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around my neck, and holding the mistletoe above my head, she kissed me again and MAJOR GEN. JOSEPH WHEELER, IR, again, and said I was her sweetheart!
So this child sweetheart brought the old Second son of Joseph Wheeler, one of the times back-the old times that are still so oldest citizens of Augusta, Georgia, was distant and so near; and with the sweet born in that city on the 10th of September, kisses 'neath the rustling leaves made me 1836. His youth was spent in the first think of my dead Alice in the grave. The schools of the country, and gave evidence first kiss and the last; the last and first, of that genius which, at so early an age of and of all days in the world on Christmas his manhood, was destined to shine forth Day.
and give him a commanding position in his country's history. Early in life he chose the profession of arms, despite the wishes
and instructions of a good father and moTHE BIRTH OF THE PEARLS.
He was appointed to West Point in (SONG)
1854, and was the first that graduated un
der the five year rule. His career there, “Y el mar como imbidioso,
developed the fact that he was one of the A tierra por las lagrimas.salia,
few who are born for the profession of Y alegre de cogerlas
Arms. Whilo others were passing their Las guarder en conchas, y convierte en
leisure moments in sport and reading the perlas."- LOPEZ DE VEGA.
romances of the day, young Wheeler could
be found in the library, poring, with the Upou the sea shore stood a maiden
deepest interest, over those volumes-wbich Watching a retreating sail,
spoke of campaigns and battles, both anWhich with ber heart's pure treasure laden cient and modern, and examining military
Sped o’er the waves with favoring gale. maps and plans of battle of distinguished And often on the beach she lingered
generals. His classmates all speak of this The weary day and lonely night,
peculiar trait of his character; and so dilBut ne'er Aurora rosy-fingered
igently did he apply himself to this study, The absent bark restored to sight.
and that of the organization and adminis, Hope deferred--soul cherished sorrow, tration of armies, and so familiar did he
A sad, wild longing for the morrow, become with these subjects, that they reAffection strengthened, but the form garded his decision as final upon any dismade weak,
pued point. And stole the roses from the maiden's
In October 1859, he was ordered to the ebeek.
cavalry school at Carlisle, Pennsylvania,
and there remained on duty, during the As on the lonely shore she stands winter. In the spring of 1860, we find
Yielding her soul to dark despair, him in New Mexico, stationed, respective: With weeping eyes and close clasp'd hands ly at Forts Union, Craig and Fillmore, and She breathes to the deep sea a prayer.
engaging in several important scouts Now softly tripping to her feet,
against the hostile Indians. Early Come joyously the wanton waves;
March, 1861, seeing the storm.cloud gath: Take up her tears mid murmurs sweet ering over his country, he at once decided And bear them to old ocean's caves.
his course, and when bis native State sece. The dewy drops in rosy shell shut up, ded, forwarded his resignation and return; To pearls are changed within the ma. ed to Georgia. On his arrival, he was
commissioned 1st Lieutenant of artillery The absent bark returns, fulfils the lovor’s in the regular army, and assigned to duty vow,
at Pensacola, Florida. Here he labored, And bridal jewels deck the maiden's as only the true soldier will, and manifestbrow.
ed, not only untiring energy and zeal, but la capacity far beyond his years, receiving
which a battery and a number of prison-was covered by cavalry, handled with ers were taken. When the commanding more skill than had ever been known ungeneral determined to leave Kentucky, he der similar circumstances. Col. Wheeler, appointed Col. Wheeler, chief of cavalry, during this campaign, met the enemy in and entrusted to him the work of covering no less than thirty successful fights, bethe retreat, which will, when the history sides innumerable skirmishes. of this revolution is recorded, rank second After this campaign, upon the combined to none in the able manner in which it recommendation of General Bragg, Polk, was conducted. Although this responsi- Hardee and Buckner, he was commissions bility was of a magnitude sufficient to ap-ed Brigadier General, and immediately sent pal many an older soldier, this gallant and to middle Tennessee. On his arrival, he intrepid soldier mee's it and distinguishes was stationed at Lavergne, fifteen miles himself in many a brilliant engagement
. (in front of our army. From here he sal From Danville to London, the blush of the lied forth almost daily, frequently capturgrey dawn and the shades of night alike ing foraging parties, with their trains, from bear noble testimony of the able manner Nashville, and kept his pickets in view of in which the enemy's exultant columns the spires of that city. In one of these were met and handsomely repulsed. His engagements his horse was torn in pieces soldiers soon learned, from his always be by a cannon ball, bis aid killed at his side, ing in front and ever watchful at night, and he himself painfully wounded by the that their labor was not only one of great fragment of a shell. Notwithstanding the importance, but about to reflect honor alike intense pain from which he was suffering, upon officer and soldier. During this re- he procured another horse, and remained treat, his effective force did not exceed, at on the field until he had driven the