Betty (Wheeler) Fields
paternal grandfather was Ransom Christopher Wheeler (29th GA Volunteer Infantry
Regiment, C.S.A.; born
Corporal Ransom C. Wheeler, C.S.A.
(by his great-great grandson, Randy Young, W.D. Mitchell Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #163, Thomasville, Georgia)
29th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, C.S.A.
Siege, July 1863; Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863; Chattanooga Siege,
September-November 1863; Chattanooga, November 23-25, 1863; Atlanta Campaign,
May-September 1864; Atlanta Siege, July-September 1864; Franklin,
Ransom C. Wheeler proudly served under the flag of the Confederacy while a part
of the 29th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, comprised mostly of men from
as a young man growing up in
placid period of peaceful existence lasted until the spring of his 28th year.
It was then that his state of
True to duty, Ransom Wheeler volunteered for service to his state and new country in the newly formed Confederate Army. This decision would lead to the greatest adventure of his lifetime.
His regiment, the 29th Georgia Volunteer Regiment, was led by Captain William D. Mitchell, who organized his men along lines similar to those of other companies. There were four lieutenants, seven sergeants, and four corporals. The lieutenants included A. Q. Moody, J. Blackshear Jones, T. N. Gandy, and John James. When the official appointments came through that fall, Mitchell declared that he and his fellow officers "accept the Commissions."
Thomas County has a voting population of about one thousand - of these she has sent out six organized companies, and in the latest response to the Governor, one more to make seven companies, besides nearly 100 men in other companies organized in adjoining counties - aggregating about seven-hundred and fifty men out of one thousand voters. Others counties in the state may have done better than this - it is not my object to disparage any, but to do justice to those I know. All honor and glory to whom honor and glory belong!
29th Georgia Volunteers left Thomas County from the bustling train depot of the
county seat of Thomasville on
next few years of life in the war for Ransom Wheeler and the Twenty-Ninth
Georgia was one of constant movement, but limited action. Under the leadership
arm of Department of South Carolina and
September 1862, several companies of the Twenty-Ninth were stationed with the
P.G.T. Beuregard, as overall commander of the
Department of South Carolina,
was in July of 1863 that the Twenty-Ninth engaged in its first heavy fighting
in the exchanges around
the fall of `63, the Twenty-Ninth was part of Braxton Bragg's Army of
Tennessee, and was part of the many battles around Chattanooga, including
Mission Ridge, Dalton, and the vicious battle of Chickamauga, where new
regiment commander Colonel William J. Young lost his right arm (which would
lead to his eventual discharge), and Captain Mitchell was wounded. Totaled,
there were nearly 35,000 casualties in this lone, awesome firefight in the
1864, Corporal Wheeler and his regiment were heavily involved in the bitter
Corporal Wheeler wrote:
It is with great pleasure that I address you with a few lines which is in answer to your very kind letter which came to hand on yesterday bearing the date of July 8, which gave me great pleasure to receive. It found me not very well, though by no means bad off. I have the direut with some fever, but I hope to be better soon. I hope these few lines may find you and the family well. As for news I have none worth your attention.
We are now lying in line for battle, resting, and have been for the past 8 days. I do not think we will stay here much longer, but some think the great battle will be fought here in a few days. As for my part, I can not say but I hope the Almighty God will crown us with a victory over the enemy and enable us to restore peace once more in our once free and happy land, as I think a defeat of the this Yankee army would end this cruel civil war.
are now on the south side of the
Sister, we have some very nice meetings up here. I saw five soldiers baptised on Friday last, and six joined the Methodist church yesterday. Right here at our Regiment there is to be preaching this morning and I think there will be some more who will join today.
I have some bad news to write you. My little captain died on the 14th day of
June from wounds received in battle. On the 15th day of June my company lost
seven men and six have been wounded since we left
Mr. Stringer sends his love and best respects to you. As I have nothing to write, I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon. Give my love to all inquiring friends, and my best wishes to Mrs. Mumford and her mother and the same to Uncle Dick Taylor.
I remain as ever, your true brother, R. C. Wheeler.
Write as soon as you get time."
days later, on
Wheeler was held as a prisoner of war in the infamous confines of
hampered by his wounds, Wheeler nonetheless quickly rejoined his compatriots of
this bitter battle, Cpl. Wheeler was again wounded, this time in the left arm.
