From The N.Y. Times, January 29, 1865
Brevet Brigadier General Wheelock
Referring to the late Brevet Brigadier General Wheelock, who died at Washington a few days ago, the Albany Evening Journal says: “At the outbreak of the war, he was engaged in a large and prosperous business. This he abandoned after the fall of Sumter, and immediately devoted himself to raising men for the army, pledging himself to provide for their families.
In a conversation with the writer of this, in the Summer of 1861, he said: “I am worth, I think, in the neighborhood of $10,000. Half of this I have already given or pledged; and if my country wants the other half, it can have it and myself in the bargain.”
Becoming impatient with the slow progress of the war, he soon after commenced raising a regiment on his own hook, fed and housed several hundred men at his personal expense for many months, and after a series of embarassments and disappointments that would have disheartened almost any other man, completed its organization and marched it to the field. Entirely without military experience, and with but a very limited general education, he became one of the best volunteer officers in the service, and so signally distinguished himself that he was breveted Brigadier General for bravery and good soldiership.
He had seen much service, was engaged in many of the bloodiest battles in Virginia, was taken prisoner, if we mistake not, at the second battle of Bull Run, and tasted for many months the sweets of prison life at Richmond, but was subsequently exchanged, when he rejoined his old regiment and did more gallant service in behalf of the old flag. He had the true heroic mettle, and would, had he lived, still further made his mark as a soldier.
Charles Wheelock was born December 14, 1812 at Claremont, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, and died January 21, 1865 at the District of Columbia, of disease.
During the Civil War he was Colonel of the 97th New York Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded and captured on July 1, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was being treated for his wounds in the house of Carrie Sheads during at the time of the rout from the field late in the day. When the Confederates captured the house Wheelock refused to hand over his sword. Carrie had hidden it in the folds of her dress only to return it to the Colonel after the battle and after the Confederates had left town on July 4. He house still stands today, with an artillery shell enbedded in the outside wall.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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