Joel Wilson was a 22-year-old teacher from Gorham when he enlisted in the 1st Maine in September 1861. Mustered in as corporal of Company F, he was promoted to sergeant in 1862.
At Brandy Station his horse was shot but carried him across the river before dropping dead. Other horses were shot out from under him in the charge at Upperville on June 21 and at Halltown on July 15.
Promoted orderly sergeant of Company F on July 1, 1863, he was commissioned 1st lieutenant on August 25, 1864.
After serving as quartermaster at the cavalry depot at City Point in the fall of 1864 he returned to field service and had another horse shot from under him at Sailor's Creek on April 6, 1865.
Wilson was commissioned captain on May 13, 1865.
This cdv by B. F. Smith & Son of Portland is inscribed "Camp 1st Me. Cavalry near Petersburg Va, April 19, 1865, Joel Wilson 1st Lieut. Co. F, 1st Me. Cavy."