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Federal (USV)


John Henry Ellsworth Whitney

(1840 - 1891)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 9th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Age 20 years, an artist and wood engraver, he enlisted on 23 April 1861 at New York City and mustered-in as Corporal, Company B, 9th New York Infantry on May 4 to serve two years. He was promoted to Sergeant, date not given.

On the Campaign

In his after-action report, Colonel Kimball said "I cannot close this report without calling your special attention to ... Sergeants Dews, Whitney (wounded), and Schmidt; Corporals Farrell (wounded) Cornell and Roberts, Company B..." Sergeant Whitney had been wounded in the left illium (pelvic bone) in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was treated at the Locust Spring field hospital near Keedysville, the Smoketown Hospital near the battlefield, then in US Army General Hospital #1 in Frederick, MD. He was discharged for disability on 4 June 1863 and was receiving an Invalid's Pension by May 1864.

After the War

He wrote a history of the regiment The Hawkins Zouaves (Ninth N. Y. V.): their battles and marches, published in 1866 and was appointed Captain of Company B, 1st Regiment, New York State National Guard, organized by members of Hawkins Zouaves. He was an instructor at the Cooper Union in Manhattan and by 1880 was living in Chappaqua, NY and was an engraver for Harper's Magazine. He died of septicemia - blood poisoning - in 1891, said to be from his Antietam wound nearly 30 years before, which had never really healed.

References & notes

His basic service from the State of New York,1 as John R. Whitney. Wound and hospital details from Nelson.2 Personal details from family genealogists and his bio sketch from the Green-Wood Cemetery. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Emily Louisa Calhoun (1841-) in January 1865.

More on the Web

See some examples of his engraving work, including a self portrait c. 1890, over on the blog behind AotW.


07/30/1840; New York City, NY


11/20/1891; New Yorkk City (Manhattan), NY; burial in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, Issue 18 (for the year 1899), pg. 776  [AotW citation 12626]

2   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 437  [AotW citation 28116]