Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925

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Soldier, railroad builder, and author.

From the description of James Harrison Wilson papers, circa 1862-1923 (bulk 1890-1915). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79452964

Military engineer, Civil War general and cavalry commander, post-war railroad man.

From the description of Papers, 1864-1876. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 62725438

American soldier and engineer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Keokuk, to "My Dear Willard", 1869 Mar. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587617

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, to "My Dear General" [William Worth Belknap], 1872 May 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588097

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, to General Belknap, 1873 Nov. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588095

Born in Shawneetown, Ill., Major General James Harrison Wilson served as topographical chief of the Army of the Potomac and as an aide-de-camp to George McClelland during the early years of the Civil War. In 1864 he was appointed chief of the Cavalry Bureau in Washington, D.C., and commanded a division of the cavalry in the Army of the Potomac under Major General Philip Sheridan during the Overland and Shenandoah Valley campaigns. Later the same year he was transferred west to serve as chief of cavalry for the Military Division of the Mississippi under William Tecumseh Sherman. Following the Civil War, Wilson worked as a railroad construction engineer and executive, returning to the Army in 1898 to serve as a major general in Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.

From the description of James H. Wilson letters, 1909, 1913. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 156975581

Soldier and railroad builder.

From the description of Bender collection, 1863-1917. (Wyoming State Archives). WorldCat record id: 70958779

Biographical Note

  • 1837, Sept. 2: Born, near Shawneetown, Ill.
  • 1854 - 1855 : Attended McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill.
  • 1855 - 1860 : Graduated, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  • 1860 - 1863 : Member, U. S. Topographical Engineers
  • 1864: Chief of Cavalry Bureau, Washington, D.C.
  • 1864 - 1865 : Cavalry commander; brevet major general
  • 1866: Married Ella Andrews (died 1899)
  • 1866 - 1870 : Superintended navigation improvements for the army in the Mississippi Valley
  • 1870 - 1883 : Engaged in railway construction and management in the Mississippi Valley and New England
  • 1871 - 1875 : Official, St. Louis and Southeastern Railway
  • 1878 - 1883 : President, New York and New England Railways Co.
  • 1883: Settled in Wilmington, Del.
  • 1885 - 1886 : Surveyed railroad development possibilities in China
  • 1898: Spanish-American War service in Puerto Rico and Santa Clara, Cuba
  • 1900: Served in relief expedition, Boxer Rebellion, China
  • 1901: Retired from army as brigadier general
  • 1902: Represented U. S. Army at coronation of King Edward VII, London, England
  • 1907: Trustee, Mutual Life Insurance Co.
  • 1925, Feb. 23: Died, Wilmington, Del.

