Wheelock G. Veazey

Wheelock Graves Veazey (December 5, 1835 – March 22, 1898) 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.

Wheelock G. Veazey
Wheelock Veazey.jpg
Veazey as Judge Advocate General of the Grand Army of the Republic
Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic
In office
Preceded byRussell A. Alger
Succeeded byJohn Palmer
Member of the Interstate Commerce Commission
In office
Preceded byAldace F. Walker
Succeeded byCharles A. Prouty
Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
In office
Preceded byWalter C. Dunton
Succeeded byLoveland Munson
Personal details
Born(1835-12-05)December 5, 1835
Brentwood, New Hampshire
DiedMarch 22, 1898(1898-03-22) (aged 62)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
EducationDartmouth College
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1863
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Commands16th Vermont Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
AwardsMedal of Honor

Early life and careerEdit

Veazey was born in Brentwood, New Hampshire on December 5, 1835, to Jonathan and Annie (Stevens) Veazey.[1] After being educated in the local public schools, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and then Dartmouth College, graduating in 1859. 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.[2]

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.[1] On June 22, 1861, he married Julia Beard, daughter of a New Hampshire newspaper editor.[3] 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.[1]

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."[4] He finished his service as chief of staff to General William Farrar Smith[2] In 1863, he left the army, and returned to Vermont.

Political careerEdit

On his return from the war, Veazey resumed the practice of law in Rutland, 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[2] In 1872, he was elected to the Vermont State Senate, and the following year was appointed a Registrar in Bankruptcy.[2] In 1876, he served as a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention.[3] 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.[2] In 1880, he became a trustee of Dartmouth College, and held that position for many years.

Colonel Veazey was active in the Grand Army of the Republic, serving as post commander of the Rutland post, then as Department Commander for the Vermont G.A.R. from 1873 to 1875. In 1877 and 1888, he served as Judge Advocate General on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the G.A.R., and finally as Commander-in-Chief himself from 1890 to 1891.[2] He was also a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. In addition, Veazey was active in the Reunion Society of Vermont Officers, and served as its president from 1874 to 1875.

Interstate Commerce CommissionEdit

On August 31, 1889, Veazey was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission, filling the unexpired term of Aldace F. Walker, who had resigned a few months before the end of his term. As Congress was not then in session, Veazey received a recess appointment, taking the oath of office on September 10, 1889. The term to which Veazey was appointed expired on December 31; Harrison sent a nomination for a full six-year term to the Senate. The Senate confirmed Veazey on December 20, three days after receiving the nomination.[2]

President Grover Cleveland reappointed Veazey to the I.C.C. for a second six-year term on December 19, 1895, and the Senate confirmed him the same day. He served until resigning on December 20, 1896, and was succeeded by Charles A. Prouty. He remained in Washington, and died there on March 22, 1898.[2] Veazey is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2, Grave 1026.[5]

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b c Ullery, Jacob G. (1894), Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, Transcript publishing company, pp. 408–10, retrieved 2009-04-03
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h The Interstate Commerce Commission: the First Fifty Years, The George Washington University Law Review, 1938, pp. 604–05
  3. ^ a b "Death list of a day" (PDF), The New York Times, March 23, 1898, retrieved 2009-03-30
  4. ^ "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". United States Army Center of Military History. January 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  5. ^ Wheelock G. Veazey at Find a Grave