Wallace was born in Urbana, Ohio, the son of John Wallace and Mary Lamme Wallace. In 1836, he was educated at Rock River Seminary in Mount Morris, Illinois. Although he planned to study law with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, he joined Theophilus Lyle Dickey's practice in Ottawa, Illinois, instead. (Dickey was a friend of Lincoln's and would eventually be a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court.) In 1851 he married Dickey's daughter, Martha Ann. Wallace became licensed in law in 1846 and that same year he joined the 1st Illinois Infantry as a private. He rose to the rank second lieutenant and adjutant and participated in the Battle of Buena Vista along with a few other minor engagements. After this brief experience in the Mexican-American War he became district attorney in 1853.
At the Battle of Shiloh, Wallace was a new division commander, yet he managed to withstand six hours of assaults by the Confederates, directly next to the famous Hornet's Nest, or Sunken Road. When his division was finally surrounded, he ordered a withdrawal and many escaped, but he was mortally wounded and only later found barely alive on the battlefield by his troops. They carried him to his wife, who helped tend to him on the way back to General Grant's headquarters in the Cherry Mansion in Savannah, Tennessee. He died three days later in his wife's arms; his last words were "We meet in heaven." He is buried in LaSalle County, Illinois , in Ottawa. His war horse, Prince, is buried next to the General he carried into battle at Shiloh.
Some think that this is Ann & WHL Wallace in a photo taken during the weekend of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Ottawa, Illinois.
"The Oaks " 2012
"The Oaks" circa 1940. The Wallace's had this house built in the late 1850's ,
on the North Bluff of Otttawa, near the home of her father, T. Lyle Dickey.
His Horse, His Flag, His Portrait....
...all she had left of him after Shiloh.
T. Lyle Dickey plot near "The Oaks" in Ottawa.
Soldiers Monument in Washington Park, Ottawa, Illinois
Honoring Brig Gen WHL Wallace as well as over 800
other LaSalle County, Illinois Civil War Casualties.
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