Wilson M. Evans (16th USCT)

Wilson Miles Evans was born around 1836 in Albemarle County, Virginia. Not much is known of his early life, but prior to the war his residence was most likely in Highland County, Ohio. He married Mary Skipworth Evans there on October 30, 1856. 

Evans enlisted as a free man in the 44th USCT Infantry Regiment on September 15, 1864, for a period of one year. However, his name was not taken up on the muster rolls of the 44th USCT, and he subsequently mustered into Company D of the 16th USCT Infantry Regiment as a private on the same day in Hillsboro, Ohio. At the time of his enlistment, he was 28 years old and stood 6 feet tall, with a yellow complexion, black eyes, and black hair. The regiment took assignment duty in the Department of the Cumberland, stationed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, until November 1864. Confederate General John Bell Hood's advance towards the state capital pushed the 16th USCT into action. The regiment fought at the Battle of Nashville on December 15-16, 1864, specifically at the Battle of Overton Hill on December 16. Following Hood's defeat, the 16th USCT joined the pursuit of his army, as Evans and his comrades raced to catch Hood before he crossed the Tennessee River from December 17 to December 28. Following the pursuit, Evans remained stationed in Chattanooga and at various points in Middle and East Tennessee until mustering out on September 14, 1865. 

After the war, Evans returned to Highland County, where he lived the remainder of his life. Evans had at least two children: Jacob P. Evans, born on July 16, 1877; and Robert L. Evans, born on August 30, 1878. He first filed for a pension on May 26, 1880, but was rejected numerous times; he was often frustrated about the evidence requirements surrounding the pension. One time, Evans even produced five men from his company to testify on his behalf. His ailments included having "deafness in both ears" that he contracted in January 1865 from a cold he caught from sleeping on the ground outside of Chattanooga. The cold had caused his head to swell, leading to hearing loss. Furthermore, he had trouble with rheumatism, which led to his inability to perform hard labor in the last years of his life. His rheumatism may have been connected with his hearing issues, and it was likely connected to his heart issues later on in his life. Even more frustrating for Evans was how he received his injury in the first place. He testified that army surgeons didn't treat his ear even though it "broke and run." Instead, the army assigned him to lighter camp duty until his discharge. In his mind, this lack of treatment likely contributed to his deafness. 

In 1882, Evans again received a rejection, this time due to insufficient records from physicians backing up the claim. Evans finally began receiving a $12-per-month pension in 1885. Shortly before his death, in January of 1889, the government increased his pension to $25 per month due to the severity of his deafness.

Evans died on June 12, 1889, due to heart failure brought on by severe rheumatism and bronchitis. His is buried in Gist Settlement Cemetery. After his death, his wife began receiving a $12 monthly pension on June 13, 1889. His wife outlived him by 6 years, passing away on November 18, 1895, in Samantha, Ohio.


Wilson M. Evans Pension Testimony, Part 1

Wilson M. Evans Pension Testimony, Part 2

A Letter from Wilson M. Evans's Attorney

Name:Evans, Wilson Miles
Alternative names:
  • Evans, William M. (alternative name)
  • Evens, Wilson M. (alternative name)
  • Evans, Wilson M. (alternative name)
  • Soldier
44th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops
16th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored TroopsD
Branch of service:Army
Muster In1864-09-15Hillsboro, OH
Enlistment1864-09-15Hillsboro, OHaccepted28Free
Muster Out1865-09-14Chattanooga, TNMustered Out
Residence at enlistment:Highland County, OH
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Private
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Evans, Wilson MilesEvans, Wilson Miles370466application-invalid
Evans, Wilson MilesEvans, Mary397982application-widow
Evans, Wilson MilesEvans, Wilson Miles313203certificate-invalid
Evans, Wilson MilesEvans, Mary266313certificate-widow
Birth date:1836
Birth date certainty:About
Birth place:Albemarle County, VA
Death date:1889-06-12
Death place:Highland County, OH
Causes of death:disease: heart disease
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Evans, Wilson Milesparent ofEvans, Robert L.
Evans, Wilson Milesparent ofEvans, Jacob P.
Evans, Marywife ofEvans, Wilson Miles

Compiled Service Records for Wilson Evans, RG94, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; Pension Records for Wilson Evans, RG15, NARA, Washington, D.C.; Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, vol. 3 (Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908); "PVT Wilson Miles Evans," Findagrave.com (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/210558848/wilson-miles-evans).