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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Maj. Nathan Cole

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 656 - 657

Maj. Nathan Cole, a native-born citizen of Sheboygan County, and a distinguished veteran of the late war for the preservation of the Union, was born at Sheboygan Falls, November 22, 1842. He is a son of Charles D. and Sarah W. (Trobridge){sic} Cole, of whom see sketch elsewhere in this work.

The subject of this sketch was reared in his native county, and was educated in the public schools. When the rebel guns opened on Ft. Sumter, on that memorable 14th of April, 1861, inaugurating the most stupendous civil war known to history, Mr. Cole was but eighteen years old. The events preceding the first overt act of the Confederacy had roused the spirit of the boy, and when on the day following the attack on Ft. Sumter the wires flashed the call of President Lincoln abroad through the land, asking for seventy-five thousand troops to suppress the insurrection and preserve the Union, Nathan Cole was the first in Sheboygan County to enroll his name in response to the President's call. He enlisted in April, 1861, as a private in Company C, Fourth Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. The quota, of Wisconsin on the first call was filled before the Fourth Regiment was full, so that they were accepted and mustered in under the second call, which was for three years' service. The subject of this sketch served in the Fourth Wisconsin from the organization of the regiment until September, 1862, the regiment having been on duty at Baltimore, Relay House, Newport News and on the Eastern expedition. He was promoted to be Sergeant, and also acted as Color Sergeant. In September, 1862, he was commissioned First Lieutenant, and assigned to Company K, Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry. He at once entered Upon active service, and at the battle of Prairie Grove, Ark., on the 7th of December, 1862, he received a gunshot wound through the right arm, above the elbow, which disabled him for a period of six months for active duty, and which caused a permanent and serious injury. In March, 1863, he was mustered out of the service on account of wounds received in battle.

In September, 1863, Mr. Cole was appointed to the Fifteenth United States Veteran Reserve Corps and commissioned First Lieutenant, and ordered on duty at St. Louis, Mo. During the winter of 1863-64 he was on duty guarding prisoners at Camp Chase, Ohio, and as Post-Adjutant at that place. In the spring of 1864, he was appointed Adjutant at Camp Douglas, Chicago, on duty with the Fifteenth Veteran Reserve Corps, guarding Confederate prisoners. February 10, 1865, he was promoted to be Captain in the Veteran Reserve Corps, and assigned to duty at Milwaukee, thence going to St. Paul, Minn., with his company, and later with his company to Ft. Snelling. In the winter of 1865, the Veteran Reserve Corps being mustered out, he was retained in the service and ordered to return home and await orders. Later he was ordered to Little Rock, Ark., thence on duty in the Freedmen's Bureau in that State. In the spring of 1867, he was appointed to a First Lieutenantcy{sic} in the Eleventh United States Infantry, in the regular army, and was ordered before the Examining Board at Louisville, Ky., for examination. He passed, so far as mental qualifications were concerned; but was rejected on account of his disabled arm. President Grant promoted him to the rank of Brevet-Major for faithful and meritorious service during the war. Having been incapacitated by wounds for active military service, Maj. Cole resigned his commission in June, 1867.

On his return to his home in Sheboygan Falls, he spent about a year operating a flouring-mill{sic}, when he was elected Register of Deeds for Sheboygan County, and served a term of two years in that office, following which he was appointed Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue, and afterwards Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, continuing in these offices for a term of eleven years. During this time he carried on the real estate and insurance business. In 1881 he was appointed Postmaster at Sheboygan, under President Arthur, and served four years in that office, since which time he has been engaged in the real-estate and insurance business.

Maj. Cole has made his home in Sheboygan since 1869. On the 6th of May, 1864, he was married to Miss Harriet A. Manville, of Sheboygan. Mrs. Cole was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., and is a daughter of David and Clarissa (Dickinson) Manville. Her parents were early settlers of the Evergreen City, of whom see sketch. Two sons and four daughters were born to Major and Mrs. Cole. Sarah C, the eldest, died January 1, 1885, at the age of nineteen. The living are: Anna M., Charles D., George C. and Dorothea. The third child, Mattie, died at the age of two years.

Maj. Cole is a member of Gustav Wintermeyer Post No. 187, G. A. R.; of Sheboygan Lodge No. 11, A. F. & A. M.; of Harmony Chapter No. 10, R. A. M., of Sheboygan; of Fond du Lac Commandery No. 5, K. T., of Fond du Lac; and of Wisconsin Consistory, Thirty-second Degree, of Milwaukee. He is also a member of the Milwaukee Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.


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