Thursday, August 7, 2014

Annie Wheeler's Victory Garden

Annie Early Wheeler, second child of General Joseph

Wheeler, was way ahead of her time.  When the Spanish-

American war broke out, she wanted to go fight alongside her 

father in Cuba.  At that time, the only way a woman could 

serve was by being a nurse.  Annie promptly joined the 

American Red Cross, although she had not had one minute  

of nurse's training.  She quickly learned the profession in 

tent hospitals near battlefields. She became know as the 

'Angel of Santiago' for her work with yellow fever and malaria 

patients there.

During World War I, she served in England and France.

When World War II started, Annie, then 62 years old, 

tried to enlist, but she was told she was too old.  "Go home,"

she was told, "and plant a victory garden."

Miss Annie came home and started planting boxwoods. 

Today, many huge boxwoods remain, but the Historical Commission staff does not have the funds to keep them maintained properly.  Volunteers are always welcome.

Wouldn't it be interesting to walk down this path with Miss Annie, and listen to stories about all the adventures she had?

Miss Annie won't be there, but on September 6, there will be a celebration of General Joseph Wheeler's birthday with guides in period clothing and lots of things to see.  It would be an excellent time to visit Pond Spring.  

Pond Spring/the Wheeler Plantation is located on Alabama Highway 20 between Courtland and Decatur.