William H. Trisler (1835 – 1901)
William H. Trisler (1835-1901) was a Monroe County farm boy who enlisted in the Union Army, Company K, 14th Indiana Volunteers Infantry, and served for three years, from June 1861 through June 1864. Company K was the first unit in Indiana organized for a three-year term. He was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, to Jacob and Sophia Hoover Trisler on 17 August 1835. His parents, along with his uncle’s family and other close relatives, soon moved to Monroe County, Indiana, where his two younger sisters were born in 1839 and 1841.
In the spring of 1861, William H. joined with several other Monroe County men in a company organized by Captain James Kelly. Company K was enlisted for a three-year term during which they served in several key battles, including Antietam, Chancellorsville, on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, and finally in the Wilderness. William was wounded in the right hand at Antietam, and spent seven months in McKims Mansion Hospital at Baltimore. After his return to his company, he was with them for the Battle at Gettysburg. The company was also sent to New York City in the wake of the Draft Riots there in 1863. It was the many battles in the Wilderness that ended the company’s term of service. Of the 102 men who made up Company K, only twenty-one of the original company was mustered out at Indianapolis on 6 June 1864, among them William H. Trisler. Throughout his term of service, William wrote several letters home to his parents and his sisters. Those letters are housed at the Indiana Historical Society and have been transcribed in the book, If I Live: Civil War Letters of William H. Trisler, Company K, 14th Indiana Volunteers.
William H. Trisler married his cousin, Sarah Jane Hoover of Jessamine County, Kentucky, on 28 May 1866, and eventually settled with her and his widowed mother in Jackson County, Indiana. In March 1879, William applied for and received a pension based on his Civil War service. William and Sarah Jane, called Jennie, had three children before Sarah Jane’s death on 15 December 1891. William remarried a few years after Sarah Jane’s death, but survived only a few years until his own death occurred on 21 September 1901 in Crothersville, Jackson County, Indiana, where he is buried. William was a member of the G.A.R. post at Crothersville.
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