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Edward Washburn Whitaker



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Arlington National Cemetery

whitaker_edward_reverse.jpg (111735 bytes)

BORN:  June 15, 1841 at Killingly, CT

Entered Service in the US Army from Hartford, CT

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Civil War For heroism on June 29, 1864 at Reams' Station, VA

DIED:  July 30, 1922 at the age of 81

After raids against Danville and Southside Railway, Union forces under General James Wilson attempted to rejoin the Army of the Potomac in front of Petersburg when they ran into a blockading force of Confederate cavalry at Reams' Station, Virginia, on June 29, 1864. Further advance was impossible without support, and General Wilson's force was already tired and battered from previous combat actions. Captain Edward Whitaker volunteered to raise a force of forty volunteers, with which he blitzed the enemy line. It was a near-suicidal effort, and every volunteer had been instructed that whoever got through should continue on until they reached General Meade's headquarters. Several men fell to the enemy fusillade, but Captain Whitaker and eighteen of his soldiers broke through the enemy lines and persisted on their desperate journey to deliver their important message. Captain Whitaker volunteered to lead a relief force back through the enemy's lines, but by that time General Wilson's force had made a detour around the Confederate position. His heroism however, in making the dangerous effort to break through an enemy force as "strong as a stone wall" earned him the Medal of Honor.



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