Through the years I've tried to memorialize the stories of outstanding (and some average) military career of Firelands citizens. We've had more than our share of Congressional Medal of Honor winners, and the story of yet another one of these winners is on my desk. Actually, I should say that part of the story is revealed to me; there are some parts beyond my research parameters.
The Medal of Honor was awarded to Sgt. Milden (aka Mileden) H. Wilson for his actions in the Battle of Big Hole in Montana in 1877. Sgt. Wilson survived a long military career which started on March 12, 1864, when he enlisted at the age of 17 in the 87th Regiment of Indiana Infantry during the Civil War. His father, William Wilson, also served with the 87th Regiment but had been discharged with a disability before Milden enlisted.
He enlisted in the regular army after the Civil War and was finally discharged to retirement in 1897 as an Ordnance Sergeant. He lived the remainder of his life in the Chicago area and died there in 1924. In his last years he drew a pension for his service, and that continued with his wife, Sarah, after his death.
Sgt. Wilson always spelled his first name as Milden, though I've supposed it should have been Mileden in honor of his mother's brother, Mileden Wonser. Mrs. Wilson (nee Marietta Wonser) was the daughter of Jared Wonser, who lived northwest of Norwalk in the Jacobsburg neighborhood, near the intersection of Whittlesey and Schaffer Roads. I surmise that Milden H. Wilson was born in that neighborhood before his parents moved LaPorte County, Indiana, their permanent home.