He was admitted to Confederate States of
recuperating from his wounds and returning to what was left of his home,
Wheeler moved to Leon County, Florida and served as overseer of Walters
Plantation, near Miccousukee. After a few years of
work on the plantation, he saved enough money to purchase a piece of land in
Wheeler was very proud of his rank of corporal in the Confederate army, and many times in his long life he said he "preferred to hold this position as it allowed (him) to suffer hardships with the soldiers." When asked while applying for his Confederate pension by whose authority he had left the war, he stated "By two Yankee bullets - one in my thigh and one in my shoulder."
Ransom Wheeler's Family, 1895, Claudia Roddenberry, Georgia Virginia Norwood Roddenberry, Gussie Roddenberry Walker, Louisiana, Nick, Ransom, John, Ramsey Wheeler
endearing example of the heart of Corporal Wheeler is shown by his adoption of
Joe, a tiny negro baby, who was left behind by his parents in
years after the war, while on business in
true to his God, Ransom served as steward in the
Corporal Ransom C. Wheeler's passing did not diminish the memory of the gallant display of his love for family and homeland, and his service to the South as a member of the 29th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Confederate States of America still today wells pride in the hearts of his ancestors. Long may his example, alongside countless others who valiantly served for their homeland, be revered and remembered!
Jake: “Randy Young is the grandson of D.C., son of
Aunt Emma and nephew of Daddy, thus our second or third cousin. He
I had not
seen this article and appreciate you telling about it. However, I did a
lot of the struff but did learn some new . I have
told him before of Daddy said about that “adoption”. Seems the ex-slave stayed
on after freedom until he
got in a “cutting scrape”
but another man and had to had the
area in a hurry. As he left, as Daddy reported it, he asked Grandmother to keep his son. She did until
he turned “sorry” and she
chased him off! Randy likes the more romantic story.
Nick Harris Wheeler was cousin Nick of Tallahassee. Uncle of Uncle Gus. His mother, Gus’s first wife died in child-birth or shortly afterwards. Grandmother raised him along with Daddy which have him more like a brother. Gus was the oldest brother, Daddy the youngest which made and him and Nick near in age. Ramsay was slightly older.
Walter was son of Ed and Aunt Bobbie. He was killed in 1944 in
Betty: “Walter Wheeler was a Lt in WW11. He
was the son of Uncle Ed and Aunt Bobbie who lived two houses down from
Betty: "They said that when Grandpa Wheeler
prayed in church he always knelt and his prayers brought tears to the
congregation. He was said to have been a beautiful Christian man who really
disciplined his children. Today, it
would probably be classified as child abuse, but back then, it was taking them
out behind the barn. I never heard an
unkind word about him. Grandma Wheeler
was a smart woman. Could talk to you
about any subject, loved to read. She
nor Grandpa were school educated, but were self educated. He was a Corporal in the Georgia Regiment,
wounded twice in the battle of
Betty: “Man talked a lot about his mother. she didn’t have a formal education, but could talk to you about almost any subject. very smart person. she was 20 years younger than grandpa wheeler . she died before i was born. i never got to see any of my grandparents which always hurt me. mama was pregnant with me when her mother died in l93l. she died during a church service. she lived with man and mamaw next door to the old country church. aunt jenny died in her 90s. aunt jenny was mans aunt, so she was really my great aunt. people really aged back then. grandpa wheeler was old when man was born as man was the last to be born. they did not have viagra back then either.!”
Here's a picture of a 1942 Wheeler Reunion. L-R and F-B: Lula Buckhalt, "Papa Gus" Wheeler (oldest child), Aunt Sissy (Georgia Virginia; Man's mother's sister), Mamie Wheeler (wife of Gus), Mamaw, Emma Duren (wife of Clarence), Stella Wheeler (wife of Charlie), Ruby Wheeler (wife of Jim), Bobbie Wheeler (wife of Ed), Ramsay Wheeler, Man, Clarence Duren, Charlie Wheeler, Jim Wheeler, and Ed Wheeler. Compare it to a picture of a November 2004 Wheeler Reunion below. Betty is third from right, seated. Jake is next to her, and Chris next to Jake.
John (a.k.a Man) started at the Thomasville Times Enterprise as a janitor (age, 15). He started learning the linotype, and worked up in the company. He wanted to start his own print shop but didn't have any money. The editor probably backed him. Our family had to move into an apartment above the print shop for two to three years.
J.P. Wheeler’s WW1 Draft Card
buried near Miccosukee FL [father of Ransom C]
RANSOM CHRISTOPHER 10/3/1832 - 1/3/1919
LOUISIANA MISSOURI NORWOOD 6/9/1853 - 1/6/1929
WILLIAM AUGUSTUS--GUS 8/7/1872 - 3/14/1955
m. Mattie Harris 8/3l/1883 - 5/9/1904
m. Annie Ward 7/28/1887 -5/9/1904
m Mamie ?