From the guide to the James Harrison Wilson Papers, 1861-1923, (bulk 1890-1915), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. James H. Wilson letters, 1909, 1913. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Marckres, Harvey A. (Harvey Austin), ca. 1841-1930. Letters of Harve A. Marckres, 1861 -1926, (bulk 1864, June 3 - July 21). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Babcock, Orville Elias, 1835-1884. Orville Elias Babcock letters to Adam Badeau and James Harrison Wilson, 1871-1872. New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf James Harrison Wilson Papers, 1861-1923, (bulk 1890-1915) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Augustus Mendon Lord collection, Lord (Augustus Mendon) collection, (bulk 1876-1908), 1778-1908 John Hay Library, Special Collections
creatorOf Adams, Charles Francis, 1835-1915. Charles Francis Adams papers, 1861-1933 ; bulk 1890-1918. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Sylvanus Cadwallader Papers, 1818-1904, (bulk 1862-1898) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company reader reports on manuscripts submitted for publication, 1882-1931. Houghton Library.
referencedIn A. T. Mahan letter to Gen. James Wilson MS 182., 1893 Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Map of Warren County / official by order of Lieut Col. Js. H. Wilson 1st Lieut. Engrs., Otto H. Matz - Major & Asst. Engr. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
referencedIn Smith, Goldwin, 1823-1910. Goldwin Smith papers, 1819-1921, 1844-1915 (bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Civil War Letters of Adam Badeau, 1862-1909 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsManuscripts Division
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part III: The Civil War: The Union, 1804-1915. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Brown, Charles Oliver. Narrative of personal experiences in the Battle of Selma, April, 1865. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Phillips, Sarah Ellen. Reminiscences of war and episodes of Wilson's raid near Selma,[Ala], 1865. Alabama Department of Archives and History
referencedIn McClermont, John A. Letter to James Wilson for the appointment of Adjutant general on General McClermont's staff, Sept. 11, 1861. Peoria Public Library
creatorOf Bristow, Benjamin Helm, 1832-1896. Autograph letter signed : Louisville, KY, to the President, 1874 Feb. 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Smith, William Wrenshall. William Wrenshall Smith diary, 1863. Library of Congress
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. James Harrison Wilson papers, circa 1862-1923 (bulk 1890-1915). Library of Congress
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Autograph letter signed : New York, to General Belknap, 1873 Nov. 19. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. Correspondence, 1854-1914, "Willard" to "Yorke". Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Goldwin Smith papers, 1819-1921, 1844-1915 (bulk). Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. Ulysses S. Grant papers, 1819-1974 (bulk 1843-1908). Library of Congress
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Henry Wager Halleck, [Washington, D.C.?], 1864 Apr. 6. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Philip Case Lockwood memorial collection of Civil War portraits and autographs, 1862-ca. 1886. Houghton Library.
referencedIn William Woodville Rockhill papers, 1826-1941. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Harwood family. Harwood family papers, 1722-1962. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Photographic Portrait File The Huntington Library
creatorOf Badeau, Adam, 1831-1895. Civil War letters of Adam Badeau, 1862-1909. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letters to George P. Putnam from W. Gordon McCabe, Henry Alexander White, and James Harrison Wilson [manuscript] 1898. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Cadwallader, Sylvanus, b. 1825 or 6. Sylvanus Cadwallader papers, 1818-1904 (bulk 1862-1866 and 1880-1898). Library of Congress
creatorOf Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914. William Woodville Rockhill papers, 1826-1941. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Castleman, John Breckinridge, 1841-1918. John Breckinridge Castleman papers, 1878-1913. The Filson Historical Society
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Boxer Rebellion albumen print of James H. Wilson [picture] 1901. Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center
referencedIn Ulysses S. Grant Papers, 1819-1969, (bulk 1843-1885) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Hillyer, William Silliman, 1831-1874. Papers of William Silliman Hillyer, 1822 (1861-1874) 1931, [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Allen, Theodore F., 1842-1919. Civil War Diaries 1864-1865. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Fairbanks mss., 1819-1939 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn Henry L. Abbot miscellany, 1856-1899 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Papers, 1864-1876. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter, 1871 April 15, Frankfurt-am-Main, to Wm. E. Strong, Chicago. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Correspondence from James H. Wilson files. National Defense University Library
referencedIn Latta, James William, b. 1839. Papers of James William Latta, 1854-1913 (bulk 1858-1864). Library of Congress
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Bender collection, 1863-1917. Wyoming, State Archives and Historical Department
referencedIn Phillips, Sarah Ellen (McIlwain). Papers, [ca. 1955]. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Autograph letter signed : New York, to "My Dear General" [William Worth Belknap], 1872 May 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Gravelly [Springs], Ala., to unknown person, n.p., 1865 Feb. 28. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Phillips, Sarah Ellen. Sarah Ellen Phillips reminiscences, 1865. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Hincks, Elizabeth P., b. ca. 1842. Diary of Elizabeth P. Hincks, 1868, June 12 -- Dec. 12. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890. ALS, 1887 May 20 : Washington, to General Wilson. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Gravelly [Springs], Ala., to unknown person, n.p., 1865 Feb. 28. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Henry Wager Halleck, [Washington, D.C.?], 1864 Apr. 6. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Anderson, James A. Speech, 1935. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Autograph letter signed : Keokuk, to "My Dear Willard", 1869 Mar. 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890. ALS, 1887 April 23 : Washington, D.C., 1310 19 NW, to General Wilson. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Henry Wager Halleck, [Washington, D.C.,], 1864 Mar. 25. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. Papers, 1843-1969 (bulk 1843-1908) Library of Congress
