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Lot 97: 1864 Civil War Union Army Major General FRANK WHEATON Autograph Letter Signed
October 29, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1864 Union Major General FRANK WHEATON Rare ALS
FRANK WHEATON (1833-1903). Union Army Major General, a career military officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War and Indian Wars.
February 27, 1864-Dated Civil War, Autograph Letter Signed, "Frank Wheaton," 1 page, 5" x 8", at Harpers Ferry, Va., Choice Extremely Fine. Boldly written to United States Senator H. B. Anthony. It reads, in part: "... I would be very much obliged for one of the Secretary of Wars Reports... One of (General) McClellans reports and... two of the Conduct of the War reports."
This Civil War dated Letter with War-related content will make an excellent addition to any collection. Wheaton's father-in-law from his first marriage, General Samuel Cooper, was the ranking General for the Confederacy, whereas Wheaton fought for the Union.
When the Civil War started, Wheaton was commissioned as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry on July 10, 1861. His father-in-law from his first marriage, General Samuel Cooper, was the ranking general for the Confederacy, whereas Wheaton fought for the Union.
Wheaton's unit fought at the First Battle of Bull Run, where its commander, Col. John Slocum, was killed. Wheaton took command of the unit, was promoted to colonel effective July 21, 1861, and led the 2nd Rhode Island during the Peninsula Campaign, where he was commended for his actions at the Battle of Williamsburg. At the Battle of Antietam, the regiment was kept in the rear and out of the battle.
On November 29, 1862, Wheaton was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and placed in command of the 3rd Brigade (62d NY, 93d Pa, 98th Pa, 102 Pa & 139 Pa), 3rd Division, VI Corps. He led them in heavy fighting at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
His brigade, under the command of Colonel David J. Nevin of the 62nd New York, was the only brigade of the VI Corps to see action on the afternoon of the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg after completing a forced march of approximately 30 miles from Manchester, Maryland that day. At Gettysburg he commanded the 3rd Division while its commander, Maj. Gen. John Newton, temporarily commanded the I Corps, in place of John F. Reynolds.
Wheaton remained in command of the brigade during Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign in 1864, as well as during the subsequent Siege of Petersburg. His men were hurried by train to Washington, D.C., in time to help repel Jubal Early's raid on the capital.
During the ensuing operations in the Shenandoah Valley, under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, Wheaton was promoted to command of the first division after Brig. Gen. David Allen Russell was killed at the Third Battle of Winchester. His division fought well in subsequent battles.
In the Battle of Sailors Creek Virginia, on April 6, 1865, his division captured Confederate Major General G. W. Custis Lee, son of Robert E. Lee. After the return of VI Corps to the Petersburg front, Wheaton earned the brevet rank of Major General in the volunteer army and was brevetted colonel in the regular services.
After the Civil War, Wheaton joined the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States - a military society of officers who had served the Union.