The Civil War Letters of John Whipple

John Whipple was born in the Town of Le Ray, Jefferson County New York August 18, 1836, the son of Elisha Whipple and Fannie Johnson Whipple. His grandfather Esek Whipple was a member of the original settlement party of the town of De Kalb in 1803. John's father Elisha Whipple was born in Rhode Island and came to De Kalb with his parents at the age of eight.

 

John Whipple attended the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary in the 1850's and was certified to teach in 1859. John and his 18-year-old brother Daniel traveled to Potsdam, NY where they enlisted in Company I of the 92nd NYS Volunteers on November 29, 1861.


Company I was headed by Lieutenant Myron Cushman of Gouverneur, NY, a documented UGRR conductor. The Utica herald of October 24, 1861 stated, "Myron Cushman of Gouverneur is engaged in raising a company of old men to fight for the Union. He has about 20 already enrolled, all over the age of fifty years, and the prospect is good for a full company in a few days."

During the war John Whipple sent home over 100 letters and kept a pocket diary. He was elected second sergeant of Co. I at Camp Union. His letters cover: training at Camp Union, transfer to Kalorama Heights near Washington DC subsequent engagements in Virginia and New Bern, North Carolina as well as his time in the hospital at David's Island near New York City and his eventual assignment to the Elmira Prison Camp.

In October 1864, he became inspector of barracks at Elmira prison camp. According to his obituary shortly after this he was attacked while on inspection duty. He suffered neurological damage, which left him crippled for the rest of his life.

Following the war John Whipple was a census taker in 1870. The same year he received his local preachers license form the Methodist Episcopal church. He worked as a clerk at Moore's Store in De Kalb Village (Old De Kalb). He was Postmaster of the De Kalb Village post office from 1874 to 1881. He died December 1, 1901 and was buried in the Old De Kalb cemetery.

Sergeant John Whipple, of DeKalb, NY

John Whipple's letters are addressed to:

  • Elisha Whipple – His father

  • Fannie Johnson Whipple - His mother

  • Lib or Libbie - His sister, Elizabeth

  • Mr. & Mrs. Hurlbut - John's brother-in-law, Charles and sister, Mary Whipple Hurlbut

 

The letters were donated to the Town of De Kalb Historical Association in memory of John and Daniel Whipple by their great nephew Charles Hurlbut III.

1861

01 — November 29, 1861 - from Camp Union

01a — December 4, 1861 - from Camp Union

02 — December 23, 1861 - from Camp Union

03 — December 31, 1861 - from Camp Union

1862

04 — January 15, 1862 - from Camp Union

05 — January 20, 1862 - from Camp Union

06 — January 30, 1862 - from Camp Union

07 — February 26, 1862 - from Camp Union

08 — March 9, 1862 - Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC

08a — March, 1862 - partial letter from Washington, DC

09 — March 14, 1862 - to Sister, fr Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC

10 — March 16, 1862 - to Brother, fr Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC

11 — April 4, 1862 - to Mother from Fortress Monroe, VA

12 — April 13, 1862 - to Mother fr. Camp Sanford, Newport News, VA

13 — April 21, 1862- to Mother fr.Camp Foster Warwick Courthouse, VA

14 — May 7, 1862 - to Father from camp near Williamsburgh

15 — May 11, 1862 to "Friends" fr. Headquarters, Army of the Potomac

16 — May 20, 1862 - to Mother from Camp Seceshia

17 — June 2, 1862 - to Father (Elisha) from Seven Pines, VA

18 — June 8, 1862 - from Camp at White Oak Swamp, VA

19 — June 22, 1862 - to Sister from White Oak Swamp, VA

20 — July 6, 1862 - to Father from James River, VA

21 — July 13, 1862 - from Headquarters, 92nd Regt. NYSV

22 — July 17, 1862- from Chickahominy, VA

23 — July 22, 1862 - to Sister from Headquarters of the 92nd, VA

24 — July 24, 1862 - to Mother from Headquarters of the 92nd, VA

25 — July 30, 1862 - to Friends from Headquarters of the 92nd, VA

26 — August 6, 1862 - to Sister, Libbie

27 — August 7, 1862 - to Mother

27b — August 16, 1862 - to Father, from David's Island

28 — August 26, 1862 - to Sister, Mary Hurlbut

28a — August 20, 1862 - from David's Island

29 — September 2, 1862 - to Friends, from David's Island

30 — September 7, 1862 - to Friends, from David's Island

31 — September 14, 1862 - to Sisters, from David's Island

32 — November 3, 1862 - to Mother, from David's Island

32a — September 23, 1862 - David's Island

32b — September 27, 1862 - David's Island

32c — October 4, 1862 - David's Island

32d — October 18, 1862 - David's Island

32e — October 25, 1862 - David's Island

32f — Nov. 9, 1862 - to sisters, from Hospital of David's Island, NY

33 — November 14, 1862 - to Sister, from "Uncle Sam's Hotel"

