Greenbury F. Wiles
78th Ohio Infantry

portions from

Brigadier-General G. F. Wiles

B Company was raised in Putnam and vicinity, by Z. M. Chandler and G. F. Wiles, of Putnam, Ohio, and organized December 12th, 1861. Z. M. Chandler was appointed Captain, Greenbury F. Wiles, First Lieutenant, and Gilbert D. Munson, Second Lieutenant.

Captain Chandler was Superintendent of the Public Schools of Putnam. He was appointed Major of the regiment, and afterward Lieutenant-Colonel, and after leading the regiment on the Mississippi Campaign, and thence to Vicksburg, was compelled to resign after crossing the Mississippi river, but his health soon gave away to the miasma and debilitating heat of the Southern climate. His constitution much broken and health altogether too feeble to enter further upon that terrible campaign.

Greenbury G. Wiles was a citizen of Putnam and seemed to have a more than ordinary tact in the government and successful management of men. He was soon appointed Captain of Company C. On the failing health of Z. M. Chandler, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel on May 16, 1863 and took command of the regiment on the battle-field of Champion Hills. At Atlanta he was appointed Colonel of the regiment, and the greater part of the time during the siege of Atlanta and afterwards, was in command of the Second Brigade. After the South Carolina campaign, he was appointed Brevet Brigadier-General in honor of his own efficiency as well as that of the regiment.

The following letter from General Wiles, describes his service:

PUTNAM, OHIO, July 23d, 1865.

"On the 26th day of October, 1861, I received a commission as Second Lieutenant to recruit for the Seventy-Eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and at once traveled through the county north and west of Zanesville, to confer with my numerous acquaintances about the prospect of raising recruits, to engage in putting down this rebellion. They very frankly told me they did not believe I could get any men, for the reason that all who were going into the service, had already gone. I was of a different opinion, and at once commenced a series of meetings at Uniontown, Newtonville, and at different schoolhouses in the county, and for a time without success; but the people after a time became interested in the Union cause, (for constantly holding meetings awakened them up to their duty) and where all was coldness and apathy, there was soon a warm, patriotic feeling, and, in connection with Z. M. Chandler, succeeded in a short time in raising a company of men.

"The number of men enlisted by us amounted to one hundred and ten, and after transferring some to Captain Wallar, and some to Captain Gebhart, the remainder, about one hundred, was organized as Co. "B," about the first of January, 1862, with the following commissioned officers: Z. M. Chandler, Captain; G. F. Wiles, First Lieutenant; G. D. Munson, Second Lieutenant. Afterward, Captain Chandler attained the rank of Colonel; and G. F. Wiles, Brevet Brigadier-General; and G. D. Munson, Lieutenant-Colonel. G. F. Wiles and G. D. Munson served until the close of the war, and were mustered out with their command in Columbus, Ohio, on the 14th day of July, 1865.

"I served with Company "B" until after the battle of Shiloh, when I was assigned to the command of Company "C," April 16th, and soon after I received a commission as Captain, and was continued in command of said company until the 16th day of May, 1863, when I received a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel, and immediately took command of the regiment. The command of the company then devolved on Lieutenant Alex. Scales, of Zanesville.

"In the month of December, 1862, I, with Company "C," was detached from the regiment to organize a Pioneer Corps and Pontoon Train. I believe this was the first Pioneer Corps organized in the Seventeenth Army Corps. In that capacity the company served with distinction, making roads and constructing bridges, and destroying bridges and fortifications. They destroyed the heavy fortifications on the Tallahatchie, and also the bridges at that point. Better working men were not in the army. The company continued in the Pioneer Corps until after the siege of Vicksburg, and also on the Meridian Expedition. During the siege of Vicksburg the company was very efficient, and no like number of men conduced more to the downfall of that stronghold than did Company "C." The men were from Zanesville and vicinity, and were a very robust set of men, and very patriotic. At the mustering out of the command, and for a considerable time before, they were commanded by Captain John Mills, of Columbiana County. In addition to their pioneering qualities, they were a splendid fighting company."


| Home | Grant's March | Pemberton's March | Battle of Champion Hill | Order of Battle | Diaries & Accounts | Official Records |
| History | Re-enactments |  Book Store |
Battlefield Tour | Visitors |

Copyright (c) James and Rebecca Drake, 1998 - 2002.  All Rights Reserved.