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Federal (USV)


Charles Wheaton, Jr.

(1835 - ?)

Home State: Rhode Island

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was a 25 year old dry goods clerk living with his parents in Warren, Bristol County, RI. He was commissioned First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry on 24 May 1861, and mustered into Federal service with them the next day, Colonel George H Gordon, commanding. On 26 July 1862 he was appointed Captain and Commissary of Subsistence, US Volunteers and ordered to newly-promoted Brigadier General Gordon's staff. Also on the General's staff, at least into August 1862, was then-Lieutenant Robert Gould Shaw of the 2nd Massachusetts.

On the Campaign

He was with General Gordon on the Maryland Campaign. In his after-action Report the General said of him:

To Capt. Charles Wheaten, jr., my aide, I am again indebted for valuable services, ever exposed and ever ready to move cheerfully into dangers, at a time when I was deprived of the valuable services of my adjutant-general, Captain H. B. Scott, who was worn out by fatigue and exposure in the Army of the Potomac.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 9 June 1865 and mustered out of Volunteer service on 31 May 1866. He was honored by brevets to Major (March 1865), Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel (December 1865) for his war service.

After the War

He was commissioned Captain in the 33rd United States Infantry (Regular Army) on 17 July 1867 and was on Reconstruction duty - including as acting Comptroller of Georgia, transferred to the 23rd US Infantry on 31 December 1870, and retired on 22 June 1889.

By 1900 he was living on his Army retirement in Detroit, MI with his wife and two sons; Charles III, born in Nebraska, and William Brayton Wheaton, born in Kansas. In 1910, by then a widower, he was living in Detroit with his daughter Mary Louise, who was born at Fort Bliss, Texas.

References & notes

His military service from Heitman,1 his Compiled Service Records,2, and Letters Received by the Adjutant General, 1861-1870, National Archives, the last two online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860-1910.

He married Rebecca Stafford Brayton (1842-bef.1910) in March 1865 and they had 5 children.


05/30/1835; Warren, RI


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 1022  [AotW citation 28564]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who served in US Volunteer organizations enlisted for service during the Civil War, Record Group No. 94 (Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 28565]