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Wheeler, William Constant


Age: 18, credited to Morristown, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF
Service: enl 5/27/63, m/i 6/10/63, Pvt, Co. L, 11th VT INF, tr to Co. I, 7/13/63, dis/dsb 4/13/64

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 12/04/1847, Rehoboth, MA
Death: 02/01/1941

Burial: South Woodbury Cemetery, Woodbury, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Denis & Karen Jaquish
Findagrave Memorial #: 115057294


Alias?: None Noted
Pension?: Yes, 5/31/1880
Portrait?: Findagrave
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Unknown

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


Cousin of Tim Leno, Graniteville, VT

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South Woodbury Cemetery, Woodbury, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


William Constant Wheeler, age 18, credited to Morristown, enlisted 27 May 1863, and mustered in as a private in Co. L., 11th Vermont Infantry on 10 June 1863. He transferred to Co. I, on 13 July 1863 and was discharged for disability on 13 April 1864.
Discharged before his regiment saw action, his is a fairly routine military record. So why were his 93rd birthday and his passing noted in Time Magazine? The following article from the Argus and Patriot, on 6 September 1905, explains.

A Remarkable Case


Difference of 63 Years in the Ages of Two Brothers

Editor Evening Argus: - William Constant Wheeler, of South Woodbury, has the distinction of being the youngest living son in the world of a soldier of the American Revolution while he is a veteran of the civil war in his own right, having enlisted May 27, 1863, in Co. I of the 11th VT Infantry.
Comfort Wheeler, the father of "Constant" as he is commonly called, was born in Rehoboth, Mass, March 13, 1766, and first enlisted under Capt. Duel at Shonguoc[?], NY in April 1780. Discharged in Dec. 1780, he reenlisted under Capt. Keith for three months at Killingly, Conn in May 1681. Reenlisted under Capt. Corbin for one year Dec. 10, 1681-and was detailed as orderly to Gen. Greene.
Comfort first married in 1783 when he was 17 years old and his oldest son, James, was born Nov. 26, 1784.
He married his third wife in Woodbury, VT when he was about eighty years of age and she bore him two children, a daughter who died young, and a son Constant, who was born Dec. 4, 1847, making him 63 years younger than his oldest brother, James.
Constant, while not as robust and strong as his father, is said by the older inhabitants to closely resemble him in features, figure and voice.
When the writer last saw Constant, in July 1899, he was then about 52 years old, and was living on a farm adjoining one on which his niece, Mrs. Eliza Batchelder, lived, she being at that time 88 years old.
Mr. Benjamin Wheeler, a gentleman widely known in this section, a great-great-grandson of Comfort and consequently a great-great-nephew of Constant, is only 24 years younger than his own great-great-uncle.
Dwight R. Kelton
Montpelier, VT Aug 31, 1905

Daughters Of The American Revolution Lineage Books, published in 1936, indicate "Comfort Wheeler (1764-1855) received a pension for service as private in Capt. Samuel Duel's company, New York Line; also under Capts. Keith and Corbin, Col. Howe's Connecticut regiment."
Both the Springfield Republican, Dec. 12, 1940, and Time Magazine, Dec. 16, 1940, noted his 93rd birthday and the fact that he was the last living son of an American Revolutionary War soldier.
Again, both the Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, Feb. 2, 1941, p. 31, and Time Magazine, Feb. 10, 1941, recorded his passing on 1 February.
William Constant Wheeler is buried in South Woodbury Cemetery, Woodbury, VT.
William was a member of the California Society, Sons of the Revolution, although he never lived in California. A post-war photograph of him is available on their website.

The majority of the material for this article, and the tombstone photograph, are courtesy of Denis Jaquish, Constant Wheeler's 3rd-great-grandnephew.


William Constant Wheeler Dies
Revolutionary War Soldiers' Son Succumbs at 93

EAST WOODBURY, Feb. 2. - William Constant Stores Wheeler, son of an American revolutionary war soldier, died of a shock at 93 years of age at his home here at 11:20 Saturday morning. He had been confined to his bed for only two days.

Wheeler's unusual distinction brought him recognition from all parts of the country. Since he passed his 93rd birthday anniversary on Dec. 4, he has received 97 personal letters from 27 different states, his son, Earl Wheeler, reported. His father was a civil war veteran in his own right.

HonorsWilliam Constant Wheeler held five distinct honors at his death: (1) Only real son of an American revolutionary war soldier, Comfort Wheeler, born March 13, 1766; (2) last of 206 members of Company I, 11th Vermont regiment of civil war fame; (3) last of returning civil war soldiers sent to St. Albans to quell the fenian raid; (4) last of 144 civil war veterans enlisted from the town of Woodbury; (5) last of 86 members of Stowe Post, No. 29, G. A. R., of North Calais.

63 Years in Same House

Hale and hearty despite his nonogenarian years until he was a stricken a few days ago, Mr. Wheeler died within a few rods of where he was born. He had lived 63 years in the same house.

Constant's father joined the revolutionary army when he was 14. That was April, 1780. He fought the redcoats until the end of the war.

His father, a native of Rehoboth, Mass., was married three times, taking his last wife, Permilia Ainsworth, when he was 76 years of age. It was from this union that Constant was born on Dec. 4, 1847.

Constant Wheeler leaves two sons, Earl Wheeler and Delburn C. Wheeler. His wife died May 7, 1939, at 80 years of age.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2 in South Woodbury. Interment will be in the South Woodbury cemetery along side his father, the revolutionary war hero. Rev. J. Chastenay Smith of Hardwick will officiate. Two songs, "Jesus Saviour, Pilot Me," and "Will There Be Stars in My Crown?" will be sung by Ernest Bridgeman of Hardwick, accompanied at the organ by Mrs. Alma Sabin of South Woodbury. John F. Peck of Hardwick is in charge of arrangements.

Source: Burlington Free Press, February 3, 1941.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.