creatorOf Wilson, James Harrison, 1837-1925. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Henry Wager Halleck, [Washington, D.C.,], 1864 Mar. 25. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Childs, George William, 1829-1894. George William Childs papers [manuscript], 1882-1892. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Phillips, Sarah Ellen, fl. 1865. Reminiscences of war [manuscript] undated. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbot, Henry L., 1831-1927 person
correspondedWith Adams, Charles Francis, 1835-1915 person
associatedWith Allen, Theodore F., 1842-1919. person
associatedWith Anderson, James A. person
associatedWith Babcock, Orville Elias, 1835-1884. person
associatedWith Badeau, Adam, 1831-1895. person
correspondedWith Baldwin, Simeon E. (Simeon Eben), 1840-1927 person
associatedWith Barton, William Eleazar, 1861-1930, person
associatedWith Belknap, William W. (William Worth), 1829-1890, person
correspondedWith Bliss, Tasker Howard, 1853-1930 person
associatedWith Bristow, Benjamin Helm, 1832-1896. person
associatedWith Brown, Charles Oliver. person
correspondedWith Cadwallader, Sylvanus, b. 1825 or 6. person
correspondedWith Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919 person
associatedWith Castleman, John Breckinridge, 1841-1918. person
associatedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Childs, George William, 1829-1894. person
associatedWith China Relief Expedition (1900-1901) corporateBody
correspondedWith Corbin, Henry Clark, 1842-1909 person
correspondedWith Crowder, E. H. (Enoch Herbert), 1859-1932 person
correspondedWith Cullom, Shelby M. (Shelby Moore), 1829-1914 person
associatedWith Dana, Charles A. (Charles Anderson), 1819-1897. person
correspondedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
correspondedWith Dodge, Grenville Mellen, 1831-1916 person
associatedWith Fairbanks, Charles W. (Charles Warren), 1852-1918 person
correspondedWith Fish, Stuyvesant, 1851-1923 person
associatedWith Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890. person
correspondedWith Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940 person
associatedWith Goldwin, Smith 1823-1910. person
associatedWith Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. person
correspondedWith Grant, U. S. (Ulysses S.), 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872. person
associatedWith Harwood family. family
associatedWith Hay, John, 1838-1905. person
associatedWith Hillyer, William Silliman, 1831-1874. person
associatedWith Hincks, Elizabeth P., b. ca. 1842. person
associatedWith Hood, John Bell, 1831-1879. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
correspondedWith Kingsbury, Frederick John, 1823-1910 person
associatedWith Latta, James William, b. 1839. person
correspondedWith Lincoln, Robert Todd, 1843-1926 person
correspondedWith Lockwood, Philip Case, 1844-1897 person
correspondedWith Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924 person
associatedWith Lord, Augustus Mendon, 1861-1941 person
associatedWith Mahan, A. T. (Alfred Thayer), 1840-1914 person
associatedWith Marckres, Harvey A. (Harvey Austin), ca. 1841-1930. person
associatedWith McCabe, W. Gordon (William Gordon), 1841-1920, person
associatedWith McClermont, John A. person
correspondedWith McKinley, William, 1843-1901 person
associatedWith Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, collector. corporateBody
correspondedWith Moore, John Bassett, 1860-1947 person
associatedWith Phillips, Sarah Ellen. person
associatedWith Phillips, Sarah Ellen, fl. 1865. person
associatedWith Phillips, Sarah Ellen (McIlwain) person
correspondedWith Putnam, George Haven, 1844-1930 person
correspondedWith Rawlins, John A. (John Aaron), 1831-1869 person
correspondedWith Reid, Whitelaw, 1837-1912 person
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914. person
correspondedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919 person
correspondedWith Root, Elihu, 1845-1937 person
associatedWith Smith, Goldwin, 1823-1910. person
associatedWith Smith, William Farrar, 1824-1903. person
associatedWith Smith, William Wrenshall. person
correspondedWith Stetson, Francis Lynde person
associatedWith St. Louis and Southeastern Railway Company. corporateBody
correspondedWith Storey, Moorfield, 1845-1929 person
associatedWith Strong, William Emerson, 1840-1891. person
associatedWith Swift, Eben, 1854-1938. person
associatedWith United States. Army corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Cavalry corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Cavalry Bureau. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army of the Potomac. Cavalry Corps. corporateBody
associatedWith Vaughan and Keith Photography (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
correspondedWith Warburg, Paul M. (Paul Moritz), 1868-1932 person
associatedWith White, Henry Alexander, 1861-1926, person
correspondedWith White, Horace, 1834-1916 person
associatedWith William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana (University of Chicago) corporateBody
correspondedWith Winslow, Edward Francis, 1837-1914 person
correspondedWith Young, John Russell, 1840-1899 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
United States
Tennessee
United States
United States
China
China
United States
Cuba
Asia
Mississippi River Valley
Cuba
China
Illinois--Shawneetown
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
Virginia
Subject
War horses--History--19th century
Railroads--United States
International relief--China
Spanish--American War, 1898
Strategy
Railroads--Mississippi River Valley
Spanish--American War, 1898--Officers
Cavalry
Cavalry Bureau (Washington, DC)
Nashville, Battle of, Nashville, Tenn., 1864
Railroads
Investments
International relief
Winchester, 3rd Battle of, Winchester, Va., 1864
Occupation
Authors
Soldiers
Soldiers--United States
Railroad builders
Generals--Illinois--Shawneetown
Businessmen
Function

Person

Birth 1837-09-02

Death 1925-02-23

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 3793256