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Captain Edward Washburn Whitaker


Captain Edward Washburn Whitaker (Civil War)

Edward Washburn Whitaker was born on June 15, 1841 in Killingly, Connecticut.  He was one of sixteen children (eight brothers and seven sisters).  Edward attended the public schools in Ashford, CT and the Academy in Olneyville (Providence), RI.
Edward Whitaker was one of four brothers who enlisted in Union Regiments in the Civil War.  He fought in 82 engagements during the course of the war.  He was slightly wounded at Falling Waters, Maryland, by shrapnel.  While running at a gallop at Five Forks, Virginia, his horse fell on him, and caused him to have a lifelong groin and back injury.
As a Captain, Company E, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Reams Station, Virginia, on June 29, 1864. His citations reads “While acting as an aide voluntarily carried dispatches from the commanding general to Gen. Meade, forcing his way with a single troop of Cavalry, through an Infantry division of the enemy in the most distinguished manner, though he lost half his escort.  The Medal was actually presented on April 2, 1898.
At the age of 23 he was brevetted Brigadier General of Volunteers for war service - the youngest General in the Civil War.
Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he was stricken with malaria and was disabled most of his life by a heart condition brought on by the disease.
After the war, Edward Whitaker was appointed Superintendent of the U.S. Capitol Building.  In 1869 President Grant appointed him the Postmaster of Hartford, Connecticut.  Afterwards he was an insurance agent. In his later years he was a patent attorney living in Washington, D.C.
Edward W. Whitaker‘s National number is 13552.  He was a member of the District of Columbia Society and his DC Society number is 702.  His Patriot ancestor is Lieutenant Richard Whitaker of Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
At the age of 81, Edward W. Whitaker died on July 30, 1922 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.