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Federal (USV)

Private

Charles T. Widstrand

(1843 - 1898)

Home State: Minnesota

Branch of Service: Sharpshooters

Unit: Minnesota Sharpshooters, Second Company

Before Antietam

He came to Minnesota from Sweden in 1855, about age 12, and he was a 17 yer old printer in Minneapolis at the start of the war. On 29 April 1861 he enlisted in Company E, First Minnesota Infantry for 90 days but was mustered out in May when he wouldn't reenlist for 3 years. He then enlisted as Private, 2nd Company, Minnesota Sharpshooters on 16 December 1861 in Minneapolis at age 18.

On the Campaign

He was seriously wounded by gunshot to his left thigh in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was in a hospital at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, PA in December 1862. He may have served as a nurse or in another medical capacity during his convalescence, because he mustered out on 22 January 1864 to enlist in the Regular Army as a hospital steward, and did so on 25 January in Washington, DC.

After the War

He continued in Regular US Army general service as a hospital steward in Washington, DC, reenlisting in January 1867 and January 1870, and was discharged on 15 January 1872. Living in Minneapolis, he was granted a patent in 1888 for an improved elevator.

He was a resident of the Minnesota Soldier's Home for several periods from 1893 to 1897, but was expelled in April for drunkenness. He reported he was "destitute and living on charity" in December that year, but could not gain readmittance to the Home. About two months later he was found dead in his room at the Bijou Hotel in Minneapolis, where he'd been living for some months, possibly from excess of alcohol or laudanum according to the newspaper account.

References & notes

Service from Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars.1 Regular Army enlistment record in Enlistments.2 Personal information from Chuck Barden and Wayne Jorgenson on their First Minnesota site. His patent announcement in the 22 April 1882 issue of Scientific American. His death from a notice in the St. Paul Globe of 21 February 1898 [PDF via Library of Congress].

Birth

06/17/1843; Örebro, SWEDEN

Death

02/20/1898 Minneapolis, MN

Notes

1   State of Minnesota, Board of Commissioners, Minnesota in the Civil War and Indian Wars 1861-1865, 2 volumes, St. Paul: Pioneer Press Company, 1890-93, Vol. 1, pg. 518  [AotW citation 21312]

2   US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 149, pg. 867; Vol. 067, pg. 258; Vol. 071, pg. 275  [AotW citation 21313]