Rank and organization: Pilot, U.S. Navy.
Entered service at: Indiana.
Born: 6 June 1830, Indiana. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864.
as pilot on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding
up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field
batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the ship was totally
disabled, at which time the white flag was ordered raised. Acting as pilot
throughout the battle, Wilkes stood by his wheel until it was disabled
in his hands by a bursting enemy shell.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)