This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 While not an impassioned speaker, he was brave and calm and cool, and possessed in a remarkable degree the capacity to arouse manifestations of enthusiasm and personal attachment. On the 23d of July, 1888, he died in his office in Richmond of heart failure. The men of his old command, from many of whom he had become politically estranged, resolved that ‘in the camp and on the field of battle, in the fatigue of the march, in the gloom of the hospital, under the depression of the waiting and in the glory of the charge, he was the friend, the comrade, the guardian, the leader of his men, the beau-ideal of a soldier and of a commander,’ and they organized to perpetuate his memory in bronze. In 1890 the general assembly of Virginia provided for a site on the capitol grounds for the statue of General Wickham, which was unveiled on October 29, 1891, the oration being delivered by Gen. Fitzhugh Lee.
Brigadier-General Henry Alexander Wise was born at Drummondtown, Accomack county, December 3, 1806, a descendant of John Wise, who came to Virginia from England about 1650, and was a man of influence in the colony. Maj. John Wise, father of General Wise, clerk of Accomack county and twice speaker of the Virginia senate, died in 1812, and his wife, Sarah Corbin, in 1813. Young Wise was cared for by his kinsmen, and educated at Washington college, Pa. After his graduation in 1825, he studied law three years with Henry St. George Tucker, and in 1828 removed to Nashville, Tenn., for the practice of his profession. Returning to Accomack in 1831, he soon became prominent politically, and in 1833, as a supporter of Jackson, was elected to Congress, the contest at the polls being followed by a duel in which his opponent for Congress was wounded. He was re-elected in 1835 and again in 1837, and was a zealous advocate of the admission of Texas. In 1837 he acted as second in a duel between William J. Graves, of Kentucky, and Jonathan Cilley, of Maine, both congressmen, in which Cilley was killed, and Wise was made to suffer much of the opprobrium of the unfortunate affair. He was very influential in causing the nomination of John Tyler for vice-president and exerted considerable power under his administration. Tyler appointed him minister to France, but the Senate objecting, he
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.