Researcher: Breen McCarey
Sgt. Daniel W. Whiting was a soldier in the 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of Company K. A few facts are not known for certain about Daniel but what is for certain is that Daniel was one of the many men who willingly enlisted in the Civil War and put his life on the line out of love and duty for his country. He fought in numerous battles and each battle had its own significance towards the Civil War, such as Roanoke Island and Port Walthall Junction.
Daniel W. Whiting was born on October 12, 1839 in Massachusetts. He was the only son and eldest of two children to Willard Whiting of Medway and Charlotte Whiting of Rode Island, brother to Ann O. Whiting, Grandson of Ann Whiting, and nephew of Lydia Whiting. When Daniel was ten years old, he suffered the loss of his mother Charlotte. Daniel’s father Willard soon remarried a woman named Sarah O. At the age of twenty Daniel got a job at a local hat factory in Franklin, Massachusetts. Daniel became a straw shop laborer and soon changed careers to be a farmer up until he was thirty years old. Then at the age of thirty-one, Daniel W. Whiting voluntarily enlisted in the Civil War on October 31, 1861. Before he went off to war, Daniel married Estella A. of Rode Island, a young dressmaker, who was ten years younger than Daniel. Together Daniel and Estella would live on Dean Ave. in Franklin and would be blessed with two children.
Daniel entered the war as a private. He became a Corporal on June 18,1862 and then became a Sergeant on January 11,1863. Daniel was part of the 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which was composed of six companies from Essex County and one each from Bristol, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Worcester. The 23rd Regiment served under the orders of Colonel John Kurtz, an old militia officer from Boston. Daniel served in Company K of the 23rd Regiment, which was under the command of Captain Carlos A. Hart of Foxboro. Captain Hart received orders to raise a company for three years service in the Wilson Brigade. The 23rd Regiment would travel throughout the states spanning from Massachusetts to Annapolis, Maryland, to North Carolina, and to Virginia to name a few. The 23rd Regiment would participate in many battles, such as New Berne, Kinston, White Hall, Goldsborough Bridge, Port Walthall Junction, Swift Creek, Proctor’s Creek, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Crater, and Wyse Fork. But of these many battles, it was the Companies first battle, the Battle of Roanoke Island (Fort Huger) that the 23rd Regiment would show a strong significance of the war. Captain Hart’s Company K would have its first battle on February 8, 1862 on the Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition. At this battle the Brigade General Ambrose E. Burnside (North), who was backed by gunboats, attacked the Confederate (South) forts on the narrow waist of the island driving back Brigade General Henry Wise’s (South) outnumbered command resulting in a Union victory. Burnside and the 23rd Regiment had
secured an important outpost on the Atlantic Coast, tightening the blockade. This battle was very significant in the war because it helped tighten the blockade, which was part of the Anaconda Plan. The Anaconda Plan was the Union’s (North) strategy to attack the Confederacy (South) and slowly create a blockade around the Southern states by land and by sea so nothing could go in or out, including trade with other countries. This strategy would severely crush the south both politically and economically.
When the war was over Sgt. Daniel W. Whiting was discharged along with all the other remaining soldiers of the 23rd Regiment, received his pay for serving his country honorably and returned home to Massachusetts. A home that Daniel had just finished defending. Daniel and Estella Whiting had their first child, a daughter named Francelia E. Whiting in March of 1877. Following their first child, came their second daughter Florence A.S. Whiting on August 31,1880. The family of four lived in Franklin until the 1920’s when Daniel was in his eighty’s and Estella was in her seventy’s. Estella was retired by now but Daniel worked at a local church as a janitor and were both still living on Dean Ave. in Franklin as far as it is known.
Sgt. Daniel W. Whiting was a soldier in the 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of Company K. He willingly put his life on the line in hopes of reuniting the states and making the country whole once again. It is unknown where or when Sgt. Daniel W. Whiting died. He lived and fought for what he believed in, to someday make a difference for his family and the families of future fellow Americans.