Archive:Civil War Pension File, Charles Wellesley Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Charles Wellesley Whitney
Widow: Harriet A. Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 411830 Cert. # 413783
Widow Applic. # unknown Cert. # unknown
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Private, Company A, 2nd Regiment of Maine Cavalry
On 23 September 1888 Charles W. Whitney signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension from Aroostook Co., Maine. He is 38 years old and a resident of Island Falls, Aroostook Co., Maine. He entered the service in November 1863 as a Private in Company A, 2nd Maine Cavalry commanded by Captain Joseph F. Twitchell. He was not discharged. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall, of light complexion, and has brown hair and grey eyes. While in the service and in the line of duty at Augusta, Maine in January 1864 he contracted paralysis caused by exposure affecting his head and eyesight. He was treated at Winthrop Hospital, Augusta, Maine in January 1864. Since leaving the service he has resided in the Parish of Canterbury, New Brunswick, Canada and Island Falls, Maine. His occupation is farmer. Prior to enlistment in the service he was a shoemaker. The Declaration was witnessed by Ransom Norton and Isaac L. Adams.
There are several depositions dated in March 1888 in the file supporting the claim, including a lengthy one from Charles. In it he answers interrogatory questions from the Pension Office. He testifies that he was 46 years old last month, and presently resides in Houlton, Maine. He served in Company A, 2nd Maine Cavalry from November 1863 until February 1864, when his father came to Augusta and took him from the hospital, and he never returned to his regiment. His father had gotten a furlough for him from Captain Twitchell, but afterwards he was marked a deserter. Last Christmas he had received his discharge.
He was married, a resident of Hodgdon Mills, Aroostook County, and a farmer-shoemaker at enlistment. His father resided at Hodgdon Mills at the time he brought him home. After Charles' mother's death, his father was living with him in his home. About the time President Lincoln was shot his father went to Canterbury, New Brunswick to live on a farm 11 miles from the village. Charles went with him because he could not support himself. After a year or two they went from Canterbury to Benton Station, New Brunswick, where they lived a year or so. His father worked there making sleds, etc., and worked a little in the store of Mrs. McAdam, and did chores about the place. His father assisted in supporting Charles' family. He and his father then separated, and Charles went with his family to Hodgdon Corner, Maine. His father then joined them, and they all moved to Island Falls, where they remained until they moved to Houlton because his girls worked there.
Charles was born and raised in Hodgdon, and the only sickness he ever had prior to enlistment was typhoid fever when he was eight years old. He was sick eight weeks and was healed by Dr. Holmes of Calais, Maine. He thoroughly recovered and was healthy and strong. Dr. Bussey of Lineus, Maine and now Hodgdon attended his family prior to his enlistment. Last fall Dr. Bussey treated him for bilious fever.
Immediately after his father brought him home from the army hospital in February 1864 he was brought to Dr. French's office at Hodgdon, and he reported his case to the authorities at Augusta. Dr. French healed his speech. Dr. Boyd of Lineus healed him about 15 years ago from paralysis. He is claiming a pension on general paralysis of the left side of the neck and right side of the body. His left eye is very nearly blind, and he can just see the outlines of anything with this eye.
Charles was asked how he accounted for his malady. The doctors told him it was caused by exposure. He thinks that he was poisoned by the Regimental Surgeon giving orders to the hospital steward, which he mistook. He was taken on the morning in January of 1864 with a bilious head, which he had been subject to prior to enlistment. He was sent to the Regimental Surgeon, Dr. George N. Martin, who told the hospital steward to give him some medicine. He took the two pills he was given and returned to his quarters and retired. He felt a jerky sensation about that time. In the evening he got up to get his rations and found he couldn't hold them in his hand due to shaking and trembling. That night he felt his right side of his body and the left side of his face becoming numb. In the morning he was carried by stretcher from the barracks to the hospital where Dr. Martin turned him over to Dr. Brickell, who had him massaged. He was half conscious and his speech became affected while trying to dictate a letter to his wife.
He doesn't know how long he remained in the hospital before his father came for him. He never got well enough to return to the army. His father took him to Dr. French, the government surgeon nearby, who sent the report to Colonel Woodman and Captain Twitchell instead of the surgeon at the hospital. As a result he was considered a deserter, and for many years he felt that he could not get a pension.
