Archive:Civil War Pension File, Charles E. Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Charles E. Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 1045526, Cert. # 1010155
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Company I, 49th Wisconsin Infantry
Charles E. Whitney filed a number of claims for a pension before his efforts were successful. His wife Martha J. Whitney testified about his health in a deposition of 4 June 1895. She is forty years old, and was married to Charles E. Whitney on 13 May 1878. She first became acquainted with him in November 1876, and was unaware of his physical condition before their marriage, knowing only that he was ill from time to time. She became aware that he suffered from attacks of diarrhea and hemorrhoids of varying occurrence and duration. He has three or more attacks each year, varying in length from several days to three to four weeks. He has also had lung fever three or four times since their marriage, and has rheumatism a great deal of the time. Since their marriage he has been able to work only about half the time, and never in the field. They lived in Nebraska the first year after their marriage, and he had an attack of malaria. He has had one more attack since then. He has been nearly totally disabled since they were married, and cannot perform manual labor. He has been an engineer since they were married, except the last three years. He has given up the engineer position, and has worked about half the time as a train dispatcher.
In a deposition of 6 December 1898, Charles E. Whitney is sixty-seven years old and a resident of Sanborn, O'Brien County, Iowa. His occupation is locomotive engineer, but his is unable to follow that any more. He now only does that occasionally. He enlisted and served as a private in Company I, 49th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry from 21 February 1865 to 8 November 1865. At the time of enlistment he was a farm hand working on his father's farm near Tomah, Wisconsin. He was a hale and hearty young man, never having been sick except childhood illnesses, prior to enlistment. He is requesting a pension for chronic diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and rectal disease. He contracted the chronic diarrhea during his military service, and the hemorrhoids and rectal disease result from that. He contracted the disease in the summer of 1865 while camped at Rolla, Missouri.
On 7 March 1900 from O'Brien County, Iowa, Charles E. Whitney once again signed a Declaration for Invalid Pension. He had enrolled on 25 February 1865 in Company I of the 49th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged at St. Louis, Missouri on 25 November 1865. He was born 11 November 1831 (sic) in Phillips, Maine. In a physical examination resulting from that application, he is sixty-seven years old, 5 feet 10 ½ inches tall, and weighs 135 pounds. His occupation is railway engineer. It is the surgeon's opinion that his condition is consistent with chronic malarial piosoning, and rate him disabled. He received a pension.
Charles subsequently applied for an increase in benefit due to his increased age in 1906. He had a terrible time documenting his age. He was instructed to obtain certification of his birth date from Phillips, Maine. However, his birth was not recorded there, although the birth dates of his parents and five of their children are recorded there. In an affidavit of 14 August 1906, he states that he is seventy years old and a resident of Sanborn, O'Brien Co., Iowa. He lives on the corner of Pumphrey and Angie Streets in Teabout's Addition in Sanborn. There are no numbers on the residences. There is no public, church or Bible record of the date of his birth, as far as he knows. He was born in Phillips, Franklin County, Maine on 11 November 1835 (sic). His parents, Samuel and Delinda Whitney, always told him that he was born on that date. Samuel died in 1863, and Delinda died in 1892.
On 25 May 1912 he again signed a declaration seeking increased benefit. He is now sixty-eight years old, and a resident of Tunnel City, Monroe County, Wisconsin. He now says he was born 11 November 1843 (sic) in Maine.
On 28 March 1915 Charles answered an inquiry from the Bureau of Pensions. He was born 11 November 1843 (sic) in Phillips, Maine. His post office was Tomah, Wisconsin at the time of his enlistment (see commentary). His wife's maiden name is Jenney Wyant. They were married in 1878. They were married in Sioux City, Iowa, but there is no record of the marriage. He was first married in 1867, and his wife died in 1871 (sic, see commentary). He was married the second time in 1878, and his wife died in 1901. His first wife died in Tomah, and the second in Sanborn, Iowa. Both of his wives are dead, and neither had been previously married. He had one child: Ina M. Whitney, born 31 July 1869.
In 1916 more attempts to proved Charles' birth date were made. A certified copy of the family record was obtained from the Town Clerk of Phillips, Maine. A family record was made there on 4 February 1842. The following is a transcription of that record:
- Samuel L. Whitney, born August 3, 1799
- Delinda S. Whitney, born 21 March 1806
- Priscilla T. Whitney, born 20 September 1827
- Bernard K. Whitney, born 3 October 1830
- Daniel H. Whitney, born 3 December 1835
- Jacob Whitney, 2nd, born 22 December 1838
- Andrew D. Whitney, born 25 February 1833
Charles wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions concerning this record. He explains that he has contacted everyone he knows concerning his date of birth. The record from Phillips does not record his sister Rosetta's birth on 20 February 1842 (sic) or his on 11 November 1844. F. C. Pierce's John Whitney genealogy and Wisconsin census records from 1850 and 1860 were submitted to show Charles in the family (see Commentary).
On 29 March 1923, Charles signed another declaration seeking increased benefits. He is now seventy-eight years old, having been born in Phillips, Maine on 11 November 1844. His physical description at the time of his enlistment was: 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and black hair. He had been a farmer at that time. Since leaving the service he has resided at Sanborn, Iowa; Sioux City, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Monroe Co., Wisconsin; and the Soldier's Home in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
On 31 July, 1923 Charles M. Pearsall, Governor, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions from the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Northwestern Branch. He reports that Charles E. Whitney died at Tomah, Wisconsin while absent from the Home. He left no personal effects, but has fifty dollars pension to credit. An application for this amount was mailed to Mrs. Ina Wilkie at Tomah, Wisconsin. Records show that Ina May Wilkie is the daughter and only living child of Charles E. Whitney, whom appears was buried in Greenfield Cemetery, Tunnel City, Wisconsin.
The Whitney family lived in Lincoln, Wisconsin in 1865, but the post office was in Tomah.
The 1850 census for Delevan, Walworth Co., Wisconsin shows Charles with a middle initial H., five years old. The 1860 census of Greenfield, Monroe Co., Wisconsin shows Charles, no middle initial, sixteen years old. The 1844 year of birth seems more likely.
In the 1870 census of Lincoln, Monroe Co., Wisconsin, Charles' wife is shown as Lubett, born about 1847 in Maine. However, she is buried in Greenfield Cemetery near Charles, her name is spelled Lusett, and the dates on her stone read 1846 - 1872.
In 1880, after the death of her mother, Ina May Whitney is found in LaGrange, Monroe Co., Wisconsin in the family of George and Naomi Prescott, both born in Maine. Naomi is Naomi Whitney, daughter of Christopher Atwood Whitney, who was Samuel L. Whitney's brother.
Charles E. Whitney and family cemetery records can be seen at Greenfield Cemetery, Monroe, WI.
Copyright © 2008, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group