He would serve under the Stars and Stripes and the Stars and Bars in major wars.
Born in Augusta, Joseph Wheeler graduated near the bottom of his class at West Point. He earned the nickname “Fighting Joe” in the U.S. Army on the western frontier. But his courage and skill as a Confederate cavalry commander earned him lasting fame. He fought in over 200 battles and had 16 horses shot out from under him. In October 1862 he was promoted to brigadier general and served with distinction until the end of the war.
Afterwards, Wheeler spent nearly 20 years as a Democrat in Congress. During the Spanish–American War in 1898, Wheeler volunteered to serve again in the U. S. Cavalry in Cuba, and later fought Philippine rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo.
At his death in 1906, Fighting Joe Wheeler was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, one of only two Confederate generals who lie there. The man considered the embodiment of the reunion of North and South was born September 10, 1836, Today in Georgia History.