Biography of William T. Wilson
Comptroller of the State

WILLIAM T. WILSON is a native of Pennsylvania, and about forty five years of age. When about twelve years old, General Wilson was thrown upon his own resources, with neither money nor influential friends to aid him, or give him counsel. He worked on a farm until he arrived at the age of fifteen, when he entered a printing office for the purpose of learning that business.

Soon after the expiration of his apprenticeship, the Mexican War broke out, when he enlisted in the First Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was afterward attached to the command of General Scott. He took part in the seige and capture of Vera Cruz, the battle of Cerro Gordo, and was one of the six hundred who were left at Puebla, when the army moved upon the City of Mexico, and who were surrounded by an overwhelming force for twenty eight days. After being relieved by the arrival of additional United States troops, a Mexican printing office was taken possession of, and Wilson, in connection with two other Pennsylvania printers, belonging to the same regiment, commenced the publication of a little paper, called the Flag of Freedom, which they continued to issue semi weekly until their stock of captured paper was exhausted, when they pulled up stakes and proceeded to the City of Mexico, where they joined their regiment.

After the close of the war with Mexico, General Wilson returned to Pennsylvania, and was there actively engaged in the newspaper business up to 1854, when he moved to Ohio, locating at Upper Sandusky, where he soon after became the editor of the Wyandot Pioneer, which was published at that place. He was publishing that paper when the War of the Rebellion commenced; he immediately recruited a company, and reported it to the Governor for duty, leaving his paper in charge of his wife, who discharged the duties of editor and publisher for some time after her husband entered the service. His company was attached to the Fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the three months service, and upon a reorganization of that regiment, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In August, 1862, he left the Fifteenth, came home, and was appointed Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty third, which was then being recruited. He soon after moved with his regiment into West Virginia, and reported to General Milroy, at Clarksburg. His regimeut performed a prominent part in the battles around Winchester, on the 13th and 14th days of June, 1863, and, on the morning of the 15th, when General Milroy's forces were intercepted in the retreat, the One Hundred and Twenty third was again thrown into the fight, was completely surrounded, and all the regiment engaged, including the Colonel, captured. General Wilson was confined in Libby Prison ten months, and was exchanged just in time to report to General Hunter, and participated in the raid on Lynchburg, in the summer of 1864. In the fall of that year, he was attacked with inflammatory rheumatism, and was barely ready to join his regiment in June, 1865, when it was mustered out of service.

About the close of the war he was appointed Brigadier General, by brevet, for gallant and meritorious services.

He was elected Comptroller of the State Treasury of Ohio at the October election of 1870, and entered on the duties of his office on the 9th day of January, 1871.

Biographical Sketches of the
State Officers and of the members
of the Sixtieth General Assembly
of the State of Ohio.
By: W. Sarwin Crabb.
Ohio State Journal Book and Job Rooms.
Columbus, Ohio 1872

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