The Book of Soden

Australia : Part 2 

WILLIAM SODEN ( 1837 - 1917) , OREGON , WISCONSIN


William Soden was born in Butternut , New York in 1837 ,

the son of Thomas and Sophie Emery Soden , of Warwickshire,

England . William moved to Fulton , Wisconsin in 1845, where he

farmed with his father. He enlisted at 25 on 24th July , 1862 as a

2nd Sergeant in company E , 23rd Wisconsin volunteer Infantry in

Oregon , Wisconsin


On 1st April , 1863 he was promoted to First Sergeant. He became

ill during his army service and kept a diary of his experiences.

He fought in .Kentucky , Mississippi , Tennessee, Arkansas , Missouri

and Louisiana. He was eventually taken prisoner after the battle of 

the Sabine Cross Roads and released on 17th May , 1865 after 13 months.


He mustered out as a Second Lieutenant on 24th June, 1865.

An interesting little story in Wayne’s book about William Soden was 

that William while a prisoner had to get out to see a sick relative. Being 

member of his local Masonic lodge, he approached one of the sentries, 

whom he suspected of being like he a Freemason, and got his ok to leave 

for a few days and visit his family member. The agreement for his punctual 

return a few days had to be adhered to. He returned within his time allowance. 


It is interesting to note that he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Sabine Pass, 

in which the Confederates successfully prevented the Union side from getting Texas. 

The Confederate leader at this engagement was Dick Dowling from Tuam in 

Co. Galway, Ireland. He owned a few pubs in Houston and at the outbreak of the 

Civil War he got command of the Davis Guard which with its proven experience of artillery 

sank a number of Union ships and took over 350 prisoners. William Soden was one of them.


William married Harriett Louisa Hayes , and set up his own carriage making shop 

at which trade he was qualified. He served as a town clerk from 1888 to 1906 . 

He then resettled in Edgeley , North Dakota at the age of seventy , to be near 

his two daughters. William died on 31st May , 1917 at 79 years of age as the 

result of a stroke. Harriett, or 'Hattie' as she was known , died on 25th August , 1917. 

They were married for 51 years.


( Source: Times to Remember by Wayne Salisbury, 1998)