Illinois Soldiers Fight in the Battle of Raymond and Champion Hill

Asa Wilson and Oliver Harrold, Co. E, 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Information courtesy of Gary Wilson, great-great grandson

It is my understanding that both Asa Wilson and Oliver Harrold, my great-great grandfathers, participated in all the battles that the 20th Illinois was involved in from Port Gibson through
the Siege of Vicksburg. This would include Port Gibson, Raymond, and Champion Hill.
Ive always been fascinated with the Civil War and learning what part my family members
played in the war makes it that much more interesting.

Gary Wilson


Asa Wilson (1832-1912) of rural DeWitt County, Illinois,
was mustered
into the U.S. Army at Joliet, Illinois, on June 13th, 1861. He was assigned to Company E of the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Oliver Harrold (1841-1905) of DeWitt County, Illinois,
was mustered into the U.S. Army at Clinton, Illinois, on May 4, 1861.
He was assigned to Company E of the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

 

Asa Wilson (1832-1912) of rural DeWitt County, Illinois, enlisted in the U.S. Army in April of 1861. He was mustered in at Joliet, Illinois, on June 13th, 1861. He was assigned to Company E of the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry as a private. He participated in various battles in the western theatre, including Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh and the Vicksburg campaign. During the Battle of Raymond, he was wounded in the thumb, but was only hospitalized for two days during his entire service. He was at Huntsville, Alabama, when honorably discharged after three years of service. After leaving the army, he returned to farming in Wilson Township, DeWitt County, Illinois. He remained there until his death in May of 1912.

 

Oliver Harrold (1841-1905) of DeWitt County, Illinois, was mustered into the U.S. Army at Clinton, Illinois, on May 4, 1861. He was assigned to Company E of the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry as a private. He participated in various battles, including Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and the Vicksburg Campaign. He was in Clinton, Illinois, on furlough during the months of March and April of 1862, thereby missing the Battle of Shiloh. He was listed as sick during the months of May and June of 1862. During the months of November, 1862 to March, 1863 he is listed as a teamster in the Divisional Train. He rejoined his regiment in April of 1863.

On January 5, 1864 Oliver Harrold reenlisted in the U.S. Army for an additional three years. That was a decision he may have regretted since he was captured near Canton, Mississippi, on February 29, 1864. He was sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. He was moved to Charleston late that year, where he was paroled on December 16, 1864. He remained under army medical care until he was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 16, 1865.

He returned to DeWitt County where he was reportedly in very poor health for several years. Eventually, he recovered and moved his family to the Chickasaw Indian Nation in Oklahoma in the mid 1870s where his wife died within the first year of their arrival. He later moved to northern Texas and made his living as a horse trader. Eventually he returned to DeWitt County, Illinois, rejoining his daughter (my great-grandmother) who had moved back to Illinois along with her brother and an uncle years earlier. Oliver Harrold died of cancer in Clinton, Illinois, in 1905.

 


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