(b. 1836 – d. 1864)
Wilson J. Lincoln was born around 1836 in Montgomery County. He was likely enslaved on Ulysses Griffith’s farm near Unity, appearing in 1853 and 1855 slave assessment records as “Willson.” In 1857 Wilson and Perry Lincoln purchased farm animals and farm equipment from William B. Gaither and Henry Dwyer. The 1850 census for Montgomery County identified Perry Lincoln as a free black, and he was likely Wilson’s brother, although born in Prince George’s County. According to the land record, Wilson and Perry paid one hundred and fifty dollars to Samuel Griffith, who in turn paid Gaither and Dwyer. Their purchase included three horses, three cows, twenty pigs, six plows, two wagons, a crop of potatoes and a crop of wheat.
Wilson Lincoln was free by 1860, when he and his brother Benjamin lived next door to William B. Gaither’s mill and Henry Dwyer’s stone masonry shop south of Unity. That year, the two brothers worked as “pump makers.” They probably built pumps for Gaither’s mill, which stood on Hawlings River.
In May 1864 Wilson Lincoln was drafted by the Union army. Although the first draft that year took place in March, the President had ordered a second conscription “of an additional 200,000 men,” beginning in May. On May 24, the Baltimore Sun published a list of the sixty-three men drafted from the First District of Montgomery County including “Wilson Linklon, colored.” Lincoln arrived in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland on June 20, 1864. Colonel John C. Holland, a U.S. provost marshal, mustered Lincoln into Company G, 28th Regiment, U.S.C.T. Although the 28th was part of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry, the men recruited in Maryland were “credited to Maryland [by the] War Dept., Washington D.C.”
The 28th Regiment participated in the Battle of the Crater and the Siege of Petersburg. Lincoln served with the company as a private for the remainder of the Civil War. He was discharged in Norfolk, Virginia on June 10, 1865.
Wilson Lincoln appears among the 209,145 black soldiers commemorated on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name appears on plaque B-44 on the Wall of Honor, along with the name of his brother, Perry Lincoln.