Joseph Wheeler

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A lifelong soldier in two armies, Joe Wheeler, was instrumental in developing rebel cavalry in the Civil War's western theater and played a major role in the Spanish-American War. He also served several terms as a U.S. Congressman.
 

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alexjack

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I think I read somewhere that during the war with the Spanish he got so excited in one engagement that he shouted something like " C'mon boys drive them damn Yankees"!
 

Jim Klag

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I think I read somewhere that during the war with the Spanish he got so excited in one engagement that he shouted something like " C'mon boys drive them damn Yankees"!
Sounds like Little Joe.
 

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While I do think the War Child gets a bad rap more often than he deserves, he also got more opportunities to prove his talent than he deserved! He and Forrest had go-arounds to beat the band, and it wasn't always Joe's fault he had to give stupid orders - he got Forrest into trouble more than once. After Dover, a battle Forrest told Wheeler would be lost (and was), Wheeler made the mistake of asking Forrest if he had any ideas. "I always have ideas!" he snapped. "Tell Gen Bragg I will be in my coffin before I serve under you again!" Trying to regain control of Dover after the loss of Ft Donelson resulted in a catastrophe for Forrest and his men - they made a charge down Main Street, where a Union battery was set up unbeknownst to them. Virgil Earp was in command - Wyatt's big brother - and literally blew the Confederates down the street like a leaf blower! Forrest went down with his horse and his men reported him killed - but he eventually came to and hobbled back to Wheeler's headquarters. He laid down in a corner by the fireplace...and Wheeler decided it was a good idea to talk to him. (It was not...)

Many moons later, Forrest's son Willie and his boys took off to Alaska for the gold rush and met up with Wyatt in a restaurant in Nome, Alaska. Hail fellow well met - no hard feelings. You can't make this stuff up!

 

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While I do think the War Child gets a bad rap more often than he deserves, he also got more opportunities to prove his talent than he deserved! He and Forrest had go-arounds to beat the band, and it wasn't always Joe's fault he had to give stupid orders - he got Forrest into trouble more than once. After Dover, a battle Forrest told Wheeler would be lost (and was), Wheeler made the mistake of asking Forrest if he had any ideas. "I always have ideas!" he snapped. "Tell Gen Bragg I will be in my coffin before I serve under you again!" Trying to regain control of Dover after the loss of Ft Donelson resulted in a catastrophe for Forrest and his men - they made a charge down Main Street, where a Union battery was set up unbeknownst to them. Virgil Earp was in command - Wyatt's big brother - and literally blew the Confederates down the street like a leaf blower! Forrest went down with his horse and his men reported him killed - but he eventually came to and hobbled back to Wheeler's headquarters. He laid down in a corner by the fireplace...and Wheeler decided it was a good idea to talk to him. (It was not...)

Many moons later, Forrest's son Willie and his boys took off to Alaska for the gold rush and met up with Wyatt in a restaurant in Nome, Alaska. Hail fellow well met - no hard feelings. You can't make this stuff up!

Old Bedford definitely did not like doing regular cavalry work. He wanted only to freelance with his own command.
 

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Old Bedford definitely did not like doing regular cavalry work. He wanted only to freelance with his own command.
He did much better work on his own, that's certain but he did well with routine cavalry work. What his problem was - he didn't suffer fools gladly! He thought the battle to retake Dover was useless, and pointed out to Wheeler all the problems that he believed were insurmountable, but Wheeler insisted. Forrest did it, and he did his best. But he never won a battle he didn't think he could win. His anger with Wheeler was he had lost a large number of troopers, whose lives he valued. He wouldn't have risked them for no gain, and was furious he'd been forced to do that very thing.
 

O' Be Joyful

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I think I read somewhere that during the war with the Spanish he got so excited in one engagement that he shouted something like " C'mon boys drive them damn Yankees"!

Wheeler, now a U.S. Army general, commanded all cavalry troops in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. Theodore Roosevelt is at far right.

Wheeler, now a U.S. Army general, commanded all cavalry troops in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. Theodore Roosevelt is at far right.









