Presented by Linda Cunningham Fluharty
DR. ALBERT P. WHEELER
Taken about 1862-1863
Physician & Surgeon, 6th West Virginia Infantry
Private, 103rd West Virginia State Militia.
[CDV image owned by Linda Fluharty.]
NOTE: This Carte de Visite image, taken in Louisville, Kentucky, came from an album that includes pictures of WHEELER, ROSE and BARCLAY family members of Ohio & Brooke Counties in West Virginia and Louisville, Kentucky. These families are connected in many ways. The owner of the album was SALLIE V. BARCLAY, daughter of JOHN R. BARCLAY and MARY H. ROSE. The original webpage was done about EMILY HOOPER ROSE. Mary H. Rose was probably the sister of Emily's father, ALBERT WHEELER ROSE. There are a number of images in the album that are not identified.
DR. ALBERT P. WHEELER was born Feb 14, 1807 in (West) Virginia, probably in Brooke County. The identities of his parents are not known at this time but his family was among the early settlers in Brooke County. A sister was probably MAHALA WHEELER, who became the wife of ULYSSES ROSE.
Dr. Wheeler married OPHELIA DUVAL, the daughter of ISAAC DUVAL and SARAH HARDING (Harden in the marriage record, Wheeling, Ohio County, W.Va.) on June 4, 1832 at Wheeling, Ohio County, (W) Virginia. Ophelia's brother was GENERAL ISAAC HARDIN DUVAL (Harding, according to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.).
Doctor Wheeler conducted a medical practice in Wellsburg and is found in the 1850 census records with his family. In 1849 and 1850, he was listed in the records of Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, as the preceptor for William Duval, Jr., apparently a medical student at the college.
Sometime after 1850, Dr. Wheeler and his family moved to Parkersburg, Wood County, (W) Virginia and he was working there as a physician when the Civil War started.
1850 Census Brooke County, (West) Virginia
A. P. Wheeler, 42, M. D., $1500, b Va.
Ophelia Wheeler, 36, b Va.
Chapline (or Chapman) Wheeler, 16, Student, b Va.
Sarah D. Wheeler, 14 , b Va.
Isaac Wheeler, 12, b Va.
Eliza Wheeler, 8, b Va.
Hanson Wheeler, 5, b Va.
Octavia Wheeler, 3, b Va.
Elizabeth, 17, (M)ulatto, b Va.
Bowman, 5, male, (B)lack, b Va.
1860 Census Wood County, (West) Virginia
A. P. Wheeler, 46, Physician, $400, b Va.
Ophilia Wheeler, 40, Wife, b Va.
Chapman H. Wheeler, 23, Railroad Clerk, b Va.
Sallie Wheeler, 20 , b Va.
Isaac T. Wheeler, 18, b Va.
Annia Wheeler, 15, b Va.
Octavia Wheeler, 11, b Va.
Rose Wheeler, 4, b Va.
Loyd Bonn, 14,
The hospital in Parkersburg was used by the government as a Post Hospital during the Civil War and Dr. Wheeler was appointed Physician & Surgeon of the 6th West Virginia Infantry.
The following letter, written by Dr. Wheeler was obtained from the West Virginia State Archives:
August 3d 1861
My Dear Friend,
The Gov gave me a letter to the acting officer here, requesting him to appoint me Physician & Surgeon to the Home Hospital of this point.
His Excellency said to me that as soon as you returned home my Commission would be furnished ----(illegible).
I will ---(illegible) until the Com reaches me. Please give it your immediate attention.
As for Dur(?), USA(?) may give the position to some other.
Most Truly Your
Friend and ObdServt
A P Wheeler
P. S. Please see Drs. Bates, Frissell & Baird and if reqd I will appear before them, and think they will not object.
Capt Gooddin will see you and be the bearer of dispatches.
According to Dr. Wheeler's Service Record from the National Archives, the date of his commission or appointment as Surgeon of the 6th (W) Virginia Infantry was August 1, 1861.
The Field & Staff Muster Roll for July and August 1862 indicates that Albert P. Wheeler, Surgeon, was "Discharged May 5, 1862 by order Maj. Gen. Fremont."
The Field & Staff Muster-Out Roll, dated June 10, 1865, states: "Dismissed the service by G. O. No. 22 Mountain Dept. Wheeling, Va., May 5, 1862. Not being properly mustered he was by order A.G.O. mustered to take effect at proper date by Major B. H. Hill."
Following his dismissal from the service, it must have been discovered that there was no record of his initial Muster-In. The following letter is from the West Virginia State Archives:
Washington, D. C. June 12, 1862
Parkersburg June 15, 1862
Copy of a Telegraphic Dispatch received at these Head Quarters
Washington D. C. June 12, 1862
Muster Surgeon Wheeler of the Sixth (6) Virginia Vol. into Service to date from commencement of Service.
Signed L. Thomas, A. G.
Parkersburg June 5, 186-(cut off)
I do hereby certify that in accordance with the above order I have mustered Surgeon Wheeler into the Service of the United States to take effect on the second day of August A. D. 1861.
This is General Order #22, Mountain Department, provided by the National Archives:
[Record Group 393, Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920, Part I, Geographical
Divisions and Departments, Entry 3131, Mountain Department, General Orders, 1862.]
The order is short on details and there is no specification of charges or findings as found in Court Martial proceedings. But, according to General Order No. 22, Dr. Wheeler was dismissed.
