Archive:Civil War Pension File, Isaac Whitney

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Archives > Archive:Military Records > Archive:Civil War, Pension Files > Civil War Pension File, Isaac Whitney

Isaac Whitney, who lived in Orrington, Penobscot Co., Maine, where he is buried. His death record in Orrington gives inaccurate information about his parents, but his ancestry was solved by his obituary, which appeared in the Bangor Daily Commercial of 26 March 1923. It states that he is mourned by his brother David of Sabula, Idaho. Sabula is in Iowa, not Idaho. So, he is the brother of David Cathcart Whitney, and the son of David and Mercy Reed Whitney of Lincoln, Penobscot Co., Maine.

The obituary also contained the information that he was a Civil War soldier. It turns out he also was granted a pension. Below you will find my abstract of his Civil War pension file.

Civil War Pension File, Isaac Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 166981 Cert. # 272608
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

He is identified as Isaac8 Whitney (David7, Amos6, Jonathan5, Samuel4, John3, Benjamin2, John1).

Isaac Whitney, who lived in Orrington, Penobscot Co., Maine, where he is buried. His death record in Orrington gives inaccurate information about his parents, but his ancestry was solved by his obituary, which appeared in the Bangor Daily Commercial of 26 March 1923. It states that he is mourned by his brother David of Sabula, Idaho. Sabula is in Iowa, not Idaho. So, he is the brother of David Cathcart Whitney, and the son of David and Mercy Reed Whitney of Lincoln, Penobscot Co., Maine.

The obituary also contained the information that he was a Civil War soldier. It turns out he also was granted a pension. Below you will find my abstract of his Civil War pension file.

Private, Company I, 9th Maine Infantry

Isaac Whitney signed a Declaration for an Invalid Pension from Penobscot Co., Maine on 3 July 1871. He is forty-one years old, and a resident of the City of Bangor, Maine. He had enlisted in the service of the United States at Bangor, Maine on or about 21 September 1861 as a private in Company I commanded by Captain Baker in the 9th Regiment of Maine Infantry Volunteers commanded by Colonel Rich. He was honorably discharged at Washington, D.C. on or about 18 November 1862. While in the service, and in the line of his duty, he became a prisoner of war at Macon, Georgia. He was attacked with fever and ague about the first of October 1862, and also with diarrhea. He was taken prisoner at Fernandina, Florida on 10 April 1861 (sic), up to which time he was sound and able bodied. After he was captured, he was first taken to Tallahassee, Florida, then to Chattahoochee, Florida, and then to Macon, Georgia. He was then taken to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, where he was paroled. He reported with Union lines at Aikens Landing, Virginia. He was then sent to Mariden U.S. General Hospital in Washington. D.C., from where he was discharged.

The diarrhea stayed with him for about ten months, and then stopped. But, the fever and ague has been continuous to the present time, and was the reason he was unable to do any labor of any consequence for about three years after he came home from the army in 1862. He has had attacks of the fever and ague as often as every two months since his discharge. It has so wracked his whole system as to render him disabled from performing hard labor. His limbs throughout are sore, and labor or exercise produces pain. It has affected his kidneys and has produced a general debility. When he has attacks of the fever, chills, and ague, numerous sores form in his throat, making it extremely difficult to swallow. It lasts a week to ten days at a time. He has never believed in doctors, and has never employed a physician since his return from the army. The nature of his illness was, and is, such that a physician could do him no good. He has simply used patent fever and ague medicines. He is a poor man with a family and is not able to employ a physician unless absolutely necessary. There are many of his neighbors who can testify to his troubles from the time of his discharge until now. He was never in the hospital other than as previously mentioned. He never applied until now for a pension, although he had been repeatedly advised to do so. He has put it off from time to time in hope of getting better, and being able to get along without it. But, he has grown worse, and is compelled to call for a pension, and endeavor to provide satisfactory proof. In 1864 he tried to get back into the service, but the surgeon would not take him. He has never again been in the U.S. service since 18 November 1862.

Since leaving the service, he has resided in the City of Bangor, where he has not been regularly employed. Prior to entry in the service he was of good, sound physical health, being employed as a lumberman. He is now three-fourths disabled.

