Archive:Civil War Pension File, Adrial L. Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Adrial L. Whitney
Widow: Margaret Whitney
Minor: Winifred Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 734117 Cert. # 514088
Widow Applic. # 848805 Cert. # 617866
Minor Applic. # 1049596 Cert. # 810921
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
I cannot place this soldier in the family, in spite of knowing his parents' names. The only thing I can find is a death record for a Leonard Whitney, age 32, in Medfield, MA on 26 December 1825. This may or may not be the father of the soldier. If anyone can help with this Medfield, MA family, I would appreciate it. A family group record has been created.
Private, Company C, 1st Maine Light Artillery
Adrial L. Whitney enlisted in Co. C, 1st Maine Light Artillery on 22 December 1863, and was discharged 17 June 1865. On 2 April 1890 he signed a claim for pension benefits, based on a disability of deafness. In the claim he states that in July, 1864 near Petersburg, Virginia, he incurred deafness from the concussion of the gun while serving in the battery. He had a sensation of numbness of the head for a long time, and confusion. Since then he has been partially deaf. Any jarring or loud noise causes pain of the head. The deafness is continuous. He also says that he had diarrhea in the army, and since then his bowels are always loose. Manual labor causes an attack of diarrhea.
A physical examination at that time (in 1890) shows that he is 64 years old; 5 feet, five inches tall; 145 pounds. He hears conversations, and understands when the speaker talks slowly and distinctly, but is bothered to catch every word when the conversation is rapid or irregular. He was found to have slight deafness in both ears.
On 4 June 1898, Adrial signed a declaration concerning his marriage. He declares that his wife's full name is Margaret Whitney, and her maiden name was Margaret Cronan. He says they were married in 1851 in Dedham, Massachusetts by Rev. Mr. Babcock, and the marriage is recorded in the town records of Dedham. Neither party had been previously married. He has the following living children: Erastus L. Whitney, 1859; James H. Whitney, 1855; Mary A. Smith, 1861; Winnie Whitney, 1871.
The death certificate in the file certifies that Adrial L. Whitney died in Union, Knox Co., Maine of capillary bronchitis on 17 March 1906. Margaret (Cronin) Whitney subsequently filed a claim for pension benefit.
In a general affidavit file in the pension office 4 August 1906, Margaret Whitney of Union, Knox Co., Maine is 78 years old. She certifies that she was married to Adrial L. Whitney 23 August 1850 by Elder Babcock, Minister of the Gospel, at Dedham, Massachusetts. They were married in Mr. Kingsbury's house. He was cashier of the Dedham Bank at the time. Two days later they came to Maine, and have always remained there. Neither party had ever been previously married, but their marriage certificate burned when their house burned due to a lightening strike in August 1885. She has a small run-out farm of about 65 acres, with old and very poor buildings, their new house having been burned. Her husband's life had not been insured, but he had left $150.00 in the savings bank for a family monument, for which she has used it. She has no mortgages of anything or place, and has given none on the farm. She has no bonds or notes of any description. Her son-in-law is going to carry on with the farm for her this summer, and she hopes he will continue the same. He will have 2/3 of all he can raise. Margaret signed her name with her mark (X).
Margaret's address was P.O. Box 190, Union, Knox Co., Maine. She died there 5 April 1915.
There is a certified copy of the marriage certificate for Adrail L. Whitney and Margaret Cronin from Dedham, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts in the file. The date of the marriage was 25 August 1850. Adrail's place of residence was Medfield, Mass., and Margaret's was Dedham. Adrail was 25 years old, and Margaret 20. Adrial was a farmer, born Medfield, MA, and Margaret was born in Ireland. Adrial's parents were Leonard and Achsah Whitney. No first names, only Cronin was given for Margaret's parents. The residence of their respective fathers was Boston and Ireland. They were married by Rev. Samuel B. Babcock, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Dedham. The copy was certified by Don Gleason Hill, Town Clerk.
Subsequent to the death of her mother, a pension claim was pursued for Winifred, the disabled daughter of Adrial and Margaret. Since Winifred's age was greater than 16, special legislation was required to grant her pension rights due to severe disability. In 1930, further legislation was needed to increase the benefit. The following is a transcription of that legislation:
- H.R. 3857. Winifred Whitney, age 58 years, whose post office address is Union, Maine, is the helpless and dependent daughter of Adrial L. Whitney, late a private, Company C, First Regiment Maine Light Artillery, from December 22, 1863 to June 17, 1865, and who died April 5, 1906.
- The claimant's parents were married August 25, 1850. The mother died April 5, 1915.
- This claimant is now pensioned as the helpless daughter of the soldier at the rate of $12.00 a month by special act of Congress, approved 9 June 1916 under Certificate No. 810921.
- The medical evidence filed in support of this bill indicates that claimant is still a helpless and dependent person by reason of congenital deformity of left hip and leg and that she requires the aid and attendance of another person.
- She is in indigent circumstances, being entirely without means, property or income from any source, except her pension and $10.00 a month State aid.
- No one is legally bound to her support.
- It is recommended that her pension be increased to $20.00 per month.
The legislation was subsequently passed, and the increase was approved on 18 April 1930. Winifred died in Waldoboro, Maine 28 April 1940.
Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group