Family:Whitney, Henry Howard (1866-1949)

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Henry Howard Whitney
Henry Howard Whitney

Henry Howard3 Whitney (Walter R. E.2, John1, WalterA, TheophilusB), son of Walter R. E.2 and Eliza (Kegerreis) Whitney, born 25 Dec 1866, Glen Hope, PA, and died 2 Apr 1949, Madison, NJ. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

He married, 25 Feb 1897, Washington, D.C., Ellen Wadsworth Closson, daughter of General Henry Whitney and Julia W. (Terry) Closson. She was born 23 Aug 1871, OH, died 29 Dec 1963. She is buried next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Her father was born at Whitingham, Vermont, June 6, 1832, the son of Henry and Emily8 (Whitney) Closson. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1854 and married Olivia A. Burke, October 26, 1857. He married a second time to Julia W. Terry, June 2, 1868. Emily8 (Whitney) Closson was the daughter of Solomon7 and Lucy (Lyman) Whitney.

Henry Howard Whitney had a distinguished military career.

Appointed from Pennsylvania, Cadet U. S. Military Academy, 16 June 1888
Additional Second Lieutenant, 4th U. S. Artillery, 11 June 1892
Second Lieutenant, 28 November 1892
Captain, Assist Adjutant General of U. S. Volunteers, 12 May 1898
Honorably discharged from Volunteer Service, 12 May 1899
First Lieutenant, 4th U. S. Artillery, 2 March 1899
Artillery Corps, 2 February 1901
Captain, 8 May 1901
Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Adjutant General to Lieutenant General Miles, 6 June to 8 August 1903.

In May 1898, Lieutenant Henry H. Whitney of the Fourth Artillery was sent to the island on a reconnaisance mission, sponsored by the Army's Bureau of Military Intelligence. The mission was almost a disaster when newspapers leaked his identity, but he posed as a crew member in the furnace-room of the merchant ship and evaded detection by a boarding party of Spanish officers. He provided maps and information on the Spanish military presence by posing as a British merchant marine officer, and reported that the Spanish forces were few in number and poorly equipped.

Whitney’s grave, placed near the Spanish-American war memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, reflects his important role in the successful occupation of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Army in 1898. The epitaph, while noting lifelong service, stresses this early and important contribution:

Henry Howard Whitney, No. 3640 Class of 1892, died on April 2, 1949 in Madison, New Jersey, at the age of 82. The 32 years of service Brigadier General Henry Howard Whitney gave to the United States Army and his country were repleat with many valorous exploits, one of which led to the successful conquest of a country and saved thousands of lives without endangering that of anyone except his own.

In 1910 he was an officer in the Coast Artillery at Port Townsend, WA. His sister Bertha M. Whitney, age 21, as well as two Japanese servants resided with them.

Henry Howard Whitney, officer, US Army; born Glen Hope, PA, 25 Dec 1866, son of Rev. Walter R. and Eliza (Kegerreis) Whitney; married Ellen Wadsworth, daughter of Henry Whitney Closson, 25 Feb 1897; Children: Julie Elizabeth (deceased) and Henry Wadsworth. died 2 Apr 1949.

Children of Henry Howard3 and Ellen Wadsworth (Closson) Whitney (order uncertain):

i. Julie Elizabeth4 Whitney, d. before 1910.
ii. Henry Wadsworth Whitney, b. ca. 1908, District of Columbia. He was not living with his parents in 1920. He was probably the "Lt. Col. Henry Wadsworth Whitney, USN" who m. Emily Johnston Taussig, daughter of Rear Admiral Joseph Knefler Taussig, USN and Lulie Augusta Johnston. Taussig participated in the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Campaign, Cuban Pacification, World War I and others. Recalled to active duty in June of 1943, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Navy Department in 1945. He was Chairman of Hampton Roads Sanitation Commission. He died October 29, 1947.


305 356 Closson, Henry W. Head W M Jun 1832 68 mar 32 Vermont Vermont Vermont Actg. Col. U.S.A., Owns free house -----, Julia W. Wife W F Jun 1839 61 mar 32 2ch 2liv Ohio Connecticut Connecticut -----, Olivia F. Dau W F Jan 1860 40 sgl Texas Vermont Vermont Whitney, Henry H. SiL W M Dec 1866 34 mar 3 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania U.S.A. Officer -----, Ellen W. Dau W F Aug 1871 29 mar 3 0ch 0liv Ohio Vermont Ohio

  • 1910, Port Townsend, Jefferson Co., WA: Howard H. Whitney
  • 1920, Honolulu, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii: Henry H. Whitney
  • 1930, E.D. 1076, Long Beach, Los Angeles Co., CA: Henry H. Whitney


Copyright © 2008, Tim Doyle and the Whitney Research Group.

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