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W.M. Coleman

W.M. Coleman

Federal (USV)


Wilber M. Coleman

(1845 - 1915)

Home State: Minnesota

Branch of Service: Sharpshooters

Unit: Minnesota Sharpshooters, Second Company

Before Antietam

From Ohio, he went with his family to Tamarack, MN in 1855 when he was about 10 years old. On 22 December 1861, then age 16, giving his age as 18, he mustered as Private in the 2nd Company, Minnesota Sharpshooters.

On the Campaign

He was seriously wounded in the left leg in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862:

A musket ball entered in front of the middle of the leg just to the outer side of the crest of the tibia carrying away a small portion of bone and fracturing the fibula. It then passed out the back and outer side of his leg, about 3/4" below the level it had entered. It left a lot of damage which was later described, "as though you had scooped out all the muscles of the outer side of the leg"

The rest of the War

He was treated at the Ladies Hospital in New York City and returned to duty in February 1863. He was wounded again, at Gettysburg, PA on 2 July 1863 by a piece of shell which tore away part of his skull (the right parietal bone). He recovered enough to rejoin the Company by 30 October 1863. He was discharged at the end of his term of service on 22 December 1864 at Petersburg, VA. He enlisted again on 22 March 1865 in Company A, 9th Regiment, US Veteran Volunteers. He was posted to Camp Stoneman, MD then Burnside Barracks, Indianapolis, IN, and served as a headquarters orderly there. He was discharged in Indianapolis on 21 March 1866.

After the War

He moved to Marshall, MN in 1872 when his parents did, and opened a store with his father John; they sold the store and he was appointed postmaster there in 1876. He moved to Glendive, MT about 1881 and opened anther store. In 1881 he moved to Washington and lived in Blaine and Seattle, and had a clothing store. He was living in the Washington State Soldiers Home in Pierce County by 1910 and then the new Port Orchard Veterans Home. He died there at age 70 in 1915.

References & notes

Service from Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars.1 The quote above and other details from Chuck Barden and Wayne Jorgenson on their First Minnesota site, source also of his picture from a fuzzy photograph c. 1866. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He and his family spelled his first name as Wilber, but all subsequent records have him as Wilbur Coleman.

More on the Web

See an excellent biographical feature on Coleman in the Minnesota Star Tribune from September 2017.


01/09/1845; Trumbull County, OH


12/07/1915; Port Orchard, WA; burial in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, WA


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. 517  [AotW citation 21284]