John C. Fredriksen , "Wheeler, Joseph," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00828.html.
Wheeler, who was known as "Fighting Joe," was one of the most active field commanders of the Civil War. A veteran of 200 major engagements, he was wounded three times, lost sixteen horses, and witnessed thirty-six staff officers fall by his side. In a military establishment renowned for superb cavalry leadership, his record is second only to Nathan B. Forrest in terms of successful small-scale actions. Wheeler crystalized his views on mounted warfare in the manual Cavalry Tactics (1863). Although he lacked the strategic acumen of Stuart and his performance during large-scale independent operations was unspectacular, in terms of raiding, screening, and covering the rear of a retreating force, Wheeler was unsurpassed by any other trooper, Union or Confederate.