WHEELER, JOSEPH, 1836-1906


Soldier; businessman; congressman. Born– September 10, 1836, in Augusta, Ga. Parents– Joseph and Julia Knox (Hull) Wheeler. Married– Daniella Jones
Sherrod, February 8, 1866. Children– Six. Education– U.S. Military Academy; graduated 1859; further instruction at the army cavalry school at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Commissioned second lieutenant in the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen and served at Fort Craig in the Mexican territory, but resigned to enlist in the Confederate Army, April 3, 1861; named Colonel, 19th Army Infantry; nicknamed “Fighting Joe”; brigadier general, October 1862; major general, January 1863; lieutenant general, February, 1865. Commanded in over 800 skirmishes and 200 battles. At the end of the war he became a partner in the New Orleans hardware and carriage firm Bouton, Smith, and Denman; moved to Lawrence County, Alabama, in 1870, where he read law and opened a law partnership, Jones and Wheeler, with his brother-in-law. Served in the U.S. Congress, 1882-1898. Volunteered during Spanish-American War; appointed major general; senior in command at San Juan; senior officer to negotiate surrender of Spanish in Cuba. Commanded brigade in Philippines, 1899-1900.  Retired from the military on September 10, 1900.  Died January 25, 1906.  One of the few Confederate veterans accorded burial in Arlington Cemetery.


National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 9; Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

Dyer, John P.  From Shiloh to San Jaun:  The Life of Fightin’ Joe Wheeler.  Baton Rouge; LSU Press, 1941.


Confederate Military History of Alabama. Atlanta; Confederate Pub. Co., 1899.

“The Philippines” in the New America and the Far East… Boston; Marshall Jones Co., 1907.

Report on the Island of Guam. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1900.

A Revised System of Cavalry Tactics, for the Use of Calvary and Mounted Infantry, C.S.A. Mobile, Ala.; S.H. Goetzel Co., 1863.

Selections from the Speeches of Hon. Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama, in the House of Representatives, Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses, March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1893. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1893.

Selections from the Speeches of Hon. Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama, in the House of Representatives, Second Session, Forty-seventh Congress, January 15 to March 3, 1883. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1883.

Speech of Hon. Joseph Wheeler of Alabama in the House of Representatives, Tuesday, February 16, 1886. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1886.

Joint Publication(s):

Cuba’s Struggle against Spain with the Causes of American Intervention and a Full Account of the Spanish-American War, Including Final Peace Negotiations. New York; American Historical Press, 1899.

Memorial Record of Alabama… Madison, Wisc.; Brant & Fuller, 1893.


A collection of Joseph Wheeler’s papers is held by Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Some of his family letters are held by the A.S.Williams III Americana Collection at the University of Alabama.