After the Civil War, Wheeler became a planter and lawyer before going to Washington as a long-serving member of Alabama's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.
At the outbreak of the war against Spain, Congressman Wheeler offered his services to the military. The offer was accepted and Wheeler was once again commanding troops - this time in the U.S. Army. He led the Cavalry Division during the heavy fighting in Cuba. His unit was composed of relative amateurs such as the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry - better known as Roosevelt's Rough Riders - and regular troops like the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th cavalry regiments. (Yes, a former general in the Confederate Army later commanded black troops. Let that sink in a bit.)
During the Battle of Las Guasimas, the first major engagement of the war, Wheeler reportedly shouted out, "Let's go boys! We've got the damn Yankees on the run again." While the statement is probably somewhat apocryphal, it was something the irascible Wheeler could easily have said.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/lo...Wheeler-Former-Confederate-Became-6342938.php

Fighting Joe was memorably played by Gary Busey in Rough Riders, along w/ some of our favorites from Gettysburg...sans the muskrat beards. A bit over the top, but that's Gary. ;)


 
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O' Be Joyful

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A possibly true comment from James Longstreet to Wheeler:

In 1902, Longstreet visited West Point and happened to see Joe Wheeler, who was dressed in his blue uniform from the Spanish-American War. Longstreet said, "Joe, I hope that Almighty God takes me before he does you, for I want to be within the gates of hell to hear Jubal Early cuss you when he sees you in the blue uniform."
 

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There was also an interesting post-war incident. Like everybody else, Joe Wheeler had a list of enemies as long as his arm. In New York, when the former rebel commanders attended the Democrat Convention of 1868, one of Wheeler's enemies caught up to him. He first knocked on the general's door, ascertained he was there alone, then came back with three buddies. Really pounded the little guy into mush - enough to make selling headlines for the papers next day. Old beef, it was - some former associate blamed him for a series of unfortunate events. (I'll have to go back and research this - it really is interesting.) Wheeler didn't have much chance to get in a few licks on his own behalf - they had him pinned good.

Forrest had a similar experience, except the first spy didn't get to report back to his buddies. The fellow came in (got to start locking the doors like a city boy!) and accidentally woke Forrest up - claimed he was just there to ask for a donation. Not buyin' - Forrest hopped out of bed and gave the intruder the bum's rush out the door complete with a bare footed kick in the bum right down the stairway!

There could be quite a book written on the adventures of the rebels at the Democrat Convention in New York City!
 

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Here is a guy who rode the Stuart, Forrest, Wheeler, and Earp...


I can assure my friend that the man known to some people as Texas Jack Vermillion was indeed a real person. While fiction writers do, in fact, create fictional characters with all sorts of "aliases" for films and books, Texas Jack Vermillion was a real person.

Some reports suggest that he was a small man, a man of slight build, only about 5' 2" tall, and weighed in at around 125 lbs. throughout his life. It is known that he enlisted in the Confederate Army when the Civil War started in 1861. According to his biography, he was actually in the Confederate Cavalry unit commanded by General J.E.B. Stuart. I haven't been able to find out if he was with Gen. James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart the entire war or when Gen. Stuart died on May 12, 1864.

Some reports say he also served under Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. This is believed to be the case after leaving Jeb Stuart's unit. Of course, his serving under Gen. Forrest adds to the myth that he may have been a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan after the war ended. While some say Gen. Forrest was instrumental in starting the KKK, other reports say Forrest was not since he joined the Ku Klux Klan two years after its founding. We do know that Forrest was elected the Klan's first Grand Wizard.


John Wilson Vermillion (c. 1842–1911), also known as "Texas Jack" or later as "Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Vermillion", was a gunfighter of the Old West known for his participation in the Earp Vendetta Ride and his later association with
Soapy Smith
 

5fish

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Who is the right Jack?


No, Texas Jack Omohundro didn’t fight side by side with the Earp brothers, Wyatt and Warren, and their friends Doc Holiday, Sherman McMaster, and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson in Tombstone, because Omohundro had been dead for over a year before the shootout at the O.K. Corral and subsequent vendetta ride ever started. The man that rode with Earp was another, later, Texas Jack, a man by the name of John Vermillion, perhaps best remembered as portrayed by Peter Sherayko in the movie Tombstone.
 
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