Charles Augustus Wikoff

Section M, # 257

Born: March 8, 1837

Died: July 1, 1898

Colonel Charles Augustus Wikoff had the unfortunate distinction of being the highest-ranking U.S. officer to be killed in the Spanish-American War. On July 1, 1898, American soldiers assaulted a Spanish position on San Juan Hill, near Santiago, Cuba. Wikoff was supervising the placement of his soldiers when a Spanish bullet hit him in the side of the chest. He died in minutes and was buried in a temporary grave at the battlefield and a bottle with his name in it was buried with him to identify him.

Wikoff, born in 1837, an Easton boy and a Lafayette College graduate. When the Civil War began in 1861, he immediately enlisted in a volunteer unit. Soon he was awarded an officer’s commission in the Regular Army, the professional soldiers who were the core of the Union Army. His experience included participating in the Battle of Shiloh, where he lost his left eye.

When the Civil War ended, he became a career soldier. He served mostly in the West, although he spent enough time in Easton to marry Susan Pomp Mixsell; their home was the Mixsell House at 4th and Ferry. The couple had no children.

Several months after his death, Wikoff’s remains were returned to Easton. His funeral, on October 31, 1898 was a significant event; many of the town’s businesses closed, and a large parade was held. His impressive monument in Section M of Easton Cemetery was placed in 1900.