Charles enlisted the help of many of his friends to write letters for him to collect the testimony needed to pursue a pension claim. Other testimony he pursued himself by walking and hitching rides with people. Charles provided a list of witnesses who would testify on his behalf. One such person was Sgt. Frank Pearce, who had marked Charles as a deserter at the instruction of Captain Twitchell on 12 March 1864.
On 7 December 1887 the Adjutant General's Office removed as erroneous the charge of desertion against Charles. Charles was subsequently granted a pension for paralysis and resulting impairment of mind, disease of eyes, and total disability of the right arm.
In testimony in support of a claim for increased benefits on 25 March 1898, Charles testifies that his wife's maiden name is Susan E. Yerxa. They were married at Hodgdon, Maine on 1 October 1861 by Rev. Leonard Mayo. They have three children living: Theodosia E., born 25 July 1862; Martha E., born 31 January 1865; and Minnie A., born 5 June 1868. There is a death certificate in the file for Susan Whitney, who died 10 January 1911 in Bangor, Maine. She was 66 years old, and was born at Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. Her parents were Aaron and Susan Yerxa, both born in New Brunswick. The cause of death was pernicious anemia.
On 23 March 1915 Charles answered an interrogatory from the Bureau of Pensions, probably concerning an increase in benefits. He testifies from Danforth, Maine that he was born in 1842 in Hodgdon, Aroostook Co., Maine. His first wife, Susan Yerxa Whitney has died, and he is now remarried to the war widow of Joseph Ellis of the 20th Maine Regiment. In this testimony it is revealed that Charles had two more children who had died: Charles E. died 9 February 1887, age 14; and Ella C. had died in June 1886, age 8 years.
In a further declaration for increased benefits on 14 June 1920 Charles testifies from Danforth, Maine that he is 78 years old, having been born at Hodgdon, Maine on 20 February 1842. His description at the time of his enlistment was: 5 feet 10 inches tall; dark complexion; grey eyes; black hair; and by occupation a shoemaker. Among the places he has lived are Island Falls, Bangor, and Danforth, Maine.
There is a death record in the file for Charles W. Whitney, who died at Danforth, Maine on 8 January 1922 of myocarditis. He was 79 years 10 months and 18 days old. He was born in 1842 in Hodgdon, Maine. His parents' names were John Whitney, born in Canada, and Almira Foster, born in Maine. His father was a shoemaker. On 21 January 1922, Charles' name was dropped from the pension roll after having been paid at $72.00 per month to 4 December 1921. He died 8 January 1922. Charles was buried beside his fist wife at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine on 11 January 1922.
On 28 January 1922 Harriet Whitney, the widow of Charles W. Whitney applied for pension benefits. She had been married under the name Harriet Ann Palmer to Charles W. Whitney at Bangor, Maine on 29 October 1912 by David N. Beach, President of the Bangor Theological Seminary. Her post office is Danforth, Washington Co., Maine. The Declaration is witness by Mrs. Temperance Ellis and Mrs. Lettie Nesbitt, both of Danforth, Maine. She is 89 years old, having been born in Robbinston, Washington Co., Maine on 8 July 1832.
Harriet Ann Whitney was married four times. Three of those four husbands had been Civil War soldiers, and she collected pension benefits from all three.
First Marriage: Joseph Ellis, Private, Company G, 20th Maine Regiment
- Married: at Weston, Aroostook Co., Maine on 24 October 1842
- Family Record:
- Joseph Ellis born 20 January 1833 at Brighton
- Harriet A. Ellis born 8 July 1834 at Robbinston
- Ellen B. Ellis born 13 August 1854 at Weston
- Emily M. Ellis born 24 June 1856 at Weston, d. 26 June 1858 at Weston
- Winfield S. Ellis born 24 September 1855 at Weston
- Francis F. Ellis born 16 December 1859 at Orient, d. 13 April 1865, Orient
- Lelia L. Ellis born 26 February 1862 at Orient
- Walter G. Ellis born 21 November 1864 at Orient
- Soldier's death: 1 April 1865, killed in battle at Five Forks, Virginia
Second Marriage: Asa Russell, Pvt. & Corp., Co. F (6th Battery) Maine Light Artillery
- Married: at Hodgdon, Aroostook Co. Maine on 12 May 1866.
- Minnie H. Russell, born 23 March 1869
- Emma E. Russell, born 30 April 1874
- Soldier's death: 20 July 1878 at Danforth, Maine
Third Marriage: Jacob L. Palmer, no military record, no children
- Married: at Danforth, Maine 8 June 1880.