THOMAS T. 5/27/1874 - 12/6/1903
CHARLIE HENDRY 11/14/1880 - 11/12/1964
m. Stella 3/2/1880 - 8/1/1951
RUSSELL E. 3//7/1883 - 2/7/1909
m. Reno Duren
m. Clarence Duren [Reno’s son]
EDWARD C. 1888 - 1970
m. Bobbie L. 1890 - 1966
JOHN PERRY 3/26/1897 - 12/8/1978
m. Addie Rucell Phillips 1/21/1901 –
Ivy Phillips, born
Crawford Phillips, born
Gilbert Phillips, born
Harmon Eugene Phillips, born
Eugene Phillips, Jr., born
Beulah Phillips, born
Lee Phillips, born
Virginia Mae Phillips, born 10/?/20
Charlie Murray Phillips, born
Mary Charlene Phillips, born 5/10/?
Charles Larry Phillips, born 4/13/?
Arthur Franklin Phillips, born 4/13/?
Eidie Arrie Phillips, born
Saxon Powell, born
Murry O'neal Powell, born
Alice Powell, born
Esther Powell, born
Andrew Clyde Phillips, born
Perry Wheeler, born
June Wheeler, born
Rucell's Mom and Dad were separated. Rucell was the baby of the family. She had a brother, they just called “Uncle,” in Bainbridge. Ainey was Mom’s sister. Betty on her mother (Memaw): “I think of her pound cake, turnip greens, lemon cheese cake, fish fries in the b ack yard, her love of fishing, playing cards, slot machines, Bingo, Elks Club, her love of the her grandkids, keeping ice water in the fridge and her Coca Colas which she tried to hide from Zack. That's a funny story.”
John and Rucell Wheeler
John and Rucell honeymooned in
Man was born in Thomas County, GA, and lived his entire life there--from farmer to printer. He wanted to be a doctor. He died 8 Dec. 1978 of a heart attack. Was taken ill on the Friday before, went to the hospital on 5 Dec. and died about 12:20 p.m. on the 8th. The last time Betty and Memaw saw him was on the night of the 7th and he turned over and flapped his right hand goodbye.
John and Rucell Wheeler’s 50th Wedding Anniversary
Wheeler, Jr., known to friend and foe alike as Jake died
....... No cause for death was given but since he was cared
for by several -logists---ocono-,
urolo-. opthama-. dermata-, neur-, as well as two primary
physicians and a surgeon---any number of things might have taken him off.
Jake was a life-time resident of Thomasville, Georgia, but was out of town for half a century. That time was spent mostly at Hollins University [now College] in Roanoke, Virginia, where he met classes and occasionally deaned. When asked how many students he had had he replied, "about 2%." When asked about his relationships with faculty during his various deandoms, he replied, "Well, I wish they had some time charged me with just plain incompetence, not always with conspiracy."
He and Edna Gertrude Grubb of Mt. Pleasant, Florida, were married in June 1950 and lived some 50+ tumultuous years together, producing along the way five children. Alas, Dan, the oldest son died of AIDS in 1989 but in his last year of life taught the others of us how to live. The other four children, Mary [Cricket], Amy, Joshua and Zachariah, are currently dutifully employed and have never been incarcerated. Three of them have produced heirs, four girls and a boy---Molly, Ruffin, Chloe, Allison, and Katie.
He is also survived by two sisters...Christine Pittman of Hickory, North Carolina, and Betty Fields of Hendersonvillle, North Carolina. And from them two nieces and two nephews.
Jake did not want a funeral but his friends are invited by the house to meet the family and to have a drink if that doesn't shock Thomasville too much.
Since there will be no funeral, flowers are not expected. [He regrets that potential loss of business to a cousin, Jimmy Singletary, who runs the finest florist shop in Thomasville.] If you are inclined to contribute to something try Safe Haven in Thomasville, the National Democratic Party [which badly needs funds...and votes], or Hollins University [please specify the Jake Wheeler professorship since that is still short of full funding].
January 20, 2011
John Perry ‘Jake’ Wheeler Jr.
