Wheeler, Joseph, MGEN

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1898-1900, V Corps
Service Years
1859 - 1900


Major General

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 Steven Ryan (LoneWolf) to remember Wheeler, Joseph (Fighting Joe), MGEN.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Augusta, Georgia
Last Address
Brooklyn, New York

Date of Passing
Jan 25, 1906
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 2, Grave 1089

 Official Badges 

CSA Southern Cross

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Joseph Wheeler (September 10, 1836January 25, 1906) was an American military commander and politician. He has the rare distinction of serving as a general during war time for two opposing forces: first as a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and later as a major general in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War. Between the wars he served as a U.S. Representative from Alabama.

Years of service 1859-61 (USA)
1861-65 (CSA)
1898-1900 (USA)
Rank Second Lieutenant (USA)
Major General (CSA)
Major General (USA)

One of only a handful of Confederates to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Joseph Wheeler qualified on the basis of his later service as a major general of volunteers in the Spanish-American War. The Georgia-born West Pointer (1859) had resigned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen-he had briefly been posted to the dragoons in 1859-and, joining the South, had a meteoric rise.
        The cavalryman's assignments included: first lieutenant, Artillery (1861); colonel, 19th Alabama (September 4, 1861); commanding Cavalry Brigade, Left Wing, Army of the Mississippi (September 14-November 20, 1862); brigadier general, CSA (October 30, 1862); commanding Cavalry Brigade, Polk's Corps, Army of Tennessee (November 20-22, 1862); commanding Cavalry Brigade, Hardee's Corps, Army of Tennessee (November 22-December 1862); commanding cavalry division, Army of Tennessee (December 1862-March 16, 1863); major general, CSA (January 30, 1863); commanding cavalry corps, Army of Tennessee (March 16, 1863-fall 1864); commanding Cavalry Corps, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (fall 1864-March 1865); lieutenant general, CSA (February 28, 1865); and commanding corps, Hampton's Cavalry Command, Army of Tennessee (March-April 26, 1865).
        He led an infantry regiment at Shiloh and during the operations around Corinth, Mississippi, but was then assigned in the summer of 1862 to be chief of cavalry for Bragg's Army of the Mississippi. He led a mounted brigade at Perryville and a division at Murfreesboro. Given command of a corps of mounted troopers, he led it in the Tullahoma Campaign and at Chickamauga was in charge of one of the two cavalry corps (the other was under Nathan Bedford Forrest). However, soon after the battle conflicts between Forrest and Wheeler and Forrest and Bragg led to the reassignment of Forrest. Thus Wheeler was again in charge of all the mounted troops with the Army of Tennessee. He fought thus at Chattanooga and led his men in the Atlanta Campaign. During these last two campaigns he was noted for his raids on the Union supply lines. Following the fall of Atlanta, Wheeler's corps was left behind to deal with Sherman while Hood launched his invasion of middle Tennessee. With the small force at hand Wheeler proved unsuccessful in hindering Sherman's March to the Sea.
        During the course of the campaign in the Carolinas, Wheeler was placed under the orders of Wade Hampton who had been transferred from Virginia. Taken prisoner in Georgia in May 1865, Wheeler was held at Fort Delaware until June 8th. A longtime congressman from Alabama in the postwar years, he donned the blue as a major general of volunteers in the war with Spain. In 1900 he was retired with the regular army rank of brigadier general. His Confederate career had earned him the sobriquet "Fightin' Joe. "

Other Comments:

Rough Riders, a 1997 television mini-series directed by John Milius, and featuring Tom Berenger (Theodore Roosevelt), Gary Busey (Joseph Wheeler), Sam Elliott (Bucky O'Neill), Dale Dye (Leonard Wood), Brian Keith (William McKinley), George Hamilton (William Randolph Hearst), and R. Lee Ermey (John Hay) 


Wheeler was portrayed in the TV film Rough Riders by American actor Gary Busey, although Busey is much taller than Wheeler was, and had a moustache only instead of a full beard.

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 Unit Assignments
Union ArmyConfederate States ArmyU.S. ArmyV Corps
  1859-1861, 1st Regiment New York Dragoons
  1861-1862, 19th Regiment Alabama Infantry
  1862-1865, Confederate States Army
  1865-1898, Break in Service
  1898-1900, V Corps
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1861-1865 Civil War
  1862-1862 Seven Days Battles June 25 to July 1 1862/Battle of Gaines' Mill June 27 1862
  1862-1862 Civil War/Battle of Perryville
  1862-1863 Murfreesborough Campaign (1862-63)/Battle of Stones River
  1863-1863 Chickamauga Campaign (1863)/Battle of Chickamauga 19 to 20 September 1863
  1865-1865 Civil War/Battle of Bentonville
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War1
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Battle of San Juan Hill
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Battle of Las Guasimas
  1899-1913 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1854-1859, United States Military Academy
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