A Civil War Soldier: John E. Wilkins of Vigo County, Indiana
A Brief Biography
John E. Wilkins was born in 1836. He spent much of his life in Terre Haute, Indiana. Before his military enlistment, Wilkins served as Deputy Clerk of the Vigo County Court, as well as serving on the Terre Haute Volunteer Fire Department. During the Civil War, he served in the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and in the 16th Regiment Indiana Infantry. After the war, Wilkins became an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and worked as a farmer near Terre Haute, Indiana. John E. Wilkins died at the age of 75 on November 20, 1911.
The 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment: "Wallace's Zouaves"
In 1861, the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana, under Colonel Lew Wallace. The nickname "Wallace's Zouaves" was given to the regiment because of the style of training tactics and distinctive uniform. The regiment was organized for three months of service, but at the end of that time the regiment was extended for three more years. During those three years, the 11th participated in several battles including Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. The 11th Regiment was mustered out of service on July 26, 1865. Losses totaled 288 men who died in combat or from disease.
The 16th Regiment Indiana Infantry
The 16th Indiana Infantry Regiment was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the summer of 1862. The regiment served three years under the command of Colonel Thomas J. Lucas. The 16th joined the Army of Kentucky and fought in battles such as the Battle of Richmond and the Siege of Vicksburg. It was mustered out of service on June 30, 1865. Losses totaled 297 men who died in combat or from disease.