A Soldier to the Last


A Soldier to the Last

Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler in Blue and Gray

Edward G. Longacre

320 pages


March 2008


$22.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler served in two armies, playing a major role in the development of Confederate cavalry in the Civil War's western theater, and, more than thirty years afterwards, commanded troops in the Spanish-American War. After leaving the U.S. Army to join the Confederacy, Wheeler served in artillery and infantry units before joining the cavalry. Subsequently, he fought at Shiloh, the Battle of Murfreesboro, and other engagements. As a cavalry commander in the Army of Tennessee from mid-1862 almost to the war's end, he raided Gen. William T. Sherman's lines of communication and contested his advance in the final Carolinas campaign. In addition to detailing Wheeler's Civil War experience, Edward Longacre discusses Wheeler's youth and education at West Point, his pre-Civil War service in the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, his postwar business, his political career as a congressman from Alabama, and his colorful service in Cuba as a major general of volunteers during the Spanish-American War. Longacre also seeks to correct errors and misconceptions about this Civil War figure that have become a part of the public record, making Joseph Wheeler's life and career accessible to a new generation of readers. A Soldier to the Last will be a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in Civil War history and U.S. military history.

Author Bio

Edward G. Longacre is the author of numerous biographies of Civil War generals. He is a recipient of the prestigious Fletcher Pratt Award for Civil War writing. He lives in Newport News, Virginia.


“Edward Longacre presents a sympathetic but judicious examination of one of the Confederacy’s most important cavalry officers.”—Journal of America’s Military Past

“There are not many who can match Longacre’s qualifications as a student of Civil War cavalry…he has executed his study of Wheeler effectively. His research in both primary and secondary sources is thorough; his narrative of events is clear and straightforward.”—Journal of Southern History

“This book is very well-written and edited. It has quality in construction. This is a great addition to your Confederate bookshelf. You will enjoy learning about General Wheeler.”—Lone Star

A Soldier to the Last is sure to reinvigorate studies of the Army of Tennessee’s frequently dysfunctional command and its strategic philosophies. It should also serve as a new platform to investigate Civil War historiography on the western theater, public memory, and reconciliation.”—Journal of Military History

“A solid biography of one of the more colorful characters to come out of the Civil War…An interesting and informative addition to the literature of the war.”—NYMAS Review

"'Fightin’ Joe' Wheeler has long been a controversial military figure. A West Point graduate and Indian fighter, the Georgia-born Wheeler led an infantry regiment at Shiloh before going on to the command of Confederate cavalry in the Western theater, wearing the stars of a major general by age twenty-six. After a postwar career in law and politics, Wheeler would again don a blue uniform to serve in the war with Spain. In A Soldier to the Last, Edward Longacre--preeminent authority on this period in American history--gives his readers a revealing, balanced, and insightful view of a most fascinating character."—Walter Brian Cisco, author of Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior, Conservative Statesman

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