enemy any time, one thousand men, but so inge- away. The Yankee author of Gen. Rose niously did he dispose it, that he protected fcrans”. “Campaigns of the army of the every approach to our army, and forced Camberland," in speaking of their difficulthe enemy to advance in long lines of bai- tie's in obtaining forage, 'states that " not a tlé, under the impression that a large in- nubbin of corn was obtained without fightfantry force was in his front. Thus was ing for it," and in excusing their disasters his advance restricted to six or seven miles in these fights, says Gen. Wheeler, “the per day. Numerous attempts were made rebel commander encouraged "his troops, by the enemy to turn his position in order by both voice and example." During the to strike at the flanks of our army and two months he was engaged in twenty discaptüre our wagon trains. These Colonel tinct fights, besides many skirmishes, at Wheeler had anticipated, and his ever all times exhibiting so dauntless a spirit watchful care frustrated all their plans that the soldiers of his command gave him Each night he acquainted himself tho the soubriquet of the “ Little Hero.". On roughly with the nature of the country the morning of the 26th of December, over which he was to fight on the succeed. 1862, Rosecrans commenced his advance, ing day, which accoun's, in a great mea- which resulted in adding fresh laurels to sure, for his uniform success. The weary the brow of this gallant general. For four and foot-sore victors of the bloody field of successive days, Gen. Wheeler, maneuPerryville, after the march of the day, vred his command so as to hold the enemy would bivouac in quiet upon the beautiful in check until our army was prepared to streams of Eastern Kentucky, saying grapple with bim upon the banks of Stone " Wheeler and his trusty boys are guard- River. When General Bragg was ready to ing us. rovered by the cavalry, that in no instance etly withdrew within the infantry lines at was an infantry soldier ever called upon night fall, not to rest, but to commence to fire his musket. General Buell, who work anew. After a few hours rest to his was severely censured and relieved from worn horses and men,, "to horse," was the command of his army, for allowing again sounded; and in the dark, bleak General Bragg to escape from Kentucky, (night, he pressed forward with about ele. stated, officially, that General Bragg's rear ven hundred men, and gained the enemy's
rear. At daylight on the morning of the saddle eighteen hours out of every twenty30tlı, he encountered a large, supply train four during that time, now directing a near Jefferson ville, with a brigade of in- scout, now posting a picket, and then dashfantry in front of it. With a portion of ing like a phantom on some unsuspecting the command, he charged the brigade, body of the enemy. drove it away, while the remainder of his General Bragg, in his official report of force, destroyed and drove off the wagons the battle of Murfreesboro, states: "To the and mules and secured the stores. Not skillful manner in which the cavalry thus content, however, to hover merely on the ably supported, was handled, and the exflanks of the enemy, he presses on, until ceeding gallantry of its officers and men, his immediate rear is reached, when train must be attributed the four day's time enAfter train loaded with the most valuable gaged by the enemy in reaching the battle supplies was destroyed or brought off. To field, a distance of only twenty miles from an eye witness, nothing could have been his encampments, over fine McAdamized more thrilling or exciting, than the manæu- roads. On Monday night, Gen. Wheeler vering of this command, charging in three proceeded, as ordered, to gain the enemy's separate columns, firing as they charged rear. By Tuesday morning, moving on the and completely terrifying the guards, as by Jefferson Pike, around the enemy's flank, he detachments of hundreds they are encoun. had.gained the rear of their whole army, and tered and captured. The scene at Laverg- soon attacked the trains, their guards and ne was unusually thrilling. There, amid the numerous stragglers. He succeeded the clatter of innumerable hoofs, and the in capturing hundreds of prisoners, and braying of thousands of captured mules, a destroying hundreds of wagons, loaded single glance could take in the surrender with supplies and baggage. After clearof hundreds of persons, and the smoke ing the road, he made his entire circuit and blaze of immensę depots of stores and and joined the cavalry on our left.” Gennearly a thousand wagons. Gen. Wheeler eral Bragg makes mention, also, of Gen. does not stop here, but speeds away to Wheeler's two other successful movements Rock Spring and Nolensville, at each of to the enemy's rear, by which he eaptured which places he encounters the trains of more trains and many prisoners. In clothe enemy's right wing, which meet with sing bis report, he states that General the fate of those upon the left and center. Wheeler was pre-eminently distinguished At night he camped his weary horsemen throughout the action, as well as for a beneath the light of the enemy's cainp fires, month previous, in inany successful conand on the following day joins in the fierce ficts with the enemy-and he ascribes to carnage of the battle of the 31st Decem- his gallant lead, and that of his officers, ber, 1862. He charges again and again the just enhancement of the reputation of upon the enemy's long lines, disconcering our cavalry.” all of General Rosecrans' plans of battle, After the battle, Generals