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Subject: Re: Levi Whiting, d. 1852 (army officer)
Author: Herbert Stanford
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012
I have recently researched the family of Levi Whiting due to my interest in W.H.C. Whiting and his role in the design and construction of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in North Carolina.
Please review the following and advise if corrections are required or if you have additional information.
Levi Whiting was born on 27 Jan 1790 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts. He died on 3 Aug 1852 in Naugatuck, New Haven, Connecticut. He was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Naugatuck, New Haven, Connecticut.
Levi was the son of Timothy Whiting (1758–1826) and Abigail Kidder (1759–1798). The Whiting family is descended from a Samuel Whiting (1633-1713) who immigrated from England to Massachussetts.
Levi was an artilliary officer in the U.S. Army, serving from 1812 until the time of death in 1852. At his death, he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the First Artilliary Regiment, U.S. Army.
The 1850 census finds the family living in New Utrecht, Kings, New York and lists Levi Whiting (60, Lt. Col., Army), Mary A. (49), William H.C. (29, Lt., Army), Robert E. K. (17), Mary (6), and Anna C. (5).
Rhode Island coastal artillery batteries from 1903 until 1946 were named in honor of Levi Whiting. The First "Battery Whiting" was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 3 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Getty, Newport, Rhode Island. Battery construction started in January 1903, was completed in September 1903, and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 7 Jun 1910. Guns and carriages moved in 1942. The second "Battery Whiting" was a reinforced concrete, World War II 3 inch coastal gun battery at Fort Burnside, Newport, Rhode Island. Battery construction began on 5 May 1942, was completed on 15 Sep 1942, and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 29 Aug 1942. It was deactivated in 1946.
Levi married Mary Ann . Mary was born about 1801 in Maine. She died about 1872 in New York.
The 1860 census finds Mary A. Whiting (60, widow) living in Hartford District 3, Hartford, Connecticut. Listed in this record are Robert Whiting (27, civil engineer), Mary Whiting (16), Anna Whiting (15), and Jasper L. Whiting (32, civil engineer).
In 1870, Mary A. Whiting (69) is found living with her son Robert's family in Yonkers, Westchester, New York.
Records indicate that Mary received a widow's pension from the Army from 1853 through 1872, so 1872 is probably her death year.
Levi and Mary had the following children:
2. William Henry Chase Whiting was born on 22 Mar 1824 in Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi. He died on 10 Mar 1865 in Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, New York City, New York. He was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina.
The Cape Lookout Lighthouse was constructed by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, under the supervision of Capt. William Henry Chase Whiting (1824-1865). In May 1857, Whiting submitted "tracings of section and elevation of 1st order L.H. Tower" to the Lighthouse Board. His "tracings" reflected the design criteria established by Lt. Jenkins in 1851.
Whiting was an academic genius who entered Boston English High School, the nation's first public high school, at age twelve.
He graduated as valedictorian two years later and entered Georgetown College (later Georgetown University), graduating second in his class at age sixteen. He entered the United States Military Academy in 1841 and graduated at the head of his class as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Engineer Corps on July 1, 1845.
After graduation, Whiting was assigned duty as assistant engineer at Pensacola, Florida. There, he helped supervise repairs and improvements at military installations in the area until 1848, when he was assigned duty in Texas to scout a wagon road
between San Antonio and El Paso. That expedition came to be known as the "Whiting and Smith Expedition", which located what would become the important southern commercial and military route between the two cities.
On 22 April 1857, he married Katherine Davis Walker (1836- 1901), the daughter of John Walker and his wife Eliza Morehead Davis, in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina.
Whiting was promoted to First Lieutenant on March 16, 1853 and to Captain on December 13, 1858. In 1860, he was in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia overseeing improvements to defenses along the Savannah River. The 1860 census lists him living in "barracks" at Savannah, Chatham, Georgia as "Captain, U.S. Engineer Crops".
He resigned from the U.S. Army on 20 February 1861 to join the Confederate Army as a Major in the Confederate Engineer Corps. His first assignment was to aid General P. T. Beauregard in improving the defenses of Charleston harbor in South Carolina.
By July 1861 he was a brigadier general commanding two brigades.
In November 1862, Whiting was assigned to the Cape Fear District of North Carolina to keep the port of Wilmington open. He was promoted to Major General in February 1863 and placed in command of the District. During attacks on Fort Fisher by Federal forces in late 1864 and early 1865, he refused to usurp the command of Col. William Lamb at the fort and participated in the battles as a "volunteer" under Lamb's command. He was wounded in the leg during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher and
taken prisoner on 15 January 1865.
