Archive:Civil War Pension File, James Whitney

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

Civil War Pension File of James Whitney
Widow: Mary Whitney
Widow Applic. # 49862 Cert. # 35018
James L. Rogers, guardian of minor children, Ida M. and Susan E. Whitney Minor's Applic. # 138759 Cert. # 100061
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

The ancestry of James Whitney and the facts of his first marriage are yet to be elucidated.


Private, Company B, 15th Maine Infantry

On 4 April 1864 Mary Whitney signed a Widow's Claim for Pension from Sagadahoc County, Maine. She is thirty years old and a resident of Bowdoin, Maine. She is the widow of James Whitney, who was a private in Company B commanded by Captain J. H. Whitmore in the 15th Regiment of Maine Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Isaac Dyer. James had been discharged at New Orleans on 1 February 1864 due to sickness contracted in the service. He died on board the transport Continental at sea on 14 February 1864 while on passage to New York. She had been married to James Whitney at Brunswick by Andrew Rollins, Minister of the Gospel. Her name before marriage was Mary Crips. She has remained a widow since the death of her husband. The following are the names of the surviving children of the soldier where were under sixteen years old at the time of his death:

Mary Jane Whitney, age fourteen, resides in Lisbon
James William Whitney, age nine years, resides in Lisbon
Stephen H. Whitney, age eleven years, resides in Bowdoin
Ida M. Whitney, age seven, resides in Bowdoin
Susan E. Whitney, age four years, resides in Bowdoin

The application is witnessed by Daniel Carter and Charles W. Rideout, both residents of Bowdoin. It was sworn before James L. Rogers, Justice of the Peace.

On 6 September 1864, Mary Whitney signed another Widow's Claim for Pension from Sagadahoc County, Maine. She states that she was married to James Whitney on 2 September 1855 at Brunswick by Rev. Andrew Rollins, Clergyman. Her maiden name had been Mary Crips. She provides the following list of the surviving children of the soldier who were under sixteen years old at the time of his death (all reside in Bowdoin):

Children by former wife:
Mary Jane, born 1850
Stephen Henry, born 14 May 1853
James William, born 1855
Ida Marie, born 29 June 1857 (sic)
Susan Emma, born 8 July 1860

Witnesses to the application are James L. Rogers and Charles Foster, both of Bowdoin.

The file contains a copy of the Army of the United States Certificate of Disability for Discharge for James Whitney. Private James Whitney of Captain J. H. Whitmore's Company B of the 15th Maine Regiment was enlisted by J. H. Whitmore on 1 October 1861, to serve three years. He was born in Bodin (sic), Maine, is forty-seven years old, five feet ten inches tall, with a dark complexion, dark eyes, and dark hair. He had been a farmer before enlistment. During the last two months the soldier had been unfit for duty sixty days. James had been examined by J. B. Baxter, surgeon, and found to be incapable for performing his duties because of chronic diarrhea of six months duration, and hemorrhoids. He is not suitable to enter the Invalid Corps. James was discharged at Barracks U. S. General Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana on 1 February 1864.

Mary Whitney was admitted for a pension of eight dollars per month, commencing 14 February 1864.

On 1 May 1866 in Bath, Sagadahoc County, Maine Elijah Upton, Register of Probate, declared James L. Rogers guardian of Ida M. and Susan E. Whitney, the minor children of James Whitney.

A claim was made for a Minor's Pension on behalf of Ida and Susan Whitney. On 5 December 1866 from Sagadahoc County, Maine James L. Rogers signed a declaration as guardian for these children. He is forty-eight years old and a resident of Bowdoin, Sagadahoc Co., Maine. Ida Maria Whitney was born 29 June 1856, and Susan Emma Whitney was born 8 July 1860. Both reside in Bath, Maine. Mary Cripps (sic), mother of the children was married to James Whitney at Brunswick, Maine on 2 September 1855, and she remarried on 3 March 1866. The declaration is witnessed by Oliver H. Henry and Samuel L. Allen, both residents of Sagadahoc County.

Leonard Townsend, City Clerk of Brunswick, Cumberland Co., Maine supplied a certified copy of the marriage record of Mary Crips and James Whitney from the Brunswick Town Records. The record reflects the previously stated information.

Daniel Carter, Town Clerk of Bowdoin, Sagadahoc County, Maine supplied a certified copy of the birth records of Ida and Susan Whitney from that town. Susan Emma Whitney was born in Bowdoin on 29 June 1856, and Ida Maria Whitney was born there 8 July 1860.

Daniel Carter also supplied a certified copy of the marriage record of Mary Whitney and Isaac Crooker. They were married in Bowdoin by James L. Rogers, Justice of the Peace, on 3 March 1866.

The children were admitted for a pension commencing 5 March 1866, and ending 7 July 1876. The guardian received eight dollars per month, with two dollars per month in addition for each of the children.

The following letter is found in the file:

Auburn, New York
March 26, 1864
Mrs. James Whitney
Madam,
I have the honor to acknowledge receiving today yours of the 20th instant yesterday. I wrote you stating my inability to comply with a request from Mr. Jacques, your Post Master. I avail myself, however, with pleasure of the present authority given me by your name and own letter.
You will find accompanying this, fifteen dollars which were handed me by our doctor after Mr. Whitney's death. This was all the money we could find belonging to him; also a likeness of a lady and two children; also his discharge paper.
Mr. Whitney died the 14th of February on board the U.S. Transport "Continental". He had been placed on board from the hospital in company with a number of other soldiers. I think his disease was chronic diarrhea. He was very much reduced and slept nearly all the time. I never succeeded in finding him when I could converse with him.
You would of course desire to know where we laid his body. It is, therefore, sad to say that the last rites of respect to his remains were performed as we consigned them to the waves on which he died.
Permit me, madam, to hope that you may be able to find comfort in a Christian's faith and in a trust upon Him who is willing abundantly to bless those who look to Him.
Yours with respect,
John E. Werth
Chaplain, 75th N.Y. Volunteers

Copyright © 2007, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group

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