Researcher: Evan Kreuzinger
Lewis R. Whittaker, born and raised in Franklin, Massachusetts, was a very good citizen and patriot. In the Civil War he served for the Union under the forty-fifth regiment of MA, Company C. Lewis was a Second Lieutenant and fought in several battles in the war. He not only contributed to the Union during the war but he also contributed to the town of Franklin. Lewis held many positions in Franklin such as Constable, a carpenter, sealer of weights and measures, and the first police officer the town ever had. He was involved in battles such as Kinston and Whitehall where the Union was victorious or the result of the battle was a draw.
Lewis Richard Whittaker, son of Richard and Mary Ann, was born in Franklin, Massachusetts around the year 1830. He was married to Ellen Stebbins and together they had a daughter named Ruth Endicott. Lewis and his family were average; they had a $1,000 house, a $100 barn, and 1-3 acres of land worth $300. He was worth over $1400 and he held many jobs to earn that money. Throughout his entire life, Lewis was a carpenter, a Constable, the first police officer of Franklin, and the sealer of weights and measures. He was a valuable citizen to Franklin and he continued to work hard when he was enlisted into the war for nine months in September 1862.
Lewis’s rank when he entered the military was Second Lieutenant and he would fight in a few battles for the Union. He would also be reappointed Second Lieutenant in the twelfth heavy artillery. His company’s first destination was Moorhead, North Carolina. The first battle he fought in was at Kinston, on December 14th, 1862. This battle was fought in Lenoir County and it was part of the Goldsboro Expedition. Lewis served under Brigade General John G. Foster and the General for the Confederacy was Nathan Evans. The Federals outnumbered the Confederates at Kinston Bridge and the Confederate troops withdrew north of the Neuse River. There were a total of 685 casualties and the result was a Union victory. The next battle that Lewis fought in was at Whitehall, on December 16th, 1862. This battle was also part of the Goldsboro Expedition and it was fought in Wayne County. Once again Lewis served under Brigade General John G. Foster and Robertson’s Brigade was the commander of the Confederate troops. The Confederate side held the north bank of the Neuse River and the federals attacked them for much of the day. The main Union column continued toward the railroad and when the battle ended the result was a draw, with 150 casualties. Lewis didn’t die in the war and he never ended up in the dreaded Andersonville Prison.
Lewis R. Whittaker proudly served his country and at the end of the war he was honorably discharged as a Second Lieutenant. During his service he was a very hard worker and he was important to John G. Foster. Although the battles he fought in didn’t make the history books they were still important for boosting the morale of the Union and keeping the fight alive. Lewis not only served his country well but he was also a great citizen of Franklin. He held many jobs, most of which benefited the town, such as becoming the first police officer. Besides the 45th regiment of Massachusetts, he also served under the twelfth and third Massachusetts heavy artilleries as Second Lieutenant. Lewis R. Whittaker worked hard his whole life, not only in the war but to provide for his family as well. Lewis, his wife Ellen Stebbins, and their daughter Ruth Endicott lived in Franklin, Massachusetts and it is believed that he died there eventually of old age.