William Wallace was born on April 20, 1828 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was the son of John Wallace (1789-1876) and Nancy "Agnes" Culbertson (1807-1851). By 1850, the family had moved to Belmont County, Ohio where William was attending Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1851. On October 21, 1851, William married Ann Elizabeth McGrew at the Island Creek Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Ohio. They would eventually have four children. Agnes (1852-1938), William Henry (1854-1899), Charles (1857-1914) and Nellie (1859-1929).
Wallace enlisted in the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on April 18, 1861 and was appointed Captain of Co. B. on May 22, 1861. This was the 90-day unit and Wallace mustered out on August 30, 1861. He then re-enlisted as Lt. Colonel in the 3-year unit. Promoted to Colonel on October 24, 1862. He led the 15th Ohio at the battles of Shiloh and Stone River. Going home on leave, he was assigned command of Camp Chase Prison Camp in Columbus, Ohio. He returned to the 15th Ohio for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. He suffered a severe back injury at the Battle of Pickett's Mill in May of 1864 and was given a medical discharge on July 19, 1864. He returned home to Belmont County but was unable to work due to his injury. His wife Annie died in 1865 and is buried next to her mother in law at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Martins Ferry, Ohio. By 1870, the family moved to Philadelphia where Wallace worked as a Gauger at the Customs House.
The old war injury plagued him the rest of his life. He was in constant pain and may have taken strychnine treatments to help ease the pain. This may have contributed to his death on Feb. 7, 1886. He is buried in Summit Section 165 at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd (Philadelphia), Pa.
(The above family information is provided courtesy of Lesley Wischmann, the great-great granddaughter of Colonel Wallace.)