Archive:Civil War Pension File, Willard Whitney
Civil War Pension File of Willard Whitney
Invalid Applic. # 481257 Cert. # 310685
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
I cannot positively identify Willard, but by process of elimination, I believe he is John Willard Whitney, son of John F. and Jane B. Whitney of Belmont, Waldo Co., Maine. A Willard Whitney matching this Willard's age does not appear in the 1850 Maine census, as should a child born circa 1837-38. This gives rise to the thought that Willard was his middle name. A John W. Whitney appears in the John F. Whitney family in Belmont, and page 80 of the Town Records of Searsmont, Maine reveals him to be John Willard Whitney, born to John F. and Jane B. Whitney on 22 December 1837. Coincidently, Willard's brother, Addison O. Whitney, was killed in the war, and his father successfully prosecuted a claim for Addison's pension benefits. In that file, a family Bible record is presented, and John Willard Whitney is mentioned born as previously stated.
Private, Company G, 11th Maine Infantry
Willard Whitney signed a Declaration for an Original Invalid Pension on 16 April 1883 from Penobscot Co., Maine. He was enrolled on 30 September 1864 in Company G of the 11th Maine Volunteers commanded by Lewis H. Holt, and was honorably discharged at Richmond on 12 June 1865. He is now forty-six years old; 5 feet 10 inches in height; with a light complexion; brown hair; and blue eyes. While in the service and in his line of duty at Richmond, Virginia on or about 1 June 1865, he contracted dizziness of the head. The doctor pronounced it heating of the brain, which resulted with entire deafness in the right ear, and partially so in the left ear. He is not able to work but half the time. He was never treated in a hospital. Since leaving the service, he has resided in Kenduskeag, Maine, where he is a farmer. Prior to his enlistment, he was a laborer.
The Adjutant General's Office reports only his discharge. They have no record of hospitalization or medical treatment. They report he was discharged as previously stated.
Subsequent to his declaration, Willard was examined by three surgeons at Bangor, Maine. They provide a description of the incident which caused Willard's deafness. While he was picking peas, he was overpowered with the heat, and became dizzy, nauseated, and weak. He was hardly able to return to camp. He felt no further effects until he returned home. A fortnight after returning, he was taken with "dizzy spells", vomiting, and heard some ringing in his right ear. He is totally deaf to a watch in his right ear, and two inches with the left ear. One has to speak loud in order to be heard and understood. He sweats and trembles badly under examination. They find him to be one quarter disabled.
Willard was granted a pension of four dollars per month, commencing 21 April 1883, and nine dollars per month commencing 3 April 1884.
On 28 March, 1885 Willard answered an inquiry from the Commissioner of Pensions subsequent to an application for increased benefits. He states that after his discharge, he lived in Corinna, Maine from 1865 to 1869. From 1869 to 1874, he resided in Corinth, Maine, and then removed to Kenduskeag, Maine. Since his discharge, he has been a farmer. While in the army near Richmond, Virginia about 1 June 1865, he was detailed to do cooking for the non-commissioned staff. He went after peas some distance from camp and received a sun stroke. Upon returning to camp, he was unable to perform duty for several days. He was treated by the Regimental Surgeon, Dr. Royal. He has heard that Dr. Royal was in California, and has tried to write to him. His letters have been returned. He was treated by Dr. Day upon his return to Corinna, but is unable to locate him also. He was treated by Dr. Jared Fuller in Corinth, but he died three years ago. Dr. Plummer, who treated him in Kenduskeag, has moved to Los Angeles, California. Since his return from the army, he has had a difficult time working, but has managed to work about one third of the time. For the past five years he has taken one and two town paupers, and managed to earn something in that way.
On 4 March 1898, Willard answered an inquiry from the Bureau of Pensions. He testifies that he is married, and his wife's maiden name was Clara Lawrence. They were married 23 May 1863 in Corinna, Maine by Elder Steward. The marriage is recorded in the town records. Neither had been previously married. He has three living children: Ella E., born 25 December 1864; Leland W., born 27 June 1869; and Sarah E., born 19 March 1879.
On 11 December 1905 the Commissioner of Pensions was informed that Willard Whitney was last paid at twenty-five dollars per month to 4 September 1905, and was dropped from the rolls because of his death on 1 December 1905.
Copyright © 2007, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group