William B. Whiting, Bernalillo County, New Mexico

Among those who located in the town of old Albuquerque in 1868 was Major Harry Rees Whiting, who still resides there. Major Whiting was born in Detroit, Michigan, December 2, 1817.

His great-great-grandfather, William B. Whiting, held a commission as colonel in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war, enlisting from Columbia County. New York. His grandfather, John Whiting, served with the yeomanry throughout the war. The latter's son. Dr. John Leffingwell Whiting. Major Whiting's father, was a surgeon with General Scott's' forces in the Black Hawk war.

In young manhood Major Whiting, being aged in the newspaper business, became city editor of the Detroit Tribune. In 1861 he entered the volunteer Union army as a member of the personal staff of Major-General McKinstry. In August, 1862, he was assigned as second lieutenant to the Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which subsequently joined the Army of the Potomac, which was brigaded with the "Iron Brigade" immediately after the battle of Antietam. He afterward participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Fitzhugh Crossing, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he was captured and taken to Libby prison. He remained a prisoner eight and a half months, and after his exchange rejoined his regiment in front of Petersburg, serving in that siege and the battles of Weldon Railroad. Hatchie's Run, Dabney's Mills, Five Forks and Appomattox. He was promoted to a captaincy May 6, 1864, and at the close of the war was brevetted major "for meritorious service in front of Petersburg and at the battle of Five Forks."

At the close of the war Major Whiting joined the staff of the New York Herald, and was sent by that paper on a trip through New Mexico, Arizona and California. The Indian uprising of 1865-6 prevented the fulfillment of his commission, and in 1866 he stopped in Santa Fe. In 1868 he located permanently in Albuquerque, where for about ten years he served as clerk of the district court. He has also filled the offices of probate clerk, county assessor, and superintendent of schools, justice of the peace and United States commissioner, having occupied the latter office for more than thirty years. He organized G. K. Warren Post No. 5, G. A. R., and was its first commander. Though he was admitted to the bar in 1870, he has never practiced his profession.


Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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