Hiram A. Sheldon

This biography appears on pages 156-157 in "Soldiers' and Citizens' Album of Biographical Record containing personal sketches of Army Men and Citizens Prominent in loyalty to the Union" Published in 1890

Hiram A. Sheldon, Burlington Wis., member of G. A. R. Post No., 201, was born in Utica, Malcomb Co., Mich. May 13, 1835. His parents, Orson and Rose Ann (Lippitt) Sheldon, were both American by birth and of English origin. Mr. Sheldon is one of seven children - four boys and three girls - and four still survive, Julia E. (Mrs. L. W. Conkey), William C., H. Eugene and Mr. Sheldon of this sketch. Orson Sheldon was born in Rupert, Vt., Aug. 12, 1807, and was the son of Chauncey and Lucy (Whitney) Sheldon, the former being a soldier through the whole extent of the war of 1812. Orson Sheldon is the oldest of 10 children and has two sisters living. He resides with his son in Burlington, and, although he is in his 83d year (1889) he still retains undiminished his mental and physical faculties.

The family moved from Michigan to Burlington, Wis., in 1842 in the month of December, where the son obtained a good common school education, which he supplemented with a year of study at Beloit College. In 1859 he established his relations to the hardware business at Burlington, which he has since conducted there. Aug. 28, 1861, he joined the Utley Guards, and on the reorganization of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry, was assigned to Company C, with the commission of Second Lieutenant and accompanied the regiment from Camp Scott, Milwaukee, to Jeffersonville, Ind., crossing to Kentucky with the expectation of soon encountering Kirby Smith who was threatening that locality. He went in command of his company to service at West Point, Elizabethtown and Nolansville, performing varied military duty and constructing bridges, meanwhile watching rebel movements, the indications showing threatened trouble on the boarder. Lieutenant Sheldon received promotion to First Lieutenant Feb. 22, 1862, and on the 6th of the following August he was made Captain of Company C. March 8th he fought at "Granny White's Pike," where his company lost their blankets, and through the ensuing summer he assisted in the varied military duty in which his regiments was involved; and was next in action Oct. 8, at Perryville, where he has the satisfaction of assisting in a triumph over the rebels whose strength exceeded that of the Union troops. His regiment was in McCook's Corps and Ransom's Division. His company lost seven men killed and 13 wounded. He was next in heavy action at Stone River, where he was in the several days' action, helped to win another victory and mourned the loss of another considerable number of his men. The regiment was assigned after this action to the 14th Corps which moved southward under Thoams and, en route, was in frequent skirmishing and other military duty. September 19-20 he fought at Chickamauga, going into action with 31 men, of whom 10 answered to their names after the fight was over. But his sorrow was mitigated by the splendid courage they had manifested. The command went to Chattanooga to prepare for a continuation of hostilities, where they performed hard labor and suffered many hardships, resulting from their being almost wholly cut off from supplies. Mr. Sheldon recalls the severities of the preliminary conflicts before Chickamauga in view of the sharpness of those contests and also that at Mission Ridge. When the Atlanta campaign commenced, with his recruited company, he started to connect with the troops of Sherman, fought at Resaca, at Dallas and in several positions in Georgia known as Kenesaw Mountain where its situation was one of the most dangerous. July 20th, through the action at Peach Tree Creek, the regiment was in a similar situation. They remained in the trenches before Atlanta until they went to fight at Jonesboro, where the company again lost heavily; and afterwards returned to Atlanta, and remaining about two weeks, were ordered to Nashville preparatory to proceeding to Milwaukee to be mustered out Oct. 13, 1864, their term having expired.

With his military laurels, in which he takes just pride, Captain Sheldon returned to Burlington and resumed the duties of his business and his citizenship. He was married Feb. 28, 1865, to Paulina A. Bristol and they have had two children named Robert H. and Mabel. The son is deceased, his death having occurred Jan. 21, 1877. The daughter is completing a liberal education at the Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill. She is a promising young lady and the light of her father's home. The mother died Sep. 12, 1888. Captain Sheldon was the first man to suggest the feasibility of raising an entire volunteer company for the war, when the Government fixed a recruiting office at Burlington.