s/o John and Nancy Carter Whiting
Civil War Veteran
Colonel 2 Vermont Infantry Staff
Enlisted: June 6, 1861
Discharged: February 9, 1863
He graduated from the United States Military Acadamy in 1840
COLONEL H WHITING was born February 7 1818 at Bath, Steuben County, New York. His parents John and Nancy Carter Whiting were both natives of Massachusetts and of English descent. Col Whiting received his early education in the district schools. At the age of 13, he left school and engaged for about 4 years as clerk in the store of Whiting & Boardman of Steuben County. Rev WE Boardman Secretary of the Christian Commission at Philadelphia during the late war was a member of the firm. During his clerkship, Mr. Whiting improved his leisure hours by reviewing Kirkham's grammer and Rollin's history. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1836 passing the first examination No 51. He graduated in 1840 No 17 in the same class with Gens Sherman Thomas and others who have since become distinguished. At the time of his graduating there were very few vacancies to be filled. Mr. Whiting was assigned as Second Lieutenant to the Fifth Infantry then stationed at Fort Snelling on the Mississippi. Here Lieut Whiting took a course of Latin and continued his studies until he was ordered to Florida. In 1841 his regiment was sent to Jefferson Barracks below St Louis and soon after was assigned to the upper lakes. Lieut Whiting's company was ordered to Mackinac and during his stay here he was appointed Assistant Commissary & Acting Assistant Quartermaster. He went with his regiment to Texas in September 1845 and remained at Corpus until February 1846. Having tendered his resignation, he obtained leave of absence from Gen Taylor for 60 days with privilege to extend it 60 days more on application at Washington. He joined his family at St Clair and within a week took charge of Thompson's Academy at that place. The following spring he opened a grammer school in Bath Steuben Co, New York continuing to teach a little over a year. In 1848 he engaged in the lumber and mercantile business in St Clair with Willard Parker and Justin Rice under the firm name of Parker Whiting & Co. In 1849 Mr Rice died and the firm was known as Parker & Whiting until 1851 when Mr Parker took the lumber business and Mr Whiting became sole proprietor of the mercantile business. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, he offered his services to the Governor of Michigan but was informed that the Colonels for the Fifth Regiment appointed to Michigan had already been appointed. He was immediately afterward appointed Colonel of the Second Vermont Regiment. His regiment moved to the front at once and took part in the first battle of Bull Run. They received a note of thanks from the Vermont Legislature for their gallant conduct during that disastrous day. This regiment covered the retreat from Centreville to Washington. Col Whiting received from the men under his command a handsome present consisting of a costly sword sash set of pistols and full equipments for his horse. It was wholly unexpected and coming from such a source it was naturally very gratifying to him. His regiment participated in the battle of Lee's Mills Williamsburg and covered the retreat from Richmond to Savage Station. October 23 1862 The Colonel was placed in command of the Vermont Brigade and took part in the battle of Fredericksburg under Gen Burnside. In 1863 he resigned his position in the army and resumed business as a merchant in St Clair. Here he resided surrounded by a happy family. Col Whiting has been twice married. His first wife died January 26 1858. In October 1859 he married Mary T Rice sister of his former wife. He had a family of 11 children. He was himself one of a family of 12 children. In 1858 Mr. Whiting was elected Regent of the University of Michigan and served in that capacity for nearly 6 years. While on the Board, he was Chairman of the Committee on the Scientific Course in the University and during his term the standard of admission to that course was raised the course of study in French and German was also extended from one to two years. It would be in keeping here to remark that at that time Mr Whiting advocated the admission of women to the University which measure was not adopted until 10 or 12 years later. The Colonel was a member of the Methodist Church for 30 years. His son Justin R Whiting became partner in the business in 1871 and the firm is Whiting & Son. They carry a large stock doing an annual business of $75.000. It was the pioneer business house of St Clair located on the corner of Front and Jay streets in Whiting's 3-story brick block. History of Saint Clair County, Michigan.
"Col. Henry Whiting of St. Clair, one of the best-known businessmen in St. Clair Co., died of apoplexy at Ypsilanti Thurs. afternoon. He arrived in that city the evening before, a perfectly healthy man. He was 69 years of age." Port Huron Times Herald, June 24, 1887