John E. Wilkins Ready & Able
Presentation by Mark Meyer
Notes From The Presentation
At various times a Private, Corporal, Lieutenant, Mark Meyer served in the 11th Indiana under Lew Wallace & 16th Indiana under various commanders. He was originally in one of the early 3-month units as was typical in the first months of the War, & which sprang up from President Lincoln’s lawyerly & conservative observance of the 1795 Militia Law that specified the calling out of militia in the case of rebellion in the form of 3-months, 75,000 (from which call has sprung the myth that Lincoln thought that sufficient for the emergency). Soldier Meyer was definitely above the average in commitment to the Union, but otherwise unremarkable except for two things—he was also a recorder of his service & he had the good fortune to have come to the attention of Mark Meyer, who has built a remembrance of the solider that we were honored to learn about at our meeting.
Mr. Meyer’s talk was compact, fast-paced, and informative, read by him from a well-organized paper, and when it came time for Q & A Mr. Meyer’s heartfelt caring attitude toward an old, otherwise to have been forgotten veteran, solider, came to life, revealing the depth of his study and the successful preservation of one man’s memory, a brother soldier to all veterans and a fellow citizen for all to admire, the American Volunteer Soldier of the Civil War personified.
How did Mr. Meyer meet up with this subject? Through volunteer work transcribing the soldier’s writings at the Lincoln Museum at the ACPL, is how.
Among the interesting facts brought out was that John never married, but lived until 1910. “Believe It Or Not”… his brother named his son after him, which boy was born on the same month & day as his soldier-Uncle, and… this boy named his son the same, who was also born the same month & day.
Mark Meyer was largely responsible for locating the cemetery stone of John E. Wilkins, which had “gone to ground” and had disappeared from the face of the Earth.
Thanks to Mark Meyer for finding Wilkins, and to Margaret for finding Meyer.
Our next meeting will be February 13 2017, featuring Alfred Brothers speaking on “African American Military History.”
Additionally, our President Gib Young gave an interesting description of his trip to the White House in the character of Theodore Roosevelt.