He died of dysentery on 10 March 1865 and was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York (where his brother Robert was superintendent of the cemetery). In 1900, his body was moved to Oakdale Cemetery (Section D, Lot 47) in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina and his wife Kate was buried with him in 1901.
Oakdale Cemetery records list Whiting as having died at Fort Hamilton, New Jersey. This is in error, as letters written by Whiting on 9 February 1865 and 2 March 1865, along with New York City newspaper accounts of his funeral published following his death, clearly show that Whiting was being held in the hospital at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, New York City, New York when he died.
An original drawing of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse is noted "Drawn under the direction of Lieut. Wm. H. C. Whiting, Corps Engr." This drawing is undated, but since we know that Whiting was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain in late1858, this drawing had to have been prepared prior to the lighthouse's completion and was probably part of the design drawings, even though "as-built" changes were made it (apparently after 1873, since the "checkers" daymark specified in 1873 is illustrated).
On September 19, 1859, the Lighthouse Board issued the following announcement:
"Official information has been received at this office from Captain W. H. C. Whiting, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, that the new lighthouse at Cape Lookout has been completed…. The new lighthouse will be lighted for the first time at sunset on Tuesday, the first day of November next, and will be kept burning that and every night thereafter until further orders….."
Evidently, William and Kate had no children. One source does indicate that they had a son, but no record has yet been found to document this.
A detailed history of Whiting's military career is provided in an address delivered by C.B. Denson, who served under Whiting in the Engineer Service of the Confederate Army, delivered in Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina on 10 May 1895. A complete
transcription is available at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2001.05.0284%3Achapter%3D1.10&force=y. And, an extensive discussion of the Cape Fear Campaign and the role played by Whiting is provided in "The
Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope" by Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.
William married Katherine Davis Walker "Kate" on 22 Apr 1857 in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina. Katherine was born on 14 Oct 1836 in North Carolina. She died on 21 Nov 1901 in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina. She was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina.
Katherine was the daughter of John Walker (b. abt. 1792, England) and his wife Eliza Morehead Davis (b. abt. 1805, North Carolina), who married on 12 Jul 1821 in Cumberland County, North Carolina.
In 1850, the census finds Kate living with her parents in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina. However, while there is a census record for her parents in 1860, no 1860 census record for Kate appears. While she was probably in Savannah,
Chatham, Georgia with her husband in 1860, no documentation to prove this has yet been found.
In 1870, the census lists Kate D. Whiting (30, widow) living with her mother Eliza M. Walker (65, widow) in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina with brothers James A. Walker (35), Henry D. Walker (25), and Calhoun C. Walker (29).
The 1880 census lists Kate D. Whiting (42, widow) living with her mother Eliza M. Walker (75, widow) in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina with brothers James A. Walker (44), Henry D. Walker (37), and Caldwell C. Walker (28) and sister Mariah
In 1900, the census lists Catherine D. Whiting (63, widow) living with her brother James A. Walker (65) and sister Maria A. Fosgate (48) in Wilmington Ward 4, New Hanover, North Carolina.
3. Jasper Strong Whiting (Levi) was born about 1827 in Louisiana. He died on 25 Dec 1862 in Richmond, Richmond, Virginia. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.
Jasper S. Whiting applied to West Point for the 1847-1848 year. It is unclear whether he attended or not, but in any event he did not enter the military.
Based on information posted online by the San Joaquin Historical Society, it appears that Whiting moved to Stocton, San Joaquin, California in 1849/1850. In 1850, he was one of the founders of a new Episcopal church in the town and, in July 1851, he was appointed as county surveryor, a position he held until 1854.
In 1852, the California State census finds Jasper working as a "civil engineer" in San Joaquin County, California. At the time, his brother Robert is living with him.
Both Jasper Whiting and his brother Robert were volunteer firemen in Weber Engine Company No. 1, Stockton, San Joaquin, California in the early 1850s.
Whiting co-patented a new type of "ore washer" used in mining operations in 1856.