Letters obtained from the West Virginia State Archives provide some additional information about the possible reasons for his dismissal.
Parkersburg, Nov 21st 1861.
A letter signed by yourself has been handed me by our mutual friend, Dr. Wheeler, Post Surgeon at this place, with a request that I would reply to the same, as I deemed most proper. I have the honor, therefore, to state, that I arrived here on the eve of the 16th inst, and that on the following morning, in company with Dr. Geo. B. Parks, of Boston Mass, I went today through the hospital in charge of Dr. Wheeler,- our visit being entirely unexpected to Dr. W. -
It gives me great pleasure to testify to the extreme cleanliness, and excellent sanitary condition of the buildings used by Dr. W.; to his prompt, kind and judicious treatment of the patients under his care, and to express an individual opinion, that the place could not be better filled than by the present incumbent.
I have the honor to be, Truly Yours,
John M. Huntington
Capt. & A. Q. M. U.S.A
To H. W. Crothers Esq.
Post Hospital Parkersburg Va Nov 21st 1861
H. W. Crothers, Esq.
Dear Sir; As some person or persons are circulating malicious falsehoods in regard to Dr. A. P. Wheeler Post Surgeon, permit me to make to you a statement of facts. Dr. Wheeler is at the Hospital by 5 oclock any morning and is no time absent to discharging patients. I san say that he discharges no one unless he is fully able to do duty. As to the charge of drinking I would say that I have seen him at no time intoxicated or under the influence of liquor. But on the contrary, he is always here punctually and in no wise have I ever knew him to neglect his business in any manner. He is kind and benevolent to both patients and employees.
I have been in the employ of Dr. Wheeler at this Post ever since he came into office.
Wm. H. Host
I am also in the employ of Dr. Wheeler and certify that the above is correct. -- C. A. Matteson Ward master.
And I cook for Hospital Endorse Sts above -- L. W. Smith
I enclose these letters to you personally and confidentially wishing that you may continue Dr. Wheeler in the present position, and that a change would be wrong a great wrong to the service. Dr. Wheeler knows nothing of this letter. Only that I told him that I was going to send one to you.
W. H. Host
You will hear from Dr. Wheeler in two or thre days.
W. H. H.
Parkersburg, Nov 22nd 1861
Col. H. W. Carothers
It has been intimated to me that an effort is on foot to remove Doctor Wheeler from the Hospital which I am sorry to hear. As I am perfectly acquainted with the Doctor and familiar with him for many years and have had him practise in my family therefore, ought to know his ability as a physician would in all candor say it would be doing the Service a great injustice to remove him from the post he has performed all the Labors of the Post both Day & Night to my certain knowledge and I think he has been imposed upon in other words his labors have been more that any one man can perform. Will you do me the favor to do what you can to have him remain in his present position as it cannot be bettered.
Being an applicant for a Position in the Regular Army of Quarter Master with the Rank of Captain I would like to ask you what course is proper to pursue in order to get my papers before the proper persons in Washington City. If you are going I think you are the very man if not let me know who is going that would do me justice. Can you spare time to drop me a line in relation to this matter.
Q. M. Agent
Direct David Bell
Care Capt Huntington
Oct 29th 1862
Adjutant Genl Samuels
I hope you will pardon me for intruding upon your time, and truly, nothing but a sense of justice to an old friend induces me to write to you. I have learned from several sources that Dr. A. P. Wheeler has been represented as a Secessionist. Now I have only to say that no Gentleman would do himself such injustice, as for a moment to give evidence or more properly to put such a report in circulation. Dr. Wheeler is master of his profession, consequently has not to depend upon Humbugging or the downfall of others upon which to build a reputation. I know some persons here, through jealousy alone, have been seeking to injure the Doctor in order that they might get his place, and to some extent have succeeded. Dr. Wheeler may not be a popular man in his manners, yet as to his qualifications as a Surgeon or practicing physician no one capable of judging has a doubt. And truly, while I do not attempt to dictate, I think of all positions a competent man should fill that of Surgeon in the Army. I have no hesitancy in believing that fraud, or to say the heart of it, that false representations have been used to have Dr. Wheeler removed. It would give general satisfaction to the Doctor's friends and the Army generally to have the doctor reinstated. Dr. A. P. Wheeler is a thorough Graduate while neither of the present incumbents are. I am aware that the Department labors under embarrassments at times, owing to the pressing importunities of friends for situations, for particular favorites. Yet this is not Dr Wheeler's case. Dr. Wheeler stands before you alone on his preeminent qualifications as a Physician & Surgeon. I hope my dear sir that you will at once reinstate Dr. Wheeler as he is worthy and well qualified.
Believe me my dear sir
Your Obt Servt
J. W. Hoover.
Dr. Wheeler was residing in Brooke County, West Virginia by May 1, 1863, at which time he enrolled as a private in Capt. William C. Barclay's Company "A" of the 103 State Militia. He was on the roll dated July 26 1863. Capt. Barclay was, no doubt, related to Dr. Wheeler but that relationship has not been researched at this time.
Dr. Wheeler died July 28, 1863. His wife, Ophelia (Duval) Wheeler, died in 1886.
Isaac T. Wheeler, a son of Dr. Wheeler, served in Company "D" 14th West Virginia Infantry. His pension certificate is #610045. In 1901, his widow, Mary E. applied for a widow's pension. Her pension certificate is #519.724.