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Chuck Beemer, The Civil War, and The Wabash Connection

If you are a Civil War buff, be sure to keep Thursday, October 18 open to attend a program hosted by the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville. Chuck Beemer will present the final Civil War Lecture of 2012 about General Lew Wallace, “Breakfast at Fort Donelson,” at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. Click here to link to the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum blog for more details about the program.

Chuck, who resides in North Carolina, is Vice President of the Western North Carolina Civil War Roundtable and also serves on the Wallace Scholars Advisory Board to the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum. He holds an MA from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from the University of North Carolina.

The Wabash Connection is that he is a direct descendent of the first family of Wabash, The Caleb Mills Family.  His great-great grandmother was Julia Mills Gregg, a daughter of Caleb Mills.  His father was Gordon G. Beemer, 1996 honorary alumnus and great friend to Wabash College.  Chuck and his brother, Mike Beemer, and their families are the only living descendants of Caleb Mills, who was the first principal and only teacher at the founding of Wabash College and founder of the Indiana Public School System.

Growing up in Crawfordsville, Chuck’s childhood must have been filled with stories about the history of the Mills Family and Wabash College and the Civil War.  One relative who served in the Civil War was 1st Lt. Benjamin Marshall Mills, 49th US Infantry, Chuck’s great-great uncle.  Marshall Mills was the only surviving son of Caleb Mills.  After the war, Marshall returned to Wabash to graduate in 1868 and began his medical studies, and then died suddenly.  This blog by archivist Beth Swift eloquently tells his story and a little more history about Wabash and Crawfordsville.