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John T. Wilder papers

Identifier: MS-001

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence and military records regarding Brigadier General Wilder's service in the Union Army during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 as well as personal correspondence and papers dating from 1865 to 1937.


  • Creation: 1861-1937


Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright status of this collection has not been evaluated.

Biographical / Historical

John T. Wilder was born in Hunter, New York, but began his career as an industrialist in Ohio and Indiana. At the outbreak of the United States Civil War, Wilder closed his foundry in Greensburg, Indiana and enlisted in the United States Army Indiana Infantry Regiment. Because of his leadership skills he was consistently promoted, eventually commanding the 17th Indiana Infantry Regiment as a Lieutenant Colonel. During the war he served in Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee. Wilder was among the first officers to mount his troops and to supply them with Spencer Repeating Rifles, which they used to great effect in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia.

Wilder and his troops would become known as "Wilder's Lightning Brigade." Wilder was promoted to the brevet rank of Brigadier General in 1864. After the war, Wilder and his family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee and served as postmaster and briefly as mayor of the town. Wilder also founded the Roane Iron Company in Rockwood, Tennessee and built the Cloudland Hotel located near Johnson City, Tennessee.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 container)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Edith Wilder Scott, daughter of John and Martha Wilder, donated her father's correspondence and papers to the University of Chattanooga on 1958 January 23.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically at

Processing Information

Processing of this collection is complete.

John T. Wilder papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collection Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collection Area

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Library
c/o Special Collections
600 Douglas Street
Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 United States