Archive:Civil War Pension File, William Alfred Whitney

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From the Civil War Pension File of William A. Whitney

Co. K. 24th New York Infantry

Anna A. Whitney, Widow

Invalid Certificate #442720

Widow’s Application #698535, Certificate #483856

The National Archives Building,

Washington, D.C.

On 5 January 1886 from Branch Co., Michigan, William A. Whitney signed a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension. He is 51 years old and a resident of the City of Coldwater, Branch Co., Michigan. On 3 May 1861 he enrolled in Co. K of the 24th Regiment of New York Infantry commanded by Capt. A.J. Barney. He was honorably discharged at Elmira, NY in May, 1863. He was 27 years old, 5 feet 11.5 inches tall, dark hair and brown eyes.

While in his line of duty at Munson’s (sp.?) Hill, Virginia on 5 September 1861 he contracted typhoid fever, and was very sick. He partially recovered, and then relapsed with resulting diarrhea. He claims a pension on disability resulting from chronic diarrhea and derangement of the nervous system as a result of typhoid fever. He claims a loss of teeth as a result of taking medicine while sick in the hospital at the E Street Infirmary in Washington, D.C., run by the Sisters of Charity and Sister Mary Ann. He was there from September to December 1861. After the hospital burned, he was sent to Meridian Hill, Columbia College Hospital, and from there to Annapolis, Maryland.

Since leaving the service he has resided in Jefferson Co., New York and Branch Co., Michigan. When he enrolled in the service he was a farmer, and he is now a greatly disabled laborer.

William submitted a affidavit on 3 September 1888. Since his discharge, his principal residence and post office address has been Coldwater, Branch Co., Michigan. Except about 2 years, 1870-1871, when his post office address was Lansing, Ingham Co., MI. He has been a day laborer, but has not done much of anything. His disability consists of derangement of the nervous system, a result of typhoid fever. He has chronic diarrhea and loss of teeth as a result of being salivated. This resulted from severe exposure incident to camp life while at Arlington Heights on or about 1 September 1861. His hospital experience is as previously described. William was pensioned at a rate of $6.00 per month.

On 14 February 1889 Mrs. Anna A. Whitney signed an affidavit from Coldwater, Branch Co., MI. She became acquainted with William A. Whitney at Elmira, NY in 1861 when he entered the service and saw him in June 1862, soon after the new year, when he came home to Elmira on furlough. He was on a sick furlough for two weeks until about April 1, 1862, when he returned to the service. When he was no better, his furlough was extended. She saw him again when he was discharged in 1863. In December 1863 he came to to board in the hotel in which she worked in Elmira. He remained there until 9 April 1864, when they were married in Cleveland, Ohio. While at the hotel, he was sick with chronic diarrhea and would obtain medicine for it at a nearby drug store. He had also lost his teeth, and from then to the present suffered from chronic diarrhea.

William’s file contained many affidavits sworn by witnesses knew him and knew of his disability; and affidavits from soldiers who served with him, and physicians who treated him. There were medical reports each time he applied for further benefits. There was evidence that his brother was Samuel G. Whitney of Grand Ledge, MI.

On 1 October 1891, William applied for an increase in benefit due to increased disability. He suffered from chronic diarrhea and resulting piles; rheumatism and resulting heart disease; lung disease; scurvy; partial loss of sight in both eyes; partial deafness.

William’s death certificate, which was supplied by his wife when she applied for benefits, reveals that he entered Headquarters Michigan Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids, MI, on 10 November 1893. He died there 16 February 1899 of paralysis. His nearest kin is his wife Anna, residing at Grand Ledge, Michigan.

On 14 April 1899 Anna A. Whitney signed a Declaration for Widow Pension from Eaton Co., Michigan. She is 61 years old, and a resident of Grand Ledge, Eaton Co., MI. She is the widow of William A. Whitney, who enrolled at Belleville, NY on 3 Mary 1861 as a private in Co. K, 24th Regiment, NY Infantry. She was married to him under the name Anna A. Fellows at Cleveland, Ohio on 9 April 1864 by Rev. Mr. T. H. Hawks. (She supplied a copy of the marriage certificate from Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., OH). The soldier died 16 February 1899 at Grand Rapids, MI. The soldier left the following children:

Grant Whitney, born 17 Jan 1869 at Chicago, Illinois
Lee Whitney, born 8 Feb 1871 at Lansing, Mich.
Guy Whitney, born 1 March 1879 at Lansing, Mich.
Santee F. Whitney, born 18 May 1876 at Belleville, Jefferson Co., NY

On 25 Sept. 1899 a pension of $8.00 per month was granted to Anna A. Whitney.

Note: William A. Whitney is identified as William Alfred Whitney.

Copyright © 2013, Kenneth L. Whitney, Robert L. Ward, and the Whitney Research Group.

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