; born in Augusta, Ga.
, Sept. 10, 1836; graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1859; was assigned to the cavalry and served till 1861, when he resigned to enter the Confederate army, in which he became major-general and senior commander of cavalry.
During the Civil War
he was conspicuous as a raider.
On Oct. 2, 1863, when Bragg
's chief of cavalry, he crossed the Tennessee River
with about 4,000 mounted men, pushed up the Sequatchie Valley
, and burned a National supply-train of nearly 1,000 wagons on its way to Chattanooga
Just as he had finished his destructive work, Col. E. M. McCook
attacked him. The battle continued until night, when Wheeler
, discomfited, moved off in the darkness and attacked another supply-train at McMinnville
This was captured and destroyed, and 600 men were made prisoners.
Then, after the mischief was done, he was attacked (Oct. 4) by Gen. George Crook
, with 2,000 cavalry.
There was another sharp fight until dark, when Wheeler
withdrew and pushed on towards Murfreesboro
He could do nothing, and turned southward, with his relentless pursuers at his heels, doing all the mischief in his
, below the Duck River
struck him, cut his force in two, captured four of his guns and 1,000 small-arms, with 200 of his men, besides his wounded, and drove him in confusion into northern Alabama
made his way back to Bragg
's army, with a loss of 2,000 men, but had captured nearly as many and destroyed National property of the value, probably, of $3,000,000.
Towards the close of July, 1864, Hood
, commanding the Confederates
, sent Wheeler
, with the greater part of his cavalry, to capture National supplies, burn bridges, and break up railways in Sherman
He moved swiftly, with about 8,000 horsemen.
He struck and broke the railway at Calhoun
, captured 900 horses in that vicinity, and seriously menaced Sherman
's depot of supplies at Allatoona
, in the middle of August.
This was at the time when Sherman
was about to make his movement to flank Hood
out of Atlanta
This movement brought Wheeler
After the evacuation of Atlanta
having crossed to the north side of the Chattahoochee
swept around Allatoona
, and, appearing before Dalton
, demanded its surrender.
The little garrison held out until Wheeler
was driven away by General Steedman
, who came down from Chattanooga
pushed into east Tennessee
, made a circuit around Knoxville
, by way of Strawberry Plains, crossed the Clinch River
, went over the Cumberland Mountains
, and appeared before McMinnville
, and Lebanon
National cavalry, under Rousseau
, and Granger
, was on the alert, and soon drove the raiders into northern Alabama
, by way of Florence
had destroyed much property, his damage to Sherman
's communications was very slight.
After the war he engaged in law practice; was a Democratic Representative in Congress in 1881-99; commissioned major-general of volunteers, May 4, 1898; commanded the cavalry division of the Army of Santiago, taking part in the battles of Las Guasimas and San Juan
; and was senior member of the commission which negotiated the surrender of the Spanish
army and territory at Santiago
After a brief visit to the United States
he was assigned to command the 1st Brigade, 2d Division of the Army in the Philippines, where he served from August, 1899, till Jan. 24, 1900.
On the reorganization of the United States army he was appointed a brigadier-general (June 16, 1900), and was retired on Sept. 10 following.