A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for Charles Austin WHALEY


He and his brother Cyrus C. Whaley fought in the Civil War, as privates in Company "E", 12th Michigan Infantry. Charles was aged 18 and listed as from Kalamazoo at the time of his enlistment in 1862.

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Name: Charles A Whaley; Residence: Kalamazoo, Michigan; Age at Enlistment: 18; Enlistment Date: 18 Feb 1864; Rank at enlistment: Private; Enlistment Place: Kalamazoo, Michigan; State Served: Michigan; Survived the War?: Yes; Service Record: Enlisted in Company E, Michigan 12th Infantry Regiment on 18 Feb 1864. Mustered out on 15 Feb 1866 at Camden, AR; Birth Date: abt 1846; Sources: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65. [He obviously lied about his age in order to enlist; he would have been just 16 years old on the date he enlisted].

The Twelfth Infantry was organized at Niles by Colonel Francis Quinn of that city, mustering into United States service on March 5, 1862, with an enrollment of 1,000 officers and men.

The Regiment left the state March 18, proceeding to Saint Louis, Missouri, where it embarked on steamers for Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn. When it arrived it was assigned to Colonel Peabody's Brigade, General Prentiss' division, Army of Tennessee. At the time the Twelfth joined the army commanded by General Grant, the Brigade's, Divisions and Corp were not numbered and organized as they were later in the war. The Regiment, with others newly organized and with no actual field experience, were pushed to the front, and from reports of the commanding officer, no adequate precautions or means of defense were taken to guard against a surprise attacks by the Confederates. Evidences seemed to multiply that the Confederates were in force somewhere in the vicinity, so Lieutenant Colonel Graves obtained the permission of the Brigade Commander to send two companies of the Twelfth under Major Powell as an advance picket. These companies were attacked at daylight, slowly being driven back to camp, but their stubborn resistance gave some timely notice of the approach of the attacking force.

Sunday morning, April the 6th, the Confederate army under General Albert Sidney Johnston delivered a crushing blow upon the Union lines at Pittsburgh Landing. The want of organization caused the Union troops to fight by detachments, causing the solidity of the Union army not to be brought to resist the compact lines of the Confederates as a unit force, resulting in disaster.

Prentiss' division fought as heroically as men could fight under such discouraging circumstances: Although swept from their first line by the rush of the attack, losing large numbers in killed or captured, the division fought desperately until the afternoon. Then, overpowered and exhausted, most of it surrendered.
During the battle of Sunday General Johnston was killed and General Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate forces.

The troops lay upon their arms during the night. Before morning General Buell's Army arrived, when the battle resumed, culminating on Monday in driving General Beauregard and his troops from the field. The losses of the Twelfth in this engagement were serious.

The Regiment occupied stations at Boliver, Tenn., Iuka, Miss., and Metamora, Miss. during the rest of the year, then spent from November 1862 to May 1863 guarding the Mississippi Central R.R., with headquarters at Middleburg, Tenn. At this place in December a detachment of the Regiment was besieged in a block house which was gallantly defended against an attack by General Van Dorn's forces, estimated at 3,000 strong.

Colonel Graves refused to surrender, succeeding after an engagement of two and a half hours in driving off the Confederate forces. The command was complimented by General Grant in General Orders for this brilliant work.

The Regiment was ordered to Vicksburg, Miss. in June, 1863, where it took post at Hayn's Bluff, remaining there until the fall of Vicksburg.

In July of 1863 the Twelfth was comprised in a force under the command of General Steele, when he attacked Little Rock, Ark. At this point the Regiment veteranized, 334 men re-enlisting. Then, in January 1864, started for Michigan on veteran furlough. After the expiration of the 30 days furlough the Twelfth reassembled at Niles, returning to Little Rock where it arrived on April 1st. The Regiment was engaged in long marches and frequent skirmishes with the Confederates in addition to doing picket and guard duty until October, when it arrived at De Vall's Bluff, Ark.

From there, the Twelfth started at once for Michigan, arriving at Jackson the 27th of March where it was paid off, and disbanded the 6th of March 1866.
From an unidentified contemporary newspaper, January 1940: Civil War Veteran Celebrates Birthday. When Comrade Charles A. Whaley of the G. A. R. celebrated his 92d birthday Saturday at an open house at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. L. Cole, W25 Sixteenth, only one other veteran of the Civil War, Jefferson J. Keyser was able to attend because of the cold weather. Of the total number of guests, about 75, many belonged to Mr. Whaley's Sunday school class from Westminster Congregational church, a number were from the Women's Relief corps and auxiliaries, and some were former friends from the Oakesdale country.
Mr. Whaley came to the Inland Empire in 1886 and settled between Thornton and Oakesdale on wheat land he contracted to buy at $6 per acre over a 10-year period. His work for the first year was with the late Cashup Davis in his store and his wages were 75 cents per day and board. Mr. Whaley's stock joke about his birthplace, Kenosha, Wis., January 20, 1848, is that "when he arrived there he did not have a cent to his name, nor could he speak a word of English".
Obituary from an unidentified contemporary newspaper: Charles Whaley Rites Impressive. Impressive military rites marked the funeral service conducted today at Hazen & Jaeger's for Charles Austin Whaley, 92, Civil war veteran, who passe away Saturday at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Cole, W25 sixteenth.
"The marches of life are over for our beloved friend and the sunset gun will soon be fired and taps sounded", said the Rev. Dr, Joel Harper, who gave the funeral sermon. "May we carry on to take the torch he held aloft for so many years."
Dr. Harper, pastor of the Westminster Congregational church, of which Mr. Whaley was a member, was assisted in the services by the Rev. L. L. Totten. An impressive ceremony over the flagged-draped casket was conducted by members of the Reno Relief corps. Mr. Whaley was a past commander of Reno post, G. A. R.
Vet Bodies Attend.
Attending the ceremonies in separate units were members of the Nathan P. Green corps, Daughter of Union Veterans' Elizabeth Turner tent, Barbara Frietchie tent, Sedgewick corps and Charles King camp of Spanish-American war veterans.
Burial services were held in the family plot at Oakesdale where members of Charles King camp fired the rifle salute accorded veterans, and a bugler sounded taps.
Spokane´s remaining four Civil War veterans did not attend the funeral services. Two are in California and the other two are in poor health.
Mr. Whaley enlisted at Kalinore, Mich., as a private in Company E, 12th Infantry, in February, 1864, and was discharged in 1866.
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