Blog 15 – Wheelock G Veazey
While writing for the new Blog about the arrival of the Wheelock’s in Nicaragua (still working on the blog) I came across Wheelock as a first name, something that I have not come across before.
I was fortunate to find someone who had a interesting history. His name was Wheelock Graves Veazey (December 5, 1835 – March 22, 1898) he was an American attorney, judge, and government official. Veazey served as a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, and as a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission. During the American Civil War, he received the United States military’s highest decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor.
He studied law with Gilman Marston, graduated from Albany Law School, and was admitted to the Vermont Bar in December 1860. Veazey then began the practice of law in Springfield, Vermont.
When the Civil War began, Veazey enlisted as a private in Company A of the 3rd Vermont Infantry. He was made a captain in that regiment in May 1861, and in August was further promoted to major and then lieutenant colonel. In the latter half of 1862 he returned to Vermont to raise a new regiment. On September 27 he was promoted to colonel and elected commander of the newly formed 16th Vermont Infantry.
He led this unit at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, and 28 years later, on September 8, 1891, he received the Medal of Honor for his actions during that engagement. His official citation reads: “Rapidly assembled his regiment and charged the enemy’s flank; charged front under heavy fire, and charged and destroyed a Confederate brigade, all this with new troops in their first battle.” He finished his service as chief of staff to General William Farrar Smith In 1863, he left the army, and returned to Vermont.
In 1864, he was elected to the position of Reporter of Decisions for the Vermont Supreme Court and held that post by repeated re-election until 1872.
In 1872, he was elected to the Vermont State Senate, and the following year was appointed a Registrar in Bankruptcy.
In 1876, he served as a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention.
In 1879, the Legislature elected him as a judge of the Vermont Supreme Court, succeeding his law partner Walter C. Dunton, and he was re-elected to that post every two years until he became a member of the I.C.C.
In 1880, he became a trustee of Dartmouth College, and held that position for many years.
By H. Brosius (lithographer), H.H. Smyth Print Co., St. Paul, Minnesota – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID pga.03314.
NY Time Obituary 1898: OBITUARY Wheelock Veazey
Ullery, Jacob G. (1894), Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, pp. 408–10