Born in Zanesville, Ohio on April 4, 1826, Wiles earned a living as a steamboat captain and owner. He principally sailed his boat, the Charley Potwin, between Zanesville and Parkersburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).
By the American Civil War's conclusion, Ohioan G.F. Wiles attained the rank of brevet brigadier-general.
Born in Zanesville, Ohio on April 4, 1826, Wiles earned a living as a steamboat captain and owner. He principally sailed his boat, the Charley Potwin, between Zanesville and Parkersburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). With the Civil War's outbreak, Wiles enlisted in the Union Army, becoming a first lieutenant of the Seventy-Eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry on October 26, 1861. In May 1862, authorities promoted him to the rank of captain for his bravery at the Battle of Fort Donelson and made him the regiment's Regimental Drill Officer. Wiles held this position for only a few weeks, as General John A. Logan selected him to command a corps of engineers that same month. During 1862, Wiles participated in several battles, most notably the Battle of Fort Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth.
On May 16, 1863, Wiles participated in the Battle of Champion Hill. That same day he received a promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He played an active role in General Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign during the spring and summer of 1863. On September 1, 1863, military authorities promoted him to the rank of colonel.
On July 22, 1864, Wiles received the command of his own brigade. He led his men into battle during William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and in his March to the Sea during 1864, and in 1865, Wiles commanded the same brigade in Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. For his battlefield actions, officials promoted Wiles to the rank of brevet brigadier-general in 1865.
Upon the Civil War's conclusion, Wiles returned to Zanesville, where he entered into the hardware business. In 1880, he relocated to Kansas, where he became a stockman (cattle rancher) with fellow Ohioan C.W. Poteyan. Wiles also owned and operated a hotel in Halstead, Kansas and had other business interests in Windsor, New York.
Wiles married J. H. Chapman of Zanesville, and the couple had seven children: Mrs. Ellen A. Mudge, Kate S. Wiles, Mrs. Laura M. Goodenough, Ida M. Wiles, Cora L. Wiles, Lulu P. Wiles, and Milton C. Wiles.