Confederate cavalry attacking the city was the first thought of the novel’s fictional Parthenia Leila Ellis when the sounds of battle awakened her the night the Rebels drove in the pickets at Fort Sanders.
That cavalry was commanded by Gen. Joseph Wheeler of Georgia who was later captured in 1865 attempting to shield the fleeing President Jefferson Davis from pursuing Union soldiers. Wheeler became the highest-ranking Confederate prisoner at the Union’s Fort Delaware.
Wheeler also has the distinction (despite his Rebel service) of being buried in Arlington National Cemetery. It was due, in part, to his post-war election to the U.S. House of Representatives. But mainly to his volunteer service in the Spanish-American War, as a staff officer in the Rough Riders under President Theodore Roosevelt.