Archive:Civil War Pension File, Benjamin F. Whitney (1842-1864)
From the Civil War Pension File of Benjamin F. Whitney
Lydia Whitney, Mother
Mother’s Application #169558, Certificate #184712
The National Archives Building, Washington, DC.
Private, Co. F, 28th Massachusetts Infantry
On 15 Dec 1868 from Patten, Penobscot Co., ME, Lydia Whitney signed a Mother’s Application for Army Pension. She is fifty-five years old and a resident of Sherman, Aroostook Co., ME. She is the widow of Eliab T. Whitney, and the mother of Benjamin F. Whitney, who was a private in Company F of the 28th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. He died of starvation at Annapolis, MD, after being a prisoner of war from about 1 Jun 1864 to the time of his death on 4 Dec 1864 (sic). He left no widow or child under the age of sixteen. She had been dependent on her son, who always lived at home and constantly contributed to her support by his labor before going into the army. He sent her nearly all of his wages while he was in the army. Lydia signed the application with her mark. Witnesses to the application are Jonathan C. and Emeline Merry.
The Adjutant General’s Office attested that Benjamin F. Whitney enrolled on 14 Apr 1864 at Chelsea in the 28th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, to serve three years. He was mustered in at Chelsea on the same date. He was on the muster roll of Company F of that Regiment, dated 19 Dec 1864, and is reported “Died 2 December 1864 at Annapolis, MD”.
Lydia answered an interrogatory from the Bureau of Pensions dated 5 Aug 1871. The following paraphrases her answers:
She was married at Cape Breton, NS, in 1827. Her husband died 2 Apr 1866, and she has not remarried. They lived in the Town of Edgecomb, Lincoln Co., ME, all of the time that her son contributed to the support of herself and her husband. Her husband owned a farm in Edgecomb upon which they lived. She sold the farm after his death for six hundred dollars, and she had about one hundred fifty dollars worth of personal property. She has lived on the proceeds of the sale of the farm since the death of her son, and she has no other means of support except by her own labor and the charity of friends and relatives. Her husband was seventy-six years old when he died, and he had been sick with consumption for fifteen years before his death. He was unable to do any labor to support himself and his family.
Her children’s names and ages are as follows:
- Nancy, age 43, lives in Bath, Maine
- Sarah Jane, age 41, lives in Bristol, Maine
- Emeline, age 38, lives in Sherman, Maine
- Williams, age 36, lives in Edgecomb, Maine
- David, age 34 years, sailor
- Alpheus, age 31, lives in Bath, Maine
- Alvin, age 31, lives in Northport (Possibly Rockport), Mass.
- Benjamin, the deceased soldier, 22 past at death
- Hannah, age 26, lives in Sherman, Maine
- Alonzo, age 24 years, lives among relatives
- Georgiana, age 20, lives in Lawrence, Mass.
Her daughters are all married and have families of their own except the youngest, who is supporting herself by working in Lawrence, MA. Her son William (sic) is a mariner and has a family of his own. Her son David is a sailor and unmarried, but has no home or the means to take care of them both. Her sons Alpheus and Albion are both married, but have no property more than required to support their own families. Her son Alonzo is unmarried, but he is an invalid, and must be cared for himself.
The deceased soldier, age 22 when he died, always lived at home and worked on his father’s farm. From the time he was seventeen years of age his contribution to his parents exceeded each year the sum of one hundred dollars, and they could not have got along without him. He went to Boston, MA, in Mar 1864 with the expressed purpose of entering into the army. He received a bounty and sent his father three hundred and fifty dollars of the bounty about the first of Jun 1864. The total of the bounty was seven hundred dollars. The balance was received through the Second Auditor’s Office after his death. Lydia signed the testimony with her mark.