• Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Exchanges Prisoners Of War

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    Manuscript Document Signed, one-page, 4 x 5 ½, and reads "Recd of Maj. Genl. Wheeler C.S.A. one Capt & one 2d Lieut (Prisoners of War) to be credited on list of exchange agreed upon Feby 29th 1865."


    Signed lightly in pencil by USA Capt W.H. Day, Captain & Provost Marshall, Kilpatrick Cavy.


    In May 1865, a few months after the prisoners referred to in this document were exchanged, Wheeler was taken prisoner along with three of his officers. He was imprisoned for two months, first at Fort Monroe and then in solitary confinement at Fort Delaware, where he was paroled on June 8th.  During his career, Wheeler was wounded three times, lost 36 staff officers to combat and had 16 horses shot out from under him.  Military historian Ezra J. Warner believed that Wheeler’s actions leading cavalry were second only to those of Bedford Forest.


    Wheeler entered the Confederate Army on March 16, 1861 in the Georgia state militia artillery and was assigned to Pensacola, FL, reporting to Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg. He was ordered to Huntsville, AL, to take control of the newly formed 19th Alabama Infantry Regiment and was promoted to Colonel on September 4th.

    He was transferred to the cavalry branch and commanded the 2nd Cavalry Brigade of the Left Wing in the Army of Mississippi.  In December 1862, the Union Army of the Cumberland began to advance against Bragg’s army and Wheeler, commanding all of the Army of Tennessee’s cavalry, skirmished aggressively to delay their advance. He destroyed hundreds of wagons and captured more than 700 prisoners. After the Battle of Stone’s River, as Bragg’s army withdrew to the Duck River line, Wheeler struck the Union supply lines at Harpeth Shoals, burning three steamboats and capturing more than 400 prisoners. Bragg recommended Wheeler’s promotion to major general on January 20, 1863.  Wheeler and his troops later received the thanks of the Confederate Congress on May 1, 1863.


    During Union Maj. Gen. William Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, Sherman sent two large cavalry columns to destroy the railroads supplying the defenders of Atlanta. With fewer than 5,000 men, Wheeler defeated the enemy raids, resulting in the capture of commanding Maj. Gen. George Stoneman, the highest-ranking Union prisoner of war.


    Document is in very good condition.


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