The Times Enterprise Thu Jan 20, 2011, 07:13 PM EST
John Perry “Jake” Wheeler, Jr. passed away on January 19, 2011. Born on April 18, 1928, he was a lifelong resident of Thomasville, Georgia, except for being “out-of-town” for the period of 1946-1997. During that 51-year absence, Jake enlisted in the Army Air Corp, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, taught at Middlebury College in Vermont, taught and served as Dean and Vice President at Hollins College (now University) in Virginia, authored numerous works on American constitutional law, served 27 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve rising to the rank of Captain, ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for Virginia’s 6th District in 1962, served on the Roanoke City School Board, and hosted “Jake Wheeler’s Nightline” on Blue Ridge Public Television for 13 years. Throughout this period to his passing he was married to his beloved college sweetheart Edna Gertrude Grubb (“Trudy”) whom, because of her never aging beauty, he often suspected married him just to change her maiden name. When recently asked the secret of a successful marriage, Jake stated, “The husband should always have the last word…provided it is ‘Yes, dear.’” Together, Jake and Trudy somehow found the time to produce and raise 5 children, all of whom they took with them to live in Trinidad and Tobago, where Jake served as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of the West Indies from 1965-66, and to London, England, where he directed Hollins College’s study abroad program from 1975-78 (a program he founded as Dean). Upon his retirement from Hollins in 1997, he was awarded the Hollins Medal, given by the University’s Board of Trustees to those individuals who embody the ideals and values of the institution. An avid traveler, Jake’s most satisfying professional experiences came towards the end of his career, leading 55 trips mainly to England and Scotland, but also to Ireland, France, Spain, Central Europe, and Greece. Proclaiming Jake as their “Fearless Leader,” a total of 850 old and newfound friends joined him on these learning vacations. When Jake retired from Hollins in 1997, Roanoke resident and repeat trip participant Bob Fishburn described what Jake did to make the trips so popular. "He gets up in front of the bus and says outrageous things, gives a little history and plays a little music. The major attraction is just Jake." Jake was predececeased by his father, John P. Wheeler, Sr. of Thomasville, Georgia, a printer described by his son as “the smartest man I ever knew,” and his mother, Addie Rucell Phillips of Miller County, Georgia, who often threatened Jake with a switch but “never used it” and “spoiled me rotten.” John and “Cell” also had two daughters: Christine Pittman, of Hickory North Carolina, who sadly passed away on January 18, 2011, and Betty Fields, currently of Hendersonville, North Carolina. Jake is survived by Trudy, his “first” wife of 61 years; daughter Mary (“Cricket”), a college admissions officer at Meredith College of Raleigh, North Carolina, her children Molly and Ruffin, and new husband Paul, a researcher into children’s respiratory diseases; daughter Amy of Thomasville, Georgia, a volunteer at an AIDS service organization and caretaker of her parents; son Josh, a constitutional law attorney in Charlottesville, Virginia, his wife Susan, a fundraiser for public television, and their daughters Chloe and Katie; son Zach of Thomasville, Georgia, Vice President for Human Resources at Archbold Medical Center and Colonel in the US Army Reserves, his wife Stacy, a registered nurse, and their daughter Allison. Jake’s eldest son, Dan, died in 1989, an early victim of the AIDS virus. Per Jake’s instructions, there will be no funeral, but a memorial service will be held at Hollins University at a date to be determined. It was Jake’s final wish that those who wish to send flowers please consider instead making a donation to one of the following: Hollins University, P.O. Box 9629, Roanoke, VA 24020 (ph) 800-Tinker1; in Roanoke, Virginia; Safe Haven (an AIDS services group), P.O. Box 1533, Thomasville, GA 31799 (ph) 229-226-9310; The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression (a First Amendment advocacy organization), 400 Worrell Dr., Charlottesville, VA 22911 (ph) 434-295-4784. Condolences can be sent to 122 N. Love Street, Thomasville GA 31792. Jake left the world “believing in a God of Grace, and hoping for an epitaph reading, ‘he made his world a little brighter.’” Those fortunate to know this man of incredible civility, intellect, and humor, have to agree that he earn his desired epitaph.
