Usually when you read about a famous battle, especially one that could have resulted in the destruction of the nation's capital and flight of the president to a safer location, you would naturally expect to read about the leader of the forces that came to the rescue.

In the article on the Battle of Fort Stevens {"Were Rebel Troops Too Groggy to Carry the Day?" Close to Home, July 15}, Gen. Frank Wheaton's name was never mentioned. Dispatched by Gen. Grant from the siege of Richmond, his Sixth Corps -- battle hardened troops -- marched to Fort Stevens in the summer of 1863 and easily repulsed Confederate Gen. Jubal Early's troops in a series of battles that ensued -- thus saving the nation's capital from invasion.

While the author of the article claims much fatigue and lack of equipment (men were walking barefoot, etc.) contributed to Gen. Early's plight, he fails to mention that Gen. Early had, just prior to the battle captured a large Union supply train near Rockville and received a large ransom from Frederick so that the Confederates would not sack that city. If his troops were ill-equipped, then a special investigator should have been appointed -- someone was holding out on them.

Incidentally, Gen. Wheaton -- who led a division, brigade or regiment in every battle in which the the Army of the Potomac fought, from Bull Run in 1861 to Gen. Lee's surrender in 1865 -- was so well thought of that officers serving under his command named Wheaton, Md., after him when they settled in our area. Others serving under him named Wheaton, Ill., Wheaton, Mo., and Wheaton, Mass., after him. CHARLES BOYNTON Wheaton