert
Albert Wilson, wearing his Grand Army of the Republic badge. Photo from the Brookhaven Town Historians Office.


Albert D. Wilson
145th New York Infantry Company G
Coram

Albert D. Wilson was born in 1829. He married Rachel Terrell on January 6, 1861, and they lived on a farm on Paul's Path in Coram. The couple had one child, a daughter, who died shortly after her birth in 1862.

Not long after, on August 30, 1862, Wilson went to New York City and was enlisted by Captain A.S. Chappell to join the 145th New York Infantry, Company G. At that time, Wilson was 33 years old, stood 5 feet 5 inches tall, had blue eyes and light hair.

The regiment was mustered in on September 11, 1862. They left for Washington, D.C., on September 25, under the command of Ole P. Balling. When they arrived in Washington, they were proud to stand before President Lincoln, who reviewed the regiment. They left Washington on October 4, 1862 and made camp at Pleasant Valley. They stayed there until October 30, after which they made camp at Bolivar Heights in Virginia.

In November, the regiment went on a reconnaissance patrol to Shannondale. There, they encountered Confederate forces and were engaged in some light skirmishing.

Throughout December, the regiment continued its reconnaissance patrols towards Winchester. During this time, they moved their camp to Fairfax Station, Virginia. On January 24, 1863, the regiment marched to Stafford Court House in Virginia. Wilson noted that this was an arduous march because it was raining very hard and the roads were difficult to travel on.

The regiment moved to Acquia Creek in February. Wilson wrote that he was ordered to help erect fortifications, which took nine days. Soon it was time to move again, and the regiment broke camp on March 26, 1863.

In April, Wilson's regiment left their winter quarters and marched to the Rappahannock River. This was not an easy journey. On April 29, the regiment crossed the Rappahonnack on pontoon bridges. They then proceeded toward Germanna Ford on the Rapidan where they waded across the waist high water. On April 30, 1863, they marched in pouring rain for about 12 miles to CrossRoads near Chancellorsville.

The Union Army suffered a crushing defeat the previous December at Fredricksburg. Their new Commander, General Joe Hooker, spent 3 months trying to rebuild his army's morale. In April, President Lincoln pressed Hooker to attack the Confederates under General Lee. Although he had 70,000 men to Lee's 47,000 troops, a timid Hooker withdrew his men from good a position to a dense forest area known as "the Wilderness." Lee took advantage of this opportunity. In a series of brilliant moves, Lee's troops boldly attacked Union forces. On May 1, Stonewall Jackson took his cavalry around the Union flank and crushed them. On May 2, the second day of the battle, the 145th N.Y. had worked through the night to create three lines of defense against the impending Confederate assault. When the attack began, Wilson and his regiment put up stiff resistance but they were forced to withdraw. The 145th suffered 95 casualties at the battle of Chancellorsville. The defeated Union army was forced to retreat, back across the Rappahannock River. The regiment suffered 83 casualties, 23 of whom were listed as missing

After this defeat, Wilson contracted diarrhea and was sent to the camp hospital for treatment on May 11, 1863. He was later transferred, on June 13, to the McClellan Hospital in Pennsylvania for fever and chronic rheumatism. He stayed there until October, when he was transferred to the 107th N.Y. Infantry. This transfer, however, never took place because his condition did not improve. Instead, he was transferred to the 6th Regiment Invalid Corps.

The Invalid Corps was made up of soldiers who were disabled by wounds and disease. During the course of the war, more than 60,000 men served in the Invalid Corps. By remaining in the service and performing non-combat duties, they enabled other soldiers to fight. For example, the Invalid Corps was instrumental in ending the 1863 draft riot in New York City. It was renamed the Veteran Reserve Corps in 1864.

Wilson returned home to Coram after he was discharged from the army on July 25, 1865. He resumed his occupation as a farmer living on what is now called Mooney Pond Road. Wilson and his wife had no other children. He remained in Coram until his death on May 27, 1898 of stomach cancer.

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