LTC Charles William Woolsey

LTC Charles William Woolsey

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 6 Jan 1907 (aged 66)
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 55752588 · View Source
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Known as "Colonel" Woolsey. Youngest child and only son of Jane Eliza Newton and Charles William Woolsey . Married Arixene "Zenie" Southgate Smith, daughter of Prof. Henry B. Smith of Union Theol. Sem., N.Y., and Elizabeth Lee Allen. April 25, 1867. They had three children, Charles Howland Woolsey, Mary Malleville Woolsey (22 Feb 1872-20 Jul 1876) and Alice Bradford (Woolsey) Hewitt (b. 15 Dec 1845).

2nd NY Vol Cavalry (Harris Light)

C. W. Woolsey, the present president of the Harris Light Second NY Cavalry Association, is descended from George Woolsey, a grandson of Thomas, a near relative of Thomas, better known in history as Cardinal Woolsey, who to the liberality of his royal master, Henry the VIII, was Indebted for his extraordinary elevation.
He (George) was born in 1610, and settled in what is now New York City in 1623 His descendants settled on Long Island and Westchester County, and John Woolsey, the great grandfather of the subject of this sketch removed from the latter place and settled in what is now the town of Marlborough in 1780, being among the earliest settlers.
Captain Woolsey was born at Marlborough in 1842, and entered the service of the United States in the Civil War as 2nd lieutenant, 2nd N .Y. Cavalry; was promoted to 1st lieutenant, and afterwards breveted captain; he belonged to the Army of Northern Virginia, serving under Generals Sheridan and Custer; had many narrow escapes; his horse was shot from under him at a battle near Winchester, Va., when the Colonel of the regiment, Walter O. Hall, and many officers and men were killed. He served a part of the winter of 1864 and 65 as lieutenant of the guard at Custer's headquarters at Winchester.
At the close of the war he passed the U.S. examining board and was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the U. S. Army; and during the fall of 1865, was stationed in North Carolina; he then resigned and in 1866, was elected justice of the peace and served contiguously 20 years; was justice of Sessions 1866 and 1867; admitted to the bar, 1867; Served as member of assembly, 1871-1872; was for many years supervisor of tbe town of Marlborough, Ulster County, being chairman in 1834-1888.
Mr. Woolsey has always been a Republican in politics, having cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864; while on the line of battle, in front of General Gorley's Army in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
He has always attended the reunions of his regiment in which he takes
great pride and has held many high positions in the state department of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is one of the coming men for state department.

-Published in The Peekskill Highland Democrat, October 24, 1903

Charles was commissioned 1st Lieutenant of Company "A", 164th New York Infantry on 8 November 1862. He became a friend of Brig. Gen. Seth Williams, Adjutant General of the Army of the Potomac, and was assigned to Williams' staff as an Aide-de-Camp. Charles worked closely thereafter with generals McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade, and was part of several meetings with President Lincoln.

When Williams was promoted Inspector General in 1864, he retained Charles on his staff. Charles spent the rest of the War in close proximity to General Grant, who gave Charles frequent orders involving troop and materiel movement, and to whom Charles often reported directly. When the Army was in motion, or engaged in combat, Charles sought and received permission to join the troops in the field, including service under fire at Gettysburg and the Overland Campaign. He was present for the surrender of General Lee's army at Appomattox Court House. He later received the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel in recognition of his services.

Charles worked in business thereafter, and typically listed his occupation as "capitalist." He moved to Asheville in 1886, where he built his home, "Witchwood", and was active in church matters.


Charles William Woolsey Lt. Colonel U.S.A. youngest child and only son of Eliza Newton and Charles William Woolsey of New York. Born in Boston 18 April 1840 died in Asheville 6th January 1907. Gallant soldier, loyal friend, courteous gentleman, Earnest Christian.

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  • Created by: DMC
  • Added: 2 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55752588
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Charles William Woolsey (18 Apr 1840–6 Jan 1907), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55752588, citing Woolsey Cemetery, Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York, USA ; Maintained by DMC (contributor 47184694) .