On 19 August 1871 the Adjutant General's Office reported to the Commissioner of Pensions that Isaac Whitney was mustered into the service as a private on 22 September 1861 at Augusta, Maine in Company I, 9th Maine Volunteers, to serve three years. He was on the muster rolls of that regiment for the months of March and April, and is reported taken prisoner on 10 April 1862. He is reported released 19 October, and discharged for disability 19 November 1862. Prisoner of War records show him captured 10 April 1862 and paroled at Aikens Landing, Virginia on 19 October 1862. The Certificate of Disability reports him Discharged at Washington, D.C. on 18 November 1862 because of Amaurosis and Chronic Diarrhea.

There is in the file a copy of Isaac's Certificate of Disability for Discharge. It states that Private Isaac Whitney of Captain Baker's Company of the 9th Infantry Regiment of Maine Volunteers was enlisted at Bangor, Maine on 9 September 1861 to serve three years. He was born at Waldo, Maine. He is thirty-two years of age, five feet eight inches high, with a light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and was by occupation a lumberman when he enlisted. During the last two months he has been unfit for duty sixty days. He was discharged at Columbian Hospital on 18 November 1862 by Thomas R. Crosby, Commanding Surgeon, because of Amaurosis and Chronic Diarrhea.

I am unable to find any follow-up to this application in the file. Isaac next applied for a pension on 19 June 1880 from Penobscot County, Maine. He is now forty-nine years old, and is described as 5 feet six inches tall, light complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. Added in this application is that the illnesses he suffered were caused by exposure in a malarial locality. And, the name of the hospital in which he was treated in Washington, D.C. is now called Columbian U.S. General Hospital. The Examining Surgeon's Certificate states that in his opinion, Isaac is three-quarters disabled, and that he believes that Isaac's disability originated in the service. The disability is permanent, he is in feeble condition, and can work very little.

Isaac also provided testimony from neighbors concerning his disability. Among those was J. W. Palmer of Bangor, Maine. Mr. Palmer had employed Isaac as a lumberman and river driver for ten years prior to his enlistment. He testifies that Isaac was a very strong, healthy man, and was one of the most efficient of the one hundred men he had in his employ. He saw Isaac upon his return from the service, and he was suffering from diarrhea, chills, fever, and ague. He was unable to perform manual labor for several months, and when Isaac was able, he employed him once again from 1863 until 1879. During this time he was in poor health and a mere wreck of his former self. He could work only from one to three days a week due to his disabilities.

Isaac was approved for a pension at four dollars a month, commencing 19 November 1862. He applied numerous times over the years for increases in benefits as he aged and became more disabled. In 1885 and 1889 he applied from Macwahoc, Aroostook Co., Maine. In 1892 and 1893 he applied from Murray, Aroostook Co., Maine. On 12 March 1907 he applied from Hancock County, Maine. He is a resident of Bucksport, Hancock Co., Maine. He states that he was born 12 July 1830 at Waldo, Maine. Since leaving the service, he has resided at Bangor, Macwahoc, and Bucksport, Maine. His present post office address is East Holden, RFD #2, Penobscot Co., Maine. George P. Goodwin and Wentworth Staples, both residents of Dedham, Maine attest to the declaration.

On 28 March 1915, Isaac answered an inquiry from the Bureau of Pensions. At this time his address was South Orrington, Maine. He answers that he was born in Waldo County, Maine. He had served in Company I of the 9th Regiment, Maine Volunteers. His post office at enlistment was Bangor, Maine. He is married to Matilda Whitney, maiden name Matilda Frazier. They had been married in Bangor, Maine on 14 August 1859 by Lawyer Wakefield, Justice of the Peace. He knows of no record of the marriage. He states that they were separated for a short time, but were remarried in Bradley, Maine on 19 February 1899 by James A. Rich, Justice of the Peace. He is now living with his wife. The names and dates of birth of his children, living and dead, are:

Isaac Albert Whitney, born 4 August 1861
Eva May Whitney, born 14 February 1864
Annie M. Whitney, born 15 June 1866
William S. Whitney, born 1 May 1869
Sarah V. Whitney, born 3 May 1871
Lizzie F. Whitney, born 3 August 1874

On 10 April 1923, a check for fifty dollars was returned by the postmaster of Orrington, Maine. He states that the pensioner died 25 March 1923. He had last been paid fifty dollars to 4 March 1923, and was dropped from the rolls because of his death.


Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group

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