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BORN: March 8, 1837
DIED: July 1, 1898
SECTION: M, # 257

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. It included a bronzed belt and sword, but years ago the sword went missing. The Friends of Historic Easton Cemetery have been raising funds to replace the sword. Thanks to generous friends and partners, the sword will be in May 2024.

March, 8, 1837: born on 212 N. Fourth Street, Easton, PA
July 1855: graduates from Lafayette College
1885-1861: teaches, works for the Central Railroad
April 15, 1861: Wikoff enlists in Company "H," 1st PA Volunteers
May 15, 1861: Wikoff appointed first lieutenant 
April 7, 1862: Wikoff losts left eye at the Battle of Shiloh
November 25, 1863: Wikoff brevetted for bravey at the Battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge
August 15, 1862: Wikoff appointed captain in the regular army
September 21, 1866: Wikoff transferred to the 24th Infantry
December 1872: Wikoff marries Susan Mixsell of Easton, PA
1877-1898: Holds various roles the military
June 20, 1898: WIkoff leads the 22nd to Santiago Bay, Cuba. First US Regiment to arrive. 
July 1, 1898: Wikoff leads brigade to San Juan Hill, hit by enemy fire. 
October 21, 1898: Thousands in Easton Cemetery line up for Wikoff's send-off

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