CWRT flagge



Volume 33, No. 6 – June 2020

President’s Message

I hope that all our Round Table members and their families are well.  “Staying in place” offers the perfect opportunity to catch up on any Civil War books that you have been too busy to read.  At the present time the Lake Clarke Shores town hall is closed.  Hopefully, we will be able to meet in the fall.  We had booked speakers for the coming months and hope that we can schedule them for the coming year.

I thought that it would be interesting to know the origins of Memorial Day.  General Order No. Eleven written in 1868 by General John A. Logan designated that May 30th be set aside to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Civil War. I am pleased that this day of remembrance is still observed.

Gerridine LaRovere

The Origin of Memorial Day

General Order No. Eleven
Series 1868
Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, DC

May 5, 1868

LoganI The 30th of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of this country during the late rebellion and whose bodies lie in almost every city, village and hamlet church yard in the land.  In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances will permit.  We are organized comrades, as our regulations tell us for the purpose, among other things, of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.  What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breast a barricade between our country and its foe.  Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny arms.  We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.  All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.  Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds.  Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners.  Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or coming generations that we have forgotten as a people, the cost of a free and undivided republic.  If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, ours shall keep it well, as long as the light and warmth of garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of springtime, let us raise pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude the soldier’s widow and orphan.

II It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept from year to year, while a survivor of the war remain to honor the memory of his departed comrades.  He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III Department Commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By the Command of:

General John A. Logan
Commander-in-Chief Grand Army of the Republic


Getting to Know the Generals

Joseph Hooker

HookerGeneral Hooker was born on November 13, 1814 in Hadley, Massachusetts and was the grandson of an officer in George Washington’s Army.  He graduated from West Point in 1837.  Classmates included Braxton Bragg, Jubal Early, and John Sedgewick.  After graduation he was posted in Florida, then the Canadian border, and also taught at West Point. Hooker participated in the Mexican War where local girls called him “Handsome Captain.”  In 1853, he resigned from the army and became a farmer in Sonoma, California.

Hooker returned to military service obtaining a brigadier’s commission and served in Washington, DC in 1861.  Then. Hooker commanded a division at Williamsburg in May, 1862 where he won the sobriquet “Fighting Joe.”  He also saw action during the Seven Days’ Battles, Second Bull Run, and Antietam where he was wounded.

Tall, handsome, brash, and boastful, Hooker criticized Ambrose Burnside’s leadership of the Army of the Potomac.  In December 1862, President Lincoln gave Hooker the command of the troops.  The President wrote to him, “What I now ask of you is military success.”  Hooker earned praise for reorganizing the army, improving conditions at winter camps, and building morale.  However, his camp was well-known for parties and gambling.

In April, 1863 the General wrote “I have the finest army on the planet.  I have the finest army the sun ever shone on.  If the army does not run, God help him.  My plans are perfect.  May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none.”  As Hooker reached Chancellorsville, everything started to go wrong.  Lee divided his much smaller army in thirds and defeated the Union forces.  Hooker’s commented on his loss, “For once, I lost confidence in Joe Hooker.”  He redeemed himself during the Gettysburg campaign by successfully screening Washington and Baltimore from attack.

He resigned from the Potomac Command.  Then, Hooker led the XI and XII corps from Virginia to Tennessee to reinforce Grant in late 1863.  In the spring of 1864, he commanded XX Corps during the opening phases of the Atlanta campaign.  When Oliver O. Howard, who served under him at Chancellorsville was promoted over him, Hooker asked to be relieved of duty in July of 1864.

Hooker remained in the service until the end of the War.  He retired from the army on October 15, 1868 after a stroke left him partially paralyzed.  He died on October 31, 1879 while visiting Garden City, New York.  He was laid to rest next to his wife, Olivia Augusta Groesbeck in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Joseph Wheeler

WheelerGeneral Wheeler was born in Augusta, Georgia on September 10, 1836.  He was the grandson of a Brigadier General who served in the Revolutionary War.  Although he had a limited education and barely met the height requirement, he received an appointment to West Point in 1854.  He graduated 19th out of 22.   Wheeler was assigned military duty out West.

On April 22, 1861 he resigned his commission and became a colonel in the 19th Alabama Infantry.  Wheeler fought in the Battle of Shiloh, April 1862 and was then reassigned to the cavalry.  He demonstrated an aggressive leadership style that earned him the nickname, “Fighting Joe.”  Due to his stature, he was also called “Little Joe” and “War Child.”  After the Battle of Perryville and the Battle of Stones River, he was promoted to major general.  Wheeler also saw action at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.  As the war was drawing to a close, Wheeler’s troops were practically the only ones contending Sherman’s March to the Sea.  On February 18, 1865, he was made a lieutenant general.  He was captured in May, 1865 and held prisoner until June, 8 1865.

After the War he was a merchant in New Orleans and, then, a cotton planter in Wheeler, Alabama which was named after him.  He married widowed Daniella Jones Sherrod and they had seven children.  Wheeler became a lawyer and entered politics.  He served in the House of Representatives from 1885 to 1900.

During the Spanish-American War President McKinley appointed Wheeler a major general of volunteers.  The appointment was hailed throughout the country as a healing of the wounds of the Civil War.  Wheeler commanded a cavalry division in the war and took part in the Battle of San Juan Hill.

Later he was sent to the Philippines in command of brigade but soon returned to the United States to be commissioned a brigadier general in the regular army in September. 1900.

He retired on his 64th birthday and lived in Brooklyn, New York until his death on January 25, 1906. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Last changed: 06/14/20