May 18
Lieutenant William Wheeler (1836-1864) commanded the 13th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 26, 1863 he wrote a letter to his grandfather and aunt. Here are some relevent highlights: “By 4½ P.M. (on July 1, 1863) my ammunition was exhausted, and Major Osborne, our new Chief of Artillery, relieved my Battery with another, and sent mine back to replenish; at the same time he asked me to remain with him and assist him in his very arduous duties, as he had charge of all the batteries on Cemetery Hill, and his regular adjutant was completely used up. This exactly suited me, as my blood was up, and I did not like the idea of going back with my Battery. Until nightfall I was hardly out of fire once, and I was raised to the highest pitch of excitement; the danger was so great and so constant that, at last, it took away the sense of danger. I placed several batteries on the hill, under the Major’s orders, and at length I went back to the Artillery Reserve to bring up a supply of ammunition…Major Osborne has forwarded a new demand for my commission to Governor Seymour, and accompanied the request with expressions of approbation, both toward me and the Battery, which have made me feel very proud (Editor’s Note: Wheeler was promoted to Captain on October 12, 1863). I have enjoyed the Major’s society greatly. He is a gentleman and a soldier, a most energetic and gallant man, and he contributed greatly, by the management of his artillery, in restoring their lost prestige so brilliantly to the Eleventh Corps.” This image was taken circa the 1860s.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey is our host for a series on the Eleventh Army Corps during the Battle of Gettysburg. Stuart had two relatives in the Eleventh Corps (73rd Ohio Infantry Regiment) and both were killed/mortally wounded at Gettysburg. They are both buried in the National Cemetery. Stuart has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2004.

In addition to tours at Gettysburg National Military Park, Stuart also conducts tours at other historic sites in North America and Europe. He invites you to have a look at his website: www.battlegroundhistorytours.com.

Previous entries in the Eleventh Corps series can be found here.

In today’s Eleventh Corps post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey discusses the actions of some Eleventh Corps artillery units commanded by William Wheeler and Lewis Heckman after the batteries reached Cemetery Hill.

To email Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey, please click here to reveal his address.

This map shows the location of where our Eleventh Corps at Gettysburg videos were produced. Videos #1-#111 were shown on other maps on our previous posts. Video #112 was taken on Cemetery Hill near the area of Wheeler’s 13th Independent Battery New York Light Artillery. Video #113 was taken at the area occupied by Lewis Heckman’s Battery K, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. Video #114 was taken near the area of Hubert Dilger’s Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. This map was created facing north at approximately 9:00 PM on Saturday, May 14, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey is the host for our Eleventh Corps series. He is standing on Cemetery Hill. The artillery pieces and monument in the left background mark the location of Battery A, First Massachusetts Light Artillery. Behind Stuart is the monument to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. On the right is the brick rostrum. This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

In Video #112 (Videos #1-#111 were shown in our previous Eleventh Corps posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey is standing in the Soldiers National Cemetery on Cemetery Hill. He explains the action taken by Lieutenant William Wheeler and his 13th Independent New York Artillery. This view was taken facing south at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey is still in the Soldiers National Cemetery on Cemetery Hill. In the right background are guns and the monument to Captain Wallace Hill’s Battery C, First West Virginia Artillery. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

In Video #113 Licensed Battlefield Guide Stuart Dempsey is standing in the Soldiers National Cemetery on Cemetery Hill. He explains the action taken by Lewis Heckman’s Battery K, First Ohio Light Artillery. This view was taken facing north at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

Stuart Dempsey has returned to the eastern part of the Soldiers National Cemetery. The Evergreen Cemetery Gatehouse is in the background. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

In Video #114 Stuart Dempsey is standing by the monument to Taft’s Fifth New York Independent Battery. He explains how pleased that Major Thomas Osborne was following the performance of his Eleventh Corps artillery at Gettysburg. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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