Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 4

May 4, 1852 – Charles Ely and “his family moved to the Wabasha Prairie on [this date]. Charles’ father, Elder Edward Ely, worked there as a teacher, businessman and minister. Charles is credited with being the first white boy to come to Winona.

He was an 18 year old store clerk at the time the war broke out. He stood 5' 6" tall, had a dark complexion, hazel colored eyes and brown hair. Enlisting on April 29, 1861, he joined other men from the Winona area who were placed in Company K.

“As the regiment began to move forward during their famous charge at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, Ely was shot in the side of his right chest area. The ball exited near his back bone. After the battle he was found and carried to a field hospital near the battlefield. There he lay on the ground for four days before he was seen. He lay wrapped in a blanket. His pants were soaked with blood from his wound and were discarded. Once he was attended to, 1st Sgt Mathew Marvin saw a surgeon run a handkerchief through the hole in Charles' body, which the minnie ball had created. The surgeon then declared that he could not survive such a wound. However, it was decided to try to move him to a hospital in the rear in case he might recover.”

Charles did survive, and lived to be 72.

Charles Ely


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

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