CHRISTINE WHEELER PITTMAN
JOHNSON CITY, TN – Christine Wheeler Pittman passed away on January 18, 2011 at NHC Healthcare facility. She lived her entire adult life in Hickory, NC, until moving to Johnson City, TN in 2008 to be closer to her daughter. She was born on August 31, 1922 in Thomasville, GA. Christine was preceded in death by her parents, Addie and John P. Wheeler, and her husband, Perry L. Pittman. She was joined in death by her brother, John P. “Jake” Wheeler, Jr., who passed away on January 19, 2011. Christine is survived by her sister, Betty W. Fields, of Hendersonville, NC; her sister-in-law, Trudy G. Wheeler of Thomasville, GA; her son, Ronald W. Pittman and wife, Jackie of Columbus, NC; her daughter, Elaine P. Eidson and husband, Robert, of Johnson City, TN; her grand children Mike and wife Nancy Pittman, Amy and husband Matt Dean, Zachary and wife Valerie Eidson and Robert and wife Cora Eidson; and three great grand children. Mrs. Pittman was a life-long member of First Baptist Church in Hickory, NC. After working for many years in the education department at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Christine and her husband owned and managed The Garden Spot. Services for Christine will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, Jan 22, 2011 at Bass-Smith Funeral Home chapel. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Betty was born on Hall Road in Thomasville. She was five years old when she was playing with Charlene in Lenna's yard. A dog was scratching in the garden. Mom tried to run the dog off and the dog bit Mom on her ankle. A police officer tracked the dog down, got scratched by the dog, and became infected with rabies. Uncle took Mom to the Doctor's office. She received 21 shots.
Jake: "Our early years coincided with Shirley Temple's rise to national consciousness. I think that Betty [along with her parents] thought Shirley would not last and that Betty would be her replacement. So they were always running her out at every family gathering to tap dance and sing. She did very well for having no talent. You can picture your mother in a frilly short skirt whirling around singing 'On the Good Ship, Lollypop.' Of course, there was not a single ounce of jealousy in me."
Mom was ten years old at Ann Peyton’s birthday party. Ann received a baton as one of her gifts. A dog was chained to a stake in the back yard. One of the girls at the party threw the baton near the dog. Mom went to get it and the dog bit Mom on her arm. She received booster shots that time.
the air raids in
Betty: “I grew up going to the
Mom went to Plain Dealing, LA, to live with Pitt for 18 months (middle of 10th grade, age 16). Betty: "I spent several days at LSU when I was living with Chris in Louisiana. I was selected to represent our high school out there at the district meet (Louisiana Tecj)and then went on to represent high school at state at LSU. i had so much fun. infact, my stay in LA was the best time of my life. had no money, no decent clothes, but i made friends there who will always be in my heart. in fact, one of thegirls still stays in touch with me. we email all the time and she and her husband visited us at Carriage Park. kim was there, butshe can't remember visit. she and i were the best of friends when i lived out there for a year and a half. that was in l948 and l949. i was a cheer leader and got to go on the football bus with the football players! what fun!!!! don't ask me what we did. no, we didn't smoke, we didn't drink, we didn't take drugs, nor did we have sex ( at least, I didn't for sure) but we enjoyed "smooching". i think everyone who attended that school loved me. i had never experienced so much love and friendship from people. Even the parents of the students loved me and the teachers too. it was a small school and they did not get too many transfer students and especially one as far away as Georgia. i was their Georgia Peach. i went out there as chris was having ronnie and beucase of her health problems, mama needed to be with her. mama would not leave me at home alone with daddy for that time as she said it would not look good for me to stay in Tville with Man!!!!!! So, she took me out of school and off we went to LA. I enrolled in high school the day i got there. i am so glad that it worked out like it did. ronnie was born in april 16, l948 and pitts brother came to the school cafeteria and told me i was an aunt!!!!!!"
Memaw went to help Christine with her
pregnancy and took Mom. Mom went back to
Betty taught at Elcan-King School in Bainbridge, GA (3rd grade, 1955-56), Windsor Forrest and Butler Elementary Schools in Savannah, GA (1st, 3rd, and 4th grades, 1967-70), Enterprise State Junior College in Enterprise, AL (Reading, 1976), Lisenby Elementary School in Ozark, AL (Remedial Math and Reading, 1971-78), and Troy State University in Troy, AL (Graduate and Undergraduate Reading and Director of Reading Department, 1977-79).
Below is a
picture of Mom at Julian's house in
Obit: Mr. Julian Armstrong
Web posted Saturday,
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Mr. Julian Wicklief Armstrong, 71, passed away on April 26 at Saint Josephs Hospital in Atlanta. He was a native of
"picture of Man and me was made down at the
Betty and George Hartmann
Betty: "This was a wonderful young man from N.J. that I dated. I visited he and his mother in N.J. for 10 days in Jan. 1955. He took me to NYC and showed me the city! He looks so much like Obama. My family did not like him as he was a yankee!!! Even uncle sat me down and talked to ma about breaking off my relationship with him! He became President of an import/export corporation in the Carribean!! I can't believe that I always let people tell me what to do. Anyway, I thought you'd like to see your mom at 22!"