This collection contains the personal papers of Frederick S. Wild. Materials include military papers, correspondence, and other documents.
Wild was born on November 4th, 1863 in New York City, but the Wild family moved to Chicago, Illinois soon after Frederick's birth. He served in the United States military for nineteen years, beginning with two years of service in the Illinois National Guard in 1885 and ending with his death in 1904. In February 1887, Wild enlisted with the 17th United States Infantry in Denver, Colorado. Wild served throughout the United States, and also served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. By 1899, he had achieved the rank of captain and was sent to serve as a company commander with the 13th United States Infantry in the Philippines. During the Philippine-American War, he fought first against the Spanish and then against Filipino insurgents. Wild was court-martialed in 1902 and reprimanded for difficulty in dealings with civilian authorities in the Philippines. He died in 1904 on Angel Island in California, where he was stationed.
The collection contains papers that give insight into Wild's background and his military career, such as an undated autobiography and records of his promotions and appointments. It also contains papers dealing with Wild's death, including the report of his estate and a tribute poem sent to Wild's mother. The rest of the collection is comprised of correspondence, primarily letters written by Wild to his parents from 1898 to 1903. In his letters, he describes the difficulty of the guerrilla warfare in the Philippines, remarking on factors such as the climate and his distaste for both United States policy and the Filipino people. After his removal from the Philippines in the summer of 1902, Wild wrote from California, focusing on his circumstances there and on the details of his court-martial.
Patricia Tarsitano donated the collection to the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, in 1986.