Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Case of Brother vs. Brother in Company F, Tennessee & Alabama Vidette Cavalry: Private Ezekiel Richard Wheeler, my 2nd cousin 4x removed

Union Cavalryman

Previously I wrote about the Noblin Brothers who served on opposite sides of our Nation's greatest conflict.  The Noblin brothers are all my 1st cousins, 5x removed.  Younger brothers, Thomas and Samuel Noblin served in Company E, Arkansas 38th Infantry Regiment, C. S. A.  Their older brother, William Noblin served in Company F, Tennessee & Alabama Vidette Cavalry, U. S. A.  William Noblin's sister Nancy Noblin Bates' husband, Williston Bates, also served in Company E, Arkansas 38th Infantry Regiment. 

This branch of the family has yet another case of brother vs. brother.  William Noblin's wife, Celia Wheeler (my 2nd cousin 4x removed) had four brothers who served in the Civil War.  Three served in the Confederate Army, while another brother served in the Union Army.   Two of Celia's half brothers, Thomas Jefferson Wheeler and Harrison H. Wheeler, have been the focus of a previous blog entry regarding Company I, North Carolina 63rd Infantry Regiment/5th North Carolina Cavalry.  Another half brother, John Y. Wheeler served in Company E, North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment.  The North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment will be the focus of a future blog entry. 

Celia Wheeler's oldest brother, Ezekiel Richard Wheeler, served along side her husband, William Noblin in Company F, Tennessee & Alabama Vidette Cavalry in the Union Army.

Ezekiel Richard Wheeler

Ezekiel Richard Wheeler was born in Granville County, North Carolina on April 28, 1825.  He is my 2nd cousin 4x removed.  By 1850, Ezekiel and his family had relocated to Marshall County, Tennessee.  Ezekiel is shown in the 1850 Federal Census as farming and living in a house adjacent to his father, America Wheeler. 

Tennessee was a very volatile place in the early 1860's.  In 1861, Governor of Tennessee and my 1st cousin 6x removed, Isham Green Harris raised troops for the Confederate Army.  In 1862, the Union Army occupied Nashville and inserted provisional governor Andrew Johnson in place of Harris.  For the remainder of the war, Tennessee was governed by the United States Federal Government. 

Ezekiel wasn't quick to join the Union Army, but rather became so troubled by the way occupying Confederate soldiers treated his land and family that he finally enlisted in Company F, Tennessee & Alabama Vidette Cavarly on April 20, 1863.  Family lore claims Confederate soldiers would kill Ezekiel's pigs and then order his wife, Rachel Yarbrough Wheeler, to cook them. 

The official records indicate that Ezekiel was 38 years old at the time of his enlistment.

Enlistment Documents for Ezekiel Wheeler

The personal description lists him as being six feet tall, having grey eyes, dark complexion and hair.

Muster Document for Ezekiel

As stated in William Noblin's blog entry, Company F had only one officer and  73 men who were poorly armed, with the exception of about half a dozen squirrel rifles.   Ezekiel was also part of the garrison that was routed by Confederate forces at Tracy City, Tennessee on January 20, 1864. 

Family lore also tells a story of how Ezekiel's son, James Woodson Wheeler, was asked by his mother to deliver food and water to a hungry soldier who was hiding in their barn.  When James delivered the plate of food, he was surprised to see that the soldier was none other than his father.  Ezekiel had slipped through the Confederate lines at night and travelled home to see his family.  Following the brief visit with his family, as he made his way back to the Union Camp, he was fired upon by Confederate soldiers.  Their bullets tore two holes in his uniform, but failed to pierce Ezekiel. 

Ezekiel was mustered out of the Union Army on June 16, 1864 at Stevenson, Alabama.  The following is an affidavit made by 1st Lieutenant P. M. Radford of Company F, regarding the mustering out of Company F:

I, P. M. Radford 1st Lieut Co ‘F’ 1st Regt Indept Vidette Cavalry being duly sworn by the Judge Advocate of the District of Tenn. do hereby depose and say that the Regiment was ordered to rendezvous at Stevenson Ala to be mustered out of the U.S. service (by Maj. Gen. Thomas on the 24th day of May 1864).

That the company Tents – Arms etc – were turned over at Nashville by order – that the company waited at Stevenson in the woods outside the pickets until the 16th day of June when they were mustered out – they then waited until the 30th of June for the Paymaster when the Regt was ordered to Nashville to be paid.

That Sergt Rittenberry and Privates Asb. Smith, T J Ladd, W S Smith, WJ Biggers, Jas L. Roberts, and W R Carlton from exposure to heavy rains and extreme heat were obliged to be sent home sick. Biggers having a severe gun shot wound in the shoulder said men would probably have died had they not been sent home.

That they were not present at the Pay Table at Nashville and that they have not been paid for the time specified in their respective "Final Statement".

P M Radford
Late 1st Lieut 1st Regt Vidette Cav

Sworn to and subscribed before me at Nashville Tenn this 4th day of July 1864

W C Squire
Capt of act. J Adv of Dist of Tennessee

Muster Out Document for Ezekiel

He initially received a pension in the amount of $12.00/month.   It was later increased to $20.00/month. 

Ezekiel Wheeler's Pension Paper

Ezekiel and his family continued to live in Marshall County, Tennessee until 1869.  Another family story states that Rachel Yarbrough's brothers fought for the Confederacy.  Apparently her father, Joel Yarbrough, didn't take to kindly to the fact that Ezekiel fought for the Union.  He didn't like the fact that his daughter had married a Yankee, so he disowned her.  That part of the story in unknown, however Joel died in 1871 and Rachel was named in his will.  In any case, the Wheeler's initially moved to Livingston County, Kentucky in 1869.  Sometime before 1880, Ezekiel and his family further relocated to McCormick, Pope County, Illinois.  After the death of his wife, Rachel, in 1898 Ezekiel moved to Anna, Union County, Illinois with his son William Thomas Wheeler

Ezekiel Richard Wheeler lived an additional 42 years following the end of the Civil War.  He died in Anna, Union County, Illinois on July 10, 1907 at the age of 82.  He is buried in the Old Zion Cemetery, near McCormick, Illinois.

Here's my relation to Ezekiel:

Ezekiel Richard Wheeler (1825 - 1907)
is your 2nd cousin 4x removed
America Wheeler (1805 - 1880)
Father of Ezekiel Richard
Martin Wheeler (1775 - 1822)
Father of America
William Wheeler (1725 - 1780)
Father of Martin
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
Son of William
Benjamin Franklin Wheeler (1803 - 1883)
Son of Benjamin
Christopher Columbus Wheeler (1842 - 1912)
Son of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
Son of Christopher Columbus
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Benjamin Elliott
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

1 comment:

  1. Ezekiel is my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. The stories you've mention match the ones I've read from some cousins. Thanks for the article. Jwheeler62@aol.com