Charles Irving Wilson in "Neglected Alumni" Article
October 14, 1913

This article was originally published in The Staunton Daily News and has an obituary for Charles Irving Wilson as well as challenges the UVA Alumni News to give equal weight to Confederate and Union service by former students. 

Neglected Alumni

The University of Virginia Alumni News of October 1, 1913, contains a notice of the death of Brigadier General Charles Irving Wilson, U.S.A., which occurred at his home in New York on September 22 last. General Wilson graduated from the University in 1857. He was a native of Washington and of northern parentage, so when the Civil War broke out, he followed his own people and entered the Federal Army. His career was creditable, as was shown by the rank to which he rose, but we have no intention of tracing his life history. What we wish to do is to call attention to what in our opinion has been a grave oversight on the part of our Virginian schools and colleges. They have paid much attention to collecting the data in regard to those of their alumni who served in the Confederate service, but they have almost entirely overlooked their sons who were in the Federal forces. There must have been numbers of northern boys and young men who attended the University of Virginia, Washington College, (now Washington and Lee University), and the Virginia Military Institute, and who stuck to their people and their native land when the war broke out, but these institutions say nothing of them.

            It would be more be more than passing interest to know something in regard to the alumni of the Virginia Military Institute who entered the Federal army. We would like to know what sort of officers they made, and how they compared with the West Point graduates. If they distinguished themselves, their fame would be reflected back on the school where they were trained, and in this day when we rejoice in a re-united land, when Lee’s statue lies in the capitol at Washington, and when the bitterness of a half-century old strife has been forgotten, our Virginian schools can surely remember with pride their sons who saw the path of duty differently from the way that most of their brother alumni did.


"Neglected Alumni," The Staunton Daily News (Staunton, Virginia), October 14, 1913, p. 4.