Edward Augustus Wild


Edward Augustus Wild was born on November 25, 1825, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was graduated from Harvard in 1844 and from the Jefferson Medical College soon after; he then took a course of medical lectures in Paris and during the Crimean War served as a surgeon in the Sultan's forces. He returned to Brookline and practiced his profession until the outbreak of the Civil War. At this juncture, foregoing medical duty, he enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry and became captain of one of its companies on May 23, 1861. He was present at First Bull Run, although his brigade (Richardson's) was only slightly engaged at Blackburn's Ford and sustained but one casualty; however, in George B. McClellan's Peninsular campaign Wild was severely wounded at Seven Pines. He was honorably mustered out of the 1st Massachusetts and on August 21, 1862, was re-mustered as colonel of the 35th Massachusetts, which he led in September at South Mountain where he lost his left arm. On April 24, 1863, he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers. After recovering from his wound, Wild, who was a zealous abolitionist, assisted in recruiting the regiments of Negro troops known as "Wild's African Brigade," which he commanded until the close of the war. These troops were recruited and organized at New Bern, North Carolina, and on June 30, 1863, numbered 950. They joined Quincy Gillmore in Charleston Harbor in September but subsequently were sent to the Norfolk and Portsmouth area, where Wild commanded all the Negro troops in the vicinity. His brigade fought at Cold Harbor in Hinks's division of "Baldy" Smith's XVIII Corps, but later rejoined the X Corps and performed picket duty on the Appomattox River. At the end of the war his brigade occupied Richmond as part of Kautz's division of Weitzel's XXV Corps. Wild was mustered out in January, 1866. He became interested in silver mining and was superintendent of a Nevada mine for a time before going to South America. General Wild died August 28, 1891, in Medellin, Colombia, and was buried there in the Cementerio de San Pedro.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.