Forrest, Morand causing him to detach a large force gan and Wheeler, were each ordered :0 from the front of his army. He makes work upon the enemy's lines of commun:even another circnit of their army, de cation. General Morgan, having just restroying an immense quantity of supplies turned from Kentucky, was unable to go, and valuable trains. He had well nigh and General Forrest's command was too completed the third circuit, when he was much worn to attempt anything immedirecalled to cover the retreat of our army. ately. General Wheeler, although his In this he was eminently successful, hav- command had been fighting almost hourly ing held the enemy in check in sight of for a fortnight, collected about six hundred Murfreesboro for five days. Those who men, and amid the beating snow and ice, witnessed all the circumstances, preceding commenced the march. In a short timo and during the battle of Murfreesboro, pro- he was swooping like an eagle after his nounce his skill and endurance as surpass- prey, upon the enemy's rail roads, and the ing anything before known in cavaly. He rivers plowed by his magnificent steamers. did not sleep exceeding five hours during A locomotive and train of cars are first the whole of five days, and was in the destroyed on the Nashville and Chattanoo
ga rail road, and the bridge over Mill Creek number of prisoners taken up to this time, cut away and burned. There nine large on this expedition, was four hundred and transports, laden with rich supplies, each filty, The amount and value of the stores guarded by a strong infantry force, and destroyed at Ashland, on the transports convoyed by a fleet of gunboats, bound for and in the wagon trains, during the battle the "army of the Cumberland," meet his of Murfreesboro was immense, so great, eagle eye. He boldly attaeks and cap- indeed, that it is generally conceded it was tures the transports, and soon they lie in the main cause which delayed the second blackened hulks along the shore. Few, advance of the enemy for the space of six but those who have witnessed a similar months. scene, can appreciate the grandeur of a
Pursuant to orders from army head quarfleet of "iron-clads,” as they plow their ters, he returned to the army, not, howe. way defiantly, belching forth, at each revo
ver, without striking a blow on his return lution of their wheels, shot and shell from march, by which he captured and destroy. their iron-sides. So steamed the “Siddell." ed a large locomotive and long train of “Steady men, steady, she is ours," is shout.
cars, on which were taken one hundred ed forth by the hero, and soon the welkin and fifty prisoners more. Before reaching rang' with shouts, as our handful of borse: the army, he received a telegrani from the men see the “Stars and Stripes” lowered PRESIDENT, announcing his promotion to to her deck, and the commanding officer Major General. Congress passed a resosurrenders his sword, his crew, her arma
lution of thanks to General Wheeler for ment of heavy guns, small arms and valu
his daring conduct and brilliant achieveable supplies of ammunition. Along side the blazing and crackling transports, she
During the next four months, we find becomes a cinder upon the waters, which only hour before she had walked so
this favored child of Mars, with his com.
mand, occupied in' picketing close up to proudly—“like a thing of life.”
the.enemy's main army, covering a front No less than twenty other steamboats, of seventy miles, and engaged in protectwhich were aground on Harpeth Shoals ing trains of supplies for our army, from and guarded by gunboats, took fright dis- the enemy's rear and from Kentucky. gorged their valuable cargoes of army During this whole time, not so much as supplies into the muddy Cumberland, and one wagon was lost. Whenever any part steamed for safer quarters and deeper of his command could be spared from the water. At Ashland, on the north bank of front of the army, he would make rapid the river, the enemy had collected im- incursions into the lines of the enemy. mense supplies of subsistence for his en. Oo one of these, a short time prior to the tire army. Although the waters of the retreat from Middle Tennessee, he sucCumberland, much swollen by recent rains ceeded in capturing two immense and valintervened, he swam his dauntless cava uable rail road trains on the same day. liers over, drove away the guards, compo. One on the Louisville and Nashville rail sed of a regiment of infantry, and destroyed road, and the other on the Nashville and stores covering several acres of ground. Murfreesboro rail road. With one of these, After this, having been joined by the com- ue captured a large number of officers, Inmand of General Forrest, every force or clading two colonels. Again this heroic the enemy on the river was driven into soldier is called upon to cover the retreat the forts at Doves closely pursued by our of our army, as it leaves the fertile lands • cavalry, who succeeded in capturing a lot that must hospitable and patriotic peofiue Laitery of brass rifle guns, a numbe.ple of Middle Tennessee, and seeks the of small arms, ammunition, a small siin ine of the Tennessee river, at Chattanooof wagons, horses and mules, toga tier wiiga, during which occurred the desperate one hundred prisoners. The ga risor. ws: encounter at Shelbyville. Although his only saved by the arrival of a fle:te. trans character for the most dashing bravery ports bringing General Grangət's division and the amiable traits of the good officer, of infantry as reinforcements. The whole had shone forth upon many a well con