The 22 Nov 1859 issue of the "Stocton Daily Argus" newspaper (Stocton, San Joaquin, California) reports that Jasper S. Whiting had just returned from several months in Washington, District of
Columbia and was now head of a surveying party in Sonora, San Joaquin, California. The article indicates that Whiting had been a previous resident of Stockton, but had lived in Sonora for several
Evidently, in 1860, Jasper returned to the East Coast to visit family and them moved on to New Mexico, where he was living in 1860-1861. He appears in the 1860 census twice. He is listed with his mother, brother Robert, and two sisters in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut in June of 1860 and again at Camp Jecker, Arizona-New Mexico Territory in September of that year, working as a civil engineer.
It is probable that Jasper Strong Whiting met Louisa Ingraham while he was in Washington in 1859.
After the Civil War started in April 1861, Jasper applied to serve in the Confederate Army. On 14 Jul 1861, he was appointed a Major in the Adjutant General's Office and was assigned to serve General Gustavus Smith in Richmond, Richmond, Virginia. After General Smith suffered health problems in Jun 1862, Whiting was assigned to serve General Stonewall Jackson.
He died of scarlet fever on 25 Dec 1862 in Richmond.
Jasper married Louisa Harriet Ingraham "Ella" on 30 May 1861 in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. Louisa was born on 8 May 1834 in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. She died on 2 Oct 1885 in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. She was buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.
Louisa was the daughter of Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham (1802- 1891) and Harriott Horry Laurens (1813-1888).
Duncan Ingraham joned the U.S. Navy in 1812 and in March 1856 he was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography and the family moved to Washington, District of Columbia. He served in this position until 1860 when he took command of the flag ship USS Richmond assigned to the
Mediterranean and his family returned to live in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolna. The family is found living in Washington in the 1860 census.
When Ingraham learned that South Carolina had left the Union, he resigned from the US navy on 4 February 1861 and offered his services to the Confederacy. He was appointed Captain in the
Confederate navy on 26 March 1861, serving as Commander of the Charleston Naval District until the end of the war.
It is probable that Louisa met Jasper Strong Whiting while he was in Washington in 1859.
The 1870 census finds Ella Ingraham (28) and her son Jasper (7) living with her parents in Charleston Ward 2, Charleston, South Carolina.
Evidently, Ella died in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland while visiting her sister.
Jasper and Louisa had on child:
Jasper Strong Whiting Jr. was born about 1862 in Pendleton, Anderson, South Carolina. He died on 6 Dec 1896 in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. The cause of death was cardiac congestion. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.
Jasper never married.
In 1880, the census finds Jasper Whiting (16) living with his aunt and uncle Harriott and W.B. Hall in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland where he is attending school. Harriott Hall is Ella Ingraham's sister.
On 1 May 1885, the Minnesota Territorial and State Census finds Jasper S. Whiting (23) living in St. Paul Ward 6, Ramsey, Minnesota.
From his Charleston County, South Carolina death certificate, we learn Jasper's place of birth and the date, place, and cause of his death.
4. Robert E.K. Whiting (Levi) was born about 1833 in New York. He died in 1870/1880 in New York.
In 1852, the California State census finds Robert Whiting (19) working as a "civil engineer" in San Joaquin County, California, living with his brother Jasper. Records show that Robert were volunteer firemen in Weber Engine Company No. 1, Stockton, San Joaquin, California in the early 1850s.
In 1860, the census finds Robert Whiting (27, civil engineer) living with his mother Mary A. Whiting (60, widow) in Hartford District 3, Hartford, Connecticut.
The 1870 census finds the family living in Yonkers, Westchester, New York and lists Robert Whiting (37, Comptroller of City), Elsie (27), and Henry (8/12). Living with them is Robert's mother, Mary A. Whiting (69).
Robert married Elsie B. . Elsie was born in Nov 1843 in Connecticut. She died in 1900/1910 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
The 1880 census finds Elsa Whiting (35, widow) living with her two children Henry (10) and Roberta (8) in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
The Hartford, Connecticut, City Directory, of 1887 lists Elsie B. Whiting living at 152 Washington, Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1900, the cenus lists Elsie B. Whiting (56, widow) living in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut. Living with her is William H. Whiting (29, clerk, prison).
Robert and Elsie had the following children:
i. William Henry Chase Whiting II was born in Oct 1870 in New York. He died after 1920 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
The 1900 census finds Henry (29, clerk, prison) living with his mother in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1910, the census lists Wm. H. Whiting (40, single, clerk, insurance) as a lodger living with the family of James and Annie McDonald in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
The 1920 census lists William H.C. Whiting (50, single, clerk, insurance co.) living in Hartford Ward 9, Hartford, Connecticut.
ii. Roberta Whiting was born about 1872 in New York.