Captain William Henry Stiles

Company G, 7th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry

Capt. WILLIAM HENRY STILES of Ridgway, Ill., was born at Windsor, Conn., on Oct. 22, 1828. His ancestry dates back to John Stiles, who was born in Bedfordshire, England, Dec. 25, 1595, and who came to America in 1635, settling at Windsor, Conn., where he died on June 4, 1662. John Stiles had a son, John, who was born in 1633 and died at Windsor, Conn., Dec. 8, 1683. He was married to Dorcas, a daughter of Henry Burt, of Springfield, Conn., and they had a son, John, who was born at Windsor on Dec. 10, 1663. This son died at New Haven, Conn., on May 20, 1753. His wife was a Miss Ruth Bancroft, of Westfield, Mass., who died at Windsor in 1714. To this union was born, at Windsor, on July 30, 1697, Isaac Stiles, who was twice married, his second wife being Esther Hooker of Farmington, Conn. She died at North Haven on Jan. 2, 1779. Isaac was a minister and was educated at Yale university, where he graduated with the degree of B.A. in 1722 and A.M. in 1725. The union of the Rev. Isaac Stiles and Ester Hooker was blessed with a son, Ashbel, who was born at North Haven on Aug. 30, 1734, and died at Norwich, Mass., in October 1810. Ashbel Stiles married his cousin, Hannah Stiles, who died at Norwich in September, 1810. They had a son, Job, who was born on Jan. 12, 1765, and died at Windsor April 15, 1813. He married Mary Drake of Windsor, who died on March 16, 1839. Their son, Hylas was born at Windsor, June 11, 1793, and married Harriet L. Roberts, of Sandersdale, Mass. To this union was born a son, William Henry, the subject of this sketch. Hylas Stiles removed with his family to Cleveland, O., and later th Lancaster in the same state, where Captain Stiles received his education, numbering among his schoolmates Gen. William T. Sherman and Gen. Phil Sheridan. While still a young man, Captain Stiles moved to Cincinnati, and later to New Market, Gallatin county, Ill., in which county he has since resided, following successfully the occupation of farming. He now lives at Ridgway in that county. Captain Stiles was married at New Boston, Ohio, on Aug. 8, 1847, to Catherine Smith, of Owensville, Ohio, and they had the following children: Harriet Louise, born Oct. 6, 1848; William Andrew, born Jan. 6, 1850; Mary E., born Dec. 7, 1851; Catherine M., born Oct. 10, 1853; Hylas C., born Aug. 27. 1855; Joseph F., born July 27, 1858; John D., born May 26, 1861; Theoba J., born Dec. 11, 1863; George Trafton, born Jan. 6, 1866; Laura E., born Jan. 26, 1868; Edwin L., born Nov. 11, 1870; and Adaline, born May 3, 1874. His wife died on May 27, 1881, and he was again married on Sept. 1, 1884, his second wife being Julia A. Fulks of New Market. To this union was born one child, Clemma L., born June 13, 1885. At the outbreak of the Civil War Captain Stiles enlisted from Gallatin county, on Aug. 12, 1861, and was mustered into the service on Sept. 13, at Camp Butler, Ill., as second lieutenant of Capt. George W. Trafton's company, G, Seventh regiment, Illinois volunteer cavalry, Col. William Pitt Kellogg commanding. In the latter part of October, 1861, the regiment was ordered to Birds Point, Mo., and in January, 1862, moved to Cape Girardeau, where it performed scout and guard duty until the following spring. At New Madrid, Mo., the regiment was recruited, forming a part of hatch's division, Army of the West, and participated in the following engagements: New Madrid, Mo.; Island No. 10, Farmington, siege of Corinth, Iuka, battle of Corinth, Summersville, pursuit of Price, Coffeeville, Miss.; Grierson's raid, Plains store, Port Hudson, La.; Byhalia Road, Miss; Moscow, Cambellsville, Harts Crossroads, Franklin, Brentwood Hills, the routing of Hood's army at Nashville, Tenn., and numerous scouting expeditions and raids. At the close of the war the regiment received its final muster out at Camp Butler. Captain Trafton having been promoted to major, Second Lieutenant Stiles, by petition from the entire company, was promoted to captain and was mustered in with that rank on Nov. 8, 1863. He received honorable discharge at springfield, Ill., Oct. 15, 1864, his term of service having expired. He was wounded by gunshot in the right thigh and by a piece of shell in the right ankle on Dec. 3, 1863, and was confined to the hospital for one month. He was also injured in the engagement at Colliersville, Tenn., Nov. 3, 1863, causing the loss of hearing his left ear. He was at all times with his command, participating in all its engagements, and by gallant and meritorious service he achieved a proud record for bravery and proficiency in action. Captain Stiles is a member of and past post commander of R. Loomis Post, No. 583, Department of Illinois, Grand Army of the Republic; also member of the American Protective association. Although past seventy-five years of age, the captain is hale and hearty and active for one of his years.

Submitted by H. C. Davis

Return to our Civil War Photo Album  * * * Return to The Illinois Civil War Project