This poem recounts an imaginary conversation in Heaven between Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Union General Philip Sheridan. The subject of their discussion is General Joseph Wheeler, a Confederate cavalry commander in the Western Theatre who opposed General William Tecumseh Sherman on his famous "March to the Sea" and fought in the Carolinas in the closing days of the War.

Following the War, Wheeler served as a commission merchant and as a United States Congressman. When the Spanish-American War began, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Major General of Volunteers, fighting alongside Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill. He retired from the U.S. Army as a Brigadier General in 1900. When Wheeler died in 1906, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, the only Confederate general to be accorded that honor. (Wheeler was not, however, the only Confederate general to serve in the U.S. Army after the War; Major General Matthew C. Butler, Brigadier General Thomas Rosser, and Lieutenant General Fitzhugh Lee, the nephew of General Robert E. Lee and the Governor of Virginia, also saw action during the Spanish-American War.)

The sentiments expressed by Generals Jackson and Sheridan in this poem are typical of those shared by many old veterans in the waning years of the 19th century as they united in the face of a common enemy.

"Joined the Blues"

This page is
Last modified 18-April-2001