William Wallace Robinson was born on Dec. 14, 1819, in Fair Haven, Vermont, and trained at Norwich Military Academy in Northfield, VT.His father had moved from Connecticut [CT].
In the 1830s he was a single man: educator in VT, then in New Jersey [NJ], and then in Ohio.By 1840 he was teaching in Cleveland, OH.
William Robinson married Sarah Jane Fisk on Feb. 5, 1842, and they eventually had 5 children.
In 1846 he enlisted in and was elected a first lieutenant in the Mexican War.He was made a lieutenant in the 3rd Ohio Infantry and was promoted to captain during the war.
After the Mexican War, he moved to California [CA], to Wisconsin Territory, to Minnesota [MN], and then to Sparta, WI.
When the 7th Wisconsin Infantry was organized on Aug. 15, 1861, Robinson was appointed lieutenant colonel of the regiment...He was promoted to colonel in Feb. 1862.Robinson's 7th Wisconsin was a part of the fabled Iron Brigade of respected western soldiers...
The Iron Brigade was the first Union infantry unit on the field of Gettysburg, PA on July 1, 1863... He resigned his commission at the end of June after the Overland campaign of spring 1864. Of the 43 battles in which the Iron Brigade took part, Col. William Wallace Robinson, had led first the 7th Wisconsin Infantry and then the entire unit in 34 of them.
William Robinson returned to Sparta, Wisconsin.His leg wound from the battle of Gainesville on Aug. 28, 1862, had never fully healed.It kept him from farm work himself but he farmed successfully in Wisconsin until 1875... President Grant appointed Robinson, at age 56 years old, the first American ambassador to Madagascar, Africa.He held this post for 12 years.
In 1888, William and Sarah Robinson returned to America and retired from public life.At age 69 the old colonel dabbled a bit in the coal industry with one of his sons...William W. Robinson died on April 27, 1903.
This biography [bio.] was written by Andrew Lawson in "Vermont's Northland Journal", Dec. 2011, Vol. 10, No. 9, Issue 117, pages 14-15.