34a — November 28, 1862 - to Mother & Lib from David's Island

34 — November 26, 1862 - to Sister, Mary, from David's Island

35 — December 8, 1862 - to Friends, from David's Island

36 — December, 1862 - to Sisters, from David's Island

36a — December 19, 1862 - to Sister from David's Island

36b — December 23, 1862 - to Father, from David's Island

37 — December 24, 1862 - to Fannie Whipple, from Fort Hamilton

38 — December 31, 1862 - to Mary, Lib and Mother from Fort Hamilton

 

1863

39 — January 8, 1863 - to Friends, from Fort Hamilton

40 — January 11, 1863 - to Elizabeth Whipple, from Fort Hamilton

41 — Jan 15, 1863 - to "all whom it may concern," from Fort Hamilton

42 — January 15, 1863 - to Father, bound for Beaufort, SC

43 — January 21, 1863 - to Friends, from New Bern, NC

44 — January 31, 1863 - to Friends, from New Bern, NC

45 — February 11, 1863 - to Friends, from New Bern, NC

46 — Feb 17, 1863 - via Corporal Richardson, from New Bern, NC

47 — February 21 & 22, 1863 - to Sister, from New Bern, NC

48 — February 27, 1863 - to Sister Mary, from New Bern, NC

49 — February 28, 1863 - to Em & Fan, from New Bern, NC

50 — March 10, 1863 - to Friends, from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

51 — March 17, 1863 - to Friends from Newbern, NC

52 — Mar 20, 1863 - to Lib & Mother fr. Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

53 — March 20, 1863 - (no recipient or date shown)

​54 — March 26, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

55 — April 9, 1863 - to Sister from Newbern, NC

56 — April 9, 1863 - to Sister & Mother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

57 — April 14, 1863 - to Old Folks at Home fr: Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

58 — April 24, 1863 - to Father from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

59 — April 17, 1863 - to Sister from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

60 — April 27, 1863 - to Sister from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

61 — May 2, 1863 - to Mother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

62 — May 12, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

63 — May 19, 1863 - to Mother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

64 — May 19, 1863 - to Brother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

65 — May 29, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

66 — May 31, 1863 - to Sister & Mother fr. Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

67 — June 6, 1863 - to Sister from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

68 — June 8, 1863 - to Father from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

69 — June 10, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

70 — June 10, 1863 - to Brother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

71 — June 13, 1863 - from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

72 — June 17, 1863 - to Mother from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

73 — June 22, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson, Newbern, NC

74 — June 24, 1862 - to Sister from Fort Anderson

75 — July 5, 1863 - to Mother from Fort Anderson

76 — July 18, 1863 - to Sister from from Fort Anderson

76a — August 24, 1863 - Barracks at Elmira, NY

77 — July 19, 1863 - to Friends from Fort Anderson

78 — August 2, 1863 - to Friends from the NY State Soldiers Depot

79 — August 18, 1863 - to Friends from Barrack of Elmira, NY

80 — September, 1863 - to Sister from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

81 — September 3, 1863 - to Friends from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

82 — September 21, 1863 - to Sister from Lovejoy's Hotel

83 — September 25, 1863 - to Friends from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

84 — August, 1863 - to Friends from Soldiers Depot, NY

85 — August 18, 1863 - to Friends from Barrack at Elmira, NY

86 — September 1863 - to Sister from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

87 — October 15, 1863 - to Friends from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

87a — October 19, 1863 - to Sister from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

88 — November 26, 1863 - to Friends from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

89 — December 8, 1863 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

90 — December 16, 1863 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

1864

91 — January, 1864 - to Sister from Elmira, NY

92 — January 4, 1864 to Mother from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

93 — February 5, 1864 - to Mother from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

94 — February 11, 1864 - to Sister from Elmira, NY

95 — February 19, 1864 - to Mother from Barracks No. 3, Elmira, NY

96 — March 4, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

97 — March 10, 1864 - to Sister from Elmira, NY

98 — March 14, 1864 - to Sister from Elmira, NY

99 — April 22, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

100 — April 26, 1864 - to Father from Elmira, NY

101 — May 1, 1864 - to Sister from Elmira, NY

102 — May 9, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

103 — May 19, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

104 — June 28, 1864 - to Fanny and Emory

105 — June 15, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

106 — July 2, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

107 — July, 1864 - Prisoners Camp, Elmira, NY

108 — August 19, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

109 — October, 1864 - (partial)

110 — October 17, 1864 - to Niece Fanny from Elmira, NY

111 — October 22, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

112 — November, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

113 — November 24, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

114 — December 25, 1864 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

1865

115 — January 2, 1865 - to Mother from Elmira, NY

116 — January 6, 1865 - to Mother from Elmira, NY
 

Old Methodist Meetinghouse Museum
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