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Wallace Kelsey (1836-1909)

Wallace Kelsey was born July 20, 1836, in Watkins Glen (Tompkins County), New York, and died April 8, 1909, in Minneapolis (Hennepin County), Minnesota.  He married Lucina A. Crippen (1844-1916) on October 23, 1861.  She was the daughter of William and Ermina Crippen, of Prescott, and the sister of fellow Company A soldier John F. Crippen.  Wallace and Lucina had three children: Ada Adell Kelsey Laramy (1866-1925), Mabel Rosalia Kelsey (1872-1959), and Wallace Earl Kelsey (1880-1943).

Wallace Kelsey was listed as being from Owatonna, Minnesota, when he enlisted on October 30, 1861, in the Prescott Guards, which became Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry.  He was promoted to 4th sergeant while the regiment was still at Camp Randall in November 1861, then 1st sergeant, 2nd lieutenant (January 21, 1864), and finally 1st lieutenant (October 7, 1864).  He mustered out on July 16, 1865.  One of our letter-writers, Edwin D. Levings, who frequently shared a tent with Kelsey, always had good things to say about him.

After the Civil War, Kelsey lived in Cottage Grove and in Hastings, both in Washington County, Minnesota, just across the river from Prescott, Wisconsin.  He died in Minneapolis, where he was probably living with his son—Wallace Earl Kelsey—and is buried in the Cottage Grove Cemetery.

From the October 30, 1861, issue of The Prescott Journal:

MARRIED, On the 21st inst, by Capt. McLeod,¹ Mr. WALLACE KELLSEY [sic], and Miss LUCINA CRIPPEN.

From Edwin D. Levings’ letter of November 2, 1862:

Sergeant Kelsy of our tent (No 7) goes home to-day to get recruits for the Company and will be gone several weeks.  He will call on the friends of all the boys and says he shall certainly stop and see you.  That is what I want and you will want, too.  He is a fine fellow, very sociable and agreeable and we would like to have him take tea with you any way he will tell you all about us.

From The Prescott Journal, November 5, 1864:

MILITARY APPOINTMENTS.—In Co. A, 12th Reg. the following promotions have been made :  Charles Reynolds, Captain ;  Wallace Kelsey, 1st Lt. ;  Alva McKee, 2d Lieut.

1.  Norman McLeod was Company A’s first captain, and also a minister.

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