Archive:Civil War Pension File, Francis Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Frank Whitney
Invalid's Applic. # 464875 Cert. # 451216
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
Unassigned Company, 7th Regiment, Maine Volunteers
Frank Whitney signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension on 30 October 1882 from Marshall County, Iowa. He is thirty-five years old, and a resident of Marshalltown, Marshall Co., Iowa. He entered the service on 5 August 1863 as a private in Company B of the 7th Regiment of Maine Volunteers commanded by Captain Smith. He was honorably discharged at Portland, Maine on 20 January 1865 by reason of disability. His personal description is: 35 years old; 5 feet 6 ½ inches in height; light complexion; light hair; gray eyes. While in the service and in the line of his duty on or about 15 November 1864, he contracted chronic diarrhea. He was treated at Camp Berry, Portland, Maine. Since leaving the service he has resided in the State of Maine, Chicago, Illinois, and Iowa. His occupation has been as a railroad machinist. Prior to his entry into the service he had been a farmer. He is now partly disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor as a result of the disability contracted in the service.
In an accompanying affidavit, Frank testifies that he went as a substitute, and was assigned to the 7th Maine Regiment, Company B. He served mostly on detached duty, taking conscripts from Maine to different points on the Potomac, in Virginia, and in South Carolina. He was discharged at the camp hospital at Camp Berry, Portland, Maine 30 January 1865 (sic) at Draft Rendezvous.
The file contains two copies of Frank's army discharge. The date given for his discharge is 20 January 1865. All other information is consistent with prior testimony. Added is the fact that he was twenty years of age at discharge, and was born in Jay, Maine.
In support of Frank's application is an affidavit from Albert M. Clark of Marshalltown. He testifies that he has been personally acquainted with Frank Whitney since the fall of 1871. Frank worked for him at intervals during the years 1872 through 1874 on telegraph repairs on the Central Railroad of Iowa. Frank had often spoken to him of army life, and claimed to have been a soldier in a Maine regiment, although he does not recall the regimental number. Frank complained of having chronic diarrhea. They were fellow sufferers of the same cause and complaint, and he made Frank acquainted with a certain root growing there in the west which he believed was good for diarrhea. Frank often gathered it for this purpose. Since Frank left his service he has gathered the root for his use and at his solicitation. He has known Frank for the exception of about one year continuously since 1871. He personally does not know badly Frank was afflicted with this complaint, but he does know that Frank complained to him as stated.
Frank filed numerous applications for increased benefits over the years. In an affidavit from 18 January 1889, he states that he contracted diarrhea in Alexandria, Virginia sometime in 1863. He returned to Camp Berry, where he was treated until he was discharged. From there he went home to Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. He was unable to perform any manual labor for over a year. He then went to Austin, Illinois in 1866, and remained there for three years. He then came to Marshalltown in 1869, and has remained there ever since.
In an affidavit from Phillips, Maine on 25 March 1889, Harvey W. Sampson states that Frank Whitney went into the army as his substitute, and was a smart, healthy young man at the time. After his discharge, Frank stayed at his house several months suffering with chronic diarrhea. He was unable to work for a long time. Frank left Phillips about 1866, and he has not heard again from Frank until now.
On 5 July 1889 Frank answered an interrogatory from the Bureau of Pensions. He was married to Cynthia Whitney, nee C. Tribble. They were married in 1871 in Albia by a Methodist preacher. His wife is now deceased, and neither had been previously married. His living children are: Blanche Whitney, born 1 March 1872; M. P. Whitney, born 7 December 1873; Claude Whitney, born 5 February 1875; Clyde Whitney, born 17 April 1878; G. Whitney, born 21 October 1880; Walter Whitney, born 18 November 1883; and Zoe V. Whitney, born 8 October 1886.
Again in 1915 Frank answered a similar interrogatory. His wife's name was Cynthia Ann Whitney, nee Tribble. They were married in Albia, Monroe Co., Iowa, where there is a record of the marriage. The marriage certificate has become lost. All of his children are still living. They are: Blanche E., born 1 March 1872; Maude P., born 7 December 1873; Claude D., born 5 February 1876; Earle G., born 21 October 1880; Walter A., born 18 November 1883; and Zoe V., born 8 October 1886.
In a 1912 declaration for increased benefit, previously stated information remains consistent. Frank adds that he was born 7 December 1847 at Jay, Franklin Co., Maine.
The office of the Commissioner of Pensions received a letter dated 11 December 1925 from the Iowa Soldier's Home in Marshalltown, Iowa. It certifies that Frank Whitney is now and has been a patient in the Iowa Soldier's Home Hospital since 18 September 1923. He suffers from paralysis affecting his speech, right arm, and left leg. He is helpless and has required the almost constant attendance of another, especially so in dressing and undressing, feeding himself, and in attending to nature's demands since the above date of entering the hospital. It is signed W. S. Devine, Surgeon.
The Bureau of Pensions was informed that Frank Whitney of the Soldier's Home at Marshalltown, Iowa was last paid at seventy-two dollars per month to 4 January 1927. He was dropped from the rolls because of his death on 4 January 1927.
Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group