The name of Brevet
Brigadier Gen. Charles Wheelock was invoked several times by speakers during
a ceremony last Saturday under a picnic pavilion at Boonville's Erwin Park.
The pavilion was where people sought protection from the day's steady rain.
The gathering was there for the unveiling of a historical marker, in the
park near Route 12, honoring Boonville's 97th New York State Volunteer
Infantry Regiment, which Wheelock commanded.
What kind of man was this Civil War hero from Boonville? There's information
on a Wheelock genealogy website. Here's some of it:
Wheelock was "born in the town of Claremont, County of Sullivan and State of
New Hampshire, on the 14th day of December, 1812. He was the son of Daniel
and Lucinda Wheelock, who removed with their family when the subject of this
sketch was a mere lad and settled near the west bank of Black River, in the
town of Boonville, north-east of the village, on lands now owned and
occupied by Peter Ward and J. A. Fiske. His father was of English descent,
and his mother first saw the light on the famous battle ground of Lexington.
Her maiden name was Stewart. Two of her brothers took part in the
Revolutionary War, one of whom fell at the battle of Bunker Hill. General
Wheelock was married on the 20th day of May, 1835, to Miss Lucy Jones,
daughter of Hezekiah Jones, Esq., of Boonville, N.Y.
"Colonel Wheelock was a resident of Boonville for a period of forty years
prior to his entering the military service of the United States. Besides
attending to his farm affairs for the latter twenty years of his business
life, he was a stirring, energetic produce dealer, and a square and
honorable man. He was a member of the New York State Militia for ten years
and the last four held a captain's commission. He was offered the coloneley
but declined. He was about five feet ten inches in height, of florid
complexion, blue eyes, and possessed a heavy frame and strong muscular
power; and his usual weight was something over two hundred pounds. He
possessed a highly social nature but was a man of great determination; and
was keenly sensitive in his views of right and always ready to defend them.
He took a deep interest in politics and was a man of great influence with
men, and a strong man in electing his favorites, but never sought or would
accept office himself. General Wheelock was eminently domestic in his tast
es and sympathies. No man prized more the endearments of family ties; he
loved his home; his wife and children were most dear to him and he cherished
The website goes on to state that Wheelock was captured during the battle at
Gettysburg. "Colonel Wheelock began to devise means of escape, which he
effected, as aforementioned, on Sunday night in the darkness of the mountain
pass. Soon after Wheelock's return to his regiment, he was ordered to
Elmira, N.Y., with other officers of the Army of the Potomac, to take charge
of, and forward conscripts."
Wheelock died of an illness in a Washington, D.C. hospital in 1865. He is
buried in the Boonville cemetery, as are many other Civil War veterans.
Wheelock's grave marker is hard to miss.
Joe Kelly is the editor and publisher of The Boonville Herald & Adirondack Tourist and