General Amiel Weeks Whipple

General Amiel Weeks Whipple

General Amiel Weeks WhippleAn 1841 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, he was born in Greenwich, Massachusetts.  His first assignments took him across the country among them was determining the route of the transcontinental railroad. His mapping skills and talent were key in the US Civil War when he served as chief topographical engineer with the Army of the Potomac under General George B. McClellan. Later he would command the defenses of Washington using the Custis-Lee mansion - Arlington House - as his headquarters.  During that