Anthony Wiltheis

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Anthony Wiltheis

Anthony Wiltheis (born March 5, 1845, Millheim, Pennsylvania, death August 13, 1896, Elgin, Illinois) was attending school when the war broke out. In the early days of the rebellion his young soul was stirred with the desire to aid in the great stuggle, and on July 3, 1862, he offered his services to his country and enlisted in the 137th Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry. His company formed at Harrisburg and left there the same month for Washington where it aided in fortifying and protecting the city against a threatened attack. Through the Maryland campaign, Capt. Wiltheis was afflicted with a chronic disease and had to be removed to Arlington Heights, Washington. His strong constitution overcame the sickness and he recovered. On February 24, 1864, he reenlisted in the 7th Pennsylvania Veteran Cavalry. In March, he was ordered for Nashville, and encamped at Fort Negley, Tennessee, for which point he joined Gen. Sherman's army at Ringold, Georgia, and took part in all the battles and skirmishes until the fall of Atlanta.

Capt. Wiltheis participated in the great raid, which began at Jonesboro. Here they tore up the railroad and burned and destroyed property. After leaving their place they were surrounded by the enemy and were rescued by Gen. Minty's Brigade, led by Gen. Kirkpatrick. The Regiment was ordered back to Nashville and from there went to Louisville, and into winter quarters at Gravelly Spring, Alabama. The men took part in the Wilson Cavalry raid and engaged in the battle of Selma, Alabama, which resulted in the capture of Gen. Forrest's command, he escaping across the river. Soon the orders came to scour the country and apprehend Jeff Davis. Mr. Wiltheis' company was near when Davis was captured by the 4th Michigan Cavalry, and within six hours started with him for Macon, Georgia, where he was turned over to government authority and sent to Washington. On September 15, the regiment was discharged at Macon and paid off at Harrisburg.

In 1866, Capt. Wiltheis moved from Pennsylvania to Wheaton, Illinois, where he served as town clerk. After six years he came to Elgin and had been here ever since, most of the time, until the past few years, engaged in the shoe business. On August 15, 1877, he enlisted as Private in Company E, 3rd Regiment, Illinois National Guard, and was appointed Sergeant the same month. He passed though the different offices and was elected Captain of the Guards August 4, 1884, and served in that capacity up to last year, when he retired and was succeeded by Capt. Caughey.

He was a member of Monitor Lodge, A.F. & A.M.; Commodore Perry Garrison, Knights of the Globe; the National Union, and of the G.A.R (Grand Army of the Republic). The latter organization had charge of the funeral, which was held at the Congregational Church at 3:00 o´clock in the afternoon.

Photograph and information submitted by Antje Wiltheis, Konstanz, Germany.

Captain Anthony Wiltheis