Civil War Streets: General William Denison Whipple

By Mark Pearson

Originally Published on November 30th, 2018.

As we are approaching Pine Grove traveling north on 10th Avenue, we come to Whipple Street. By now we find some strange names for people. General William Denison Whipple is no exception. He was born on August 2, 1826, in Nelson, New York. He graduated West Point in 1851 at the low end of his class and was commissioned Second Lieutenant and attached to the 3rd infantry division and sent to New Mexico where he spent 6 years. After that time, he participated in actions against the Apaches in 1858, the Navajos in 1859, and the defense of Fort Defiance in 1860. In 1558, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred to Texas and was there until 1862 when Texas seceded from the Union. As a result, all US government property was taken over, including the fort where he was stationed. He fled the state and arrived back east in time to participate in the first battle of Bull Run.


He was promoted to LT Colonel and served as Aide-De-Camp under General Cadwallader who commanded 8th corps. On the 17th of July, 1863, he was again promoted to Brigadier General of volunteers and attached to General Thomas (the same as mentioned before in a proceeding article) as his Chief of staff. He stayed and served in that capacity throughout the rest of the war and was promoted again to Major General on March 17, 1865. He stayed on after the war was over and finally left the army on February 18, 1887, after serving in various other positions.

He died in New York City on April 1, 1902. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery and his son Major Herbert Sydney Whipple’s name also appears on his headstone, but no date of birth or passing is listed. All that is stated is that he was in the US Army.


Mark E. Pearson was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo.  In 1970 he moved to Michigan where he met and married the girl of his dreams, Mary Lou Davis, together they have two sons.  He attended Briercrest Bible Institute in Saskatchewan, Canada, and later received his associate’s degree in business from St. Clair Community College.  He was a bookkeeper and worked in retail sales for 30 years and has spent the last fifteen years as a Jeweler at Coughlin’s Jewelers in St Clair, MI.  He is a voracious reader of history and as a result of being an avid reader he began to write short stories and articles for editorial columns and magazines on current events and comparing and relating past events to current happenings.  

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