Friday, October 28, 2011

"Fighting" Joe Wheeler

Our cruise up the Tennessee River has brought us to an area filled with Civil War sites, this the 150th anniversary of the war. When we went through Pickwick Lock we passed the site of the Shiloh battlegrounds at Pittsburgh Landing. Nearly 4,000 soldiers were killed outright in two days of fighting. Many thousands more were wounded. We will tour Shiloh National Military Park when we head down the Tom Bigbee Waterway mid November.

One popular Confederate soldier was "Fighting" Joe Wheeler. General Wheeler is unique in that he is one of only two CSA soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery. After graduating from West Point and serving in the war with Mexico he resigned to join the South. Rising quickly through the ranks he achieved Lieutenant General, Calvary, by age 27. After the war Wheeler then became U.S. Congressman in Alabama, serving many terms. He went back into the U.S. Army again serving in the Spanish-American war in Cuba, then afterwards in the Philippines. In Cuba he headed the Volunteer Army which included the Rough Riders and future president Theodore Roosevelt.

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