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About Colonel Charles A. Wikoff
Charles Augustus Wikoff (March 3, 1837 – July 1, 1898) was a United States Army officer serving from American Civil War until he became the most senior ranking American Army officer killed in the Spanish–American War.
Wikoff was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Lafayette College with bachelor's and master's degrees. He worked as a civil engineer under George B. McClellan on the Illinois Central Railroad from 1855 to 1857.
In April 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, Wikoff enlisted as a private in the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry. The next month he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 15th U. S. Infantry. He was shot in the left eye at the Battle of Shiloh and wore an eye patch throughout the rest of his life. He also participated in the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Missionary Ridge, for which he was a brevetted major. He was promoted to captain in August 1864.
After the war, Wikoff was transferred to the 24th U. S. Infantry, and later to the 11th Infantry, serving in Texas and the Dakotas. He was promoted to major of the 14th Infantry stationed at Vancouver Barracks in December 1886. In November 1891 he was made lieutenant colonel of the 19th Infantry, and served at Forts Wayne and Brady in Michigan. And, in January 1897, he became colonel of the 22nd Infantry at Fort Crook, Nebraska.
In 1898, he led the 22nd Infantry from Fort Crook to Cuba where he was transferred to lead the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of Major General William Rufus Shafter's V Army Corps. He was shot during a charge across an open field in the Battle of San Juan Hill. Within 15 minutes he fatally succumbed to his wound and his two successors William S. Worth and Emerson Liscom were also shot before Ezra P. Ewers, the fourth in command, assumed control.
He is buried in the Easton Cemetery.
Camp Wikoff in Montauk, New York, through which American troops including Theodore Roosevelt returned after the conflict, was named for him.