Jacob L. Palmer died at Danforth, Maine on 18 June 1897.
Fourth Marriage: Charles Wellesley Whitney, Pvt., Co. A, 2nd Maine Cavalry Rgt.
Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION About Harriet Ann (Hodnett) Whitney. Her maiden name was Hodnett. This information compiled by Allan L. Hodnett, S84 W17573 Woods Road, Muskego, Wisconsin 53150 Email = Ahodnett@aol.com as of April 7, 2007. Please note that the date of birth of Harriet A. Hodnett is not certain. Various dates of birth have been recorded. Her date of birth in the following report is believed to be reliable, based largely upon US Census records. Please contact Allan Hodnett if you can provide any further details about this family.
Descendants of Patrick Hodnett Generation No. 1
1. Patrick Hodnett was born 23 December 1807 in Possibly Ballyduff area, County Waterford, Ireland, and died 21 August 1887 in Danforth, Washington, Maine. He married Mary Lesure Abt. 1836 in Probably in or near Machias, Maine, daughter of Samuel Lesure and Hannah Cummings. She was born 08 January 1808 in Robbinston, Washington, Maine or Warwick, Franklin, Massachusetts, and died 26 December 1889 in Danforth, Washington, Maine.
Children of Patrick Hodnett and Mary Lesure are:
i. Harriet Ann Hodnett, b. 8 July 1837, Cooper, Washington, Maine; d. 08 November 1931, Danforth, Washington, Maine; m.(1) Joseph Ellis, 24 October 1852, Weston, Aroostook, Maine; b. Abt. 1832, Brighton, Somerset, Maine; d. 1 April 1865, Five Forks, Dinwiddie, Virginia (Civil War, Petersburg Campaign); m.(2) Asa Russell, 19 May 1866, Hodgdon, Aroostook, Maine; b. 1827, Bay of Chaleurs, Gloucester, New Brunswick or Maine; d. 20 July 1878, Danforth, Washington, Maine; m.(3) Jacob L. Palmer, 08 June 1879, Cary, Aroostook, Maine; b. 25 April 1830, Baring, Washington, Maine; d. 20 June 1897, Danforth, Washington, Maine; m.(4) Charles Wellesley Whitney, 24 October 1912, Danforth, Washington, Maine; b. 20 February 1842, Hodgdon, Aroostook, Maine; d. 08 January 1922, Danforth, Washington, Maine. ii. Mary Hodnett, b. Abt. 1841, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. Aft. 1860. iii. Emma J. Hodnett, b. 31 January 1844, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. 22 February 1932, Hot Springs, Fall River, South Dakota; m. James Madison Brelsford, 25 December 1878, Deadwood, Lawrence, South Dakota; b. 22 December 1834, Calwell County?, Kentucky; d. 30 September 1905, Hot Springs?, Fall River, South Dakota. iv. Henry Clay Hodnett, b. 10 October 1845, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. 10 March 1902, Town of Longwood, Clark, Wisconsin; m. Amanda Melvina Deering, 20 June 1881, Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; b. 25 April 1851, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. 8 July 1937, Withee, Clark, Wisconsin. v. Jane Hodnett, b. April 1846, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. Abt. 1917, [maybe Los Angeles, California on September 30, 1917]; m. Edward H. Springer, 12 January 1873, Danforth?, Washington, Maine; b. 20 May 1844, Danforth?, Washington, Maine; d. 31 January 1904, Lower Bare Butte Creek, Meade, South Dakota. vi. Charles Longfellow? Hodnett, b. 24 January 1849, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. 09 October 1926, Dixon, Solano, California; m. Emma A. Folsom, 29 October 1882, Danforth, Washington, Maine; b. 19 October 1847, Greenbush, Penobscot, Maine; d. 1 July 1934, Suisan, Solano, California. vii. Franklin Patrick Hodnett, b. July 1850, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. Aft. 18 June 1880, living in Shoshone, Idaho on June 18, 1880. viii. Albert Aaron? Hodnett, b. 2 June 1853, Orient, Aroostook, Maine; d. 26 August 1920, Danforth, Washington, Maine; m. Abba Anna Butterfield, 22 September 1877, Hodgdon, Aroostook, Maine; b. 28 January 1859, Danforth, Washington, Maine; d. 11 October 1943, Bolton, Tolland, Connecticut.