James E. Wise and the Civil War
James would have been only 6 years old at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. No evidence has been found yet to support the hypothesis that his father, Jacob Wise, born 1825, joined the forces on either side. An analysis of the children of this family however might suggest just such an event. Starting with the first child born in November of 1848 just eleven months after their marriage, a child was born about every eighteen to twenty-four months until 1861. Then a son Charles was born in March of 1861 with the next child, a daughter Evaline not born until November of 1865. It seems possible that Jacob Wise may have been a soldier in the Union army, just as several of his uncles served on the side of the Union from Ohio and West Virginia. Jonathan Wise Jr. was in Co. D, 27th Ohio Infantry and received a pension. Thomas Wesley Wise received a Civil War headstone and probably enlisted from the new state of West Virginia. A search of the 1863 Civil War Draft Books found Jacob Wise, age 37, in Franklin township as registered so it appears he did not enlist, at least as of 1 July 1863. How did the war affect James and his family? From a military perspective, there was only one battle in Ohio at Buffington Island on 19 July 1863. Buffington Island is about 100 miles south of James’ home in Monroe county. James probably would not have been aware of the battle but likely his parents were acutely aware of the military activities. Being only eight years old, the war may not have had a huge impact on James except for possibly having added responsibilities around the farm and perhaps a lack of some of the more frivolous foodstuffs. The impact of the war on his life was probably quite low and more emotional because of close family members who were in many of the battles.