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‘Joe's sworn old Samuel's oath’ A post-bellum portrait of General Joseph Wheeler has been chosen to appear here as well as of ‘that loyal old Reb, Fitzhugh Lee’—in order to illustrate closely the poem. General Joseph Wheeler, a native of Georgia, was a brilliant Confederate cavalry leader in the Civil War. He graduated from West Point in 1859, entered the Confederate service in April, 1861, and fought at the head of a brigade at Shiloh. In the same year he was transferred to the cavalry. In 1863, as major-general, he commanded the cavalry at the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and protected Bragg's retreat southward. In 1864 he obstructed Sherman in his advance on Atlanta, as alluded to in the poem, and in the march to the sea. In 1865, as lieutenant-general, he commanded the cavalry in Johnston's army up to the surrender.


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