Elhanan Winchester Wakefield
Born July 2, 1834
Died January 1920
Place of Birth: Lawrence County, OH
Place of Death: Annandale, VA
How Died: Heart Condition
Buried: Annandale United Methodist Church Cemetery, Annandale, VA
Military Service: Union Army
Military Ranks Held: Private, Sergeant
Units: Companies F, K and C, California Battalion of the Second Massachusetts Voluntary Cavalry
Battles/engagements: Gettysburg in July 1863, General Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1864, and Fisher’s Hill in 1864 (Tom’s Brook, Shenandoah Valley)
Elhanan Winchester Wakefield enlisted in the Union Army on February 9, 1863 in San Francisco, CA. He traveled to Boston, MA, with other members of Company F to join with other units of the Second Massachusetts Voluntary Cavalry. In the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, his primary duties included being in charge of the ammunition train transporting powder to the battlefield. In September 1863, he was transferred to Company K in Virginia. In summer 1864, he fought with General Sheridan (Shenandoah Valley Campaign) to gain control of the lower Shenandoah Valley. Later he was critically wounded at Fisher’s Hill on October 8, 1864. It was a gunshot wound in the left lung, ball lodging in left shoulder and never removed. He served in the Union Army until March 27, 1865.
Mr. Wakefield was the son of Peter Wakefield and the grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier. He left home at the age of 15 (1849) and headed out west to the California Gold Rush. It was said that he fought Indians in the Black Hills of North Dakota. Mr. Wakefield was also a relay for the Pony Express before the Civil War.
After the war, Mr. Wakefield settled in Annandale, Virginia, farming. He met and married 23 year old Mary Rebecca Tennison on September 5, 1865 and lived on the Tennison farm. They purchased the property two years later.
Mr. Wakefield worked in the area until his death. From 1869 to 1870, he served as a member of the Fairfax County Court. In addition, he worked in the church for over fifty years. Mr. Wakefield started out as a Sunday school teacher at Annandale Methodist Church. He was a founding member and the first preacher of the Wakefield Chapel Methodist Church, which was named for him.
Mary T. Wakefield died in 1907 and Mr. Wakefield remarried in 1913. Mr. Wakefield died in 1920 and was buried beside his first wife at Annandale Chapel. At his death he was survived by his second wife, three daughters and five sons.
1. Brothers and Cousins: Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of Fairfax County, Virginia, compiled by William Page Johnson, II
2. Wakefield Chapel, by D’Anne A. Evans, 1977
3. Fairfax Herald, January 30, 1920, page 3
4. Website The 2nd Mass and it’s fighting Californians, “First Sgt. Wakefield and the Little White Church,” written and contributed by Don Hakenson
5. Website Ancestry.com
Researched and written by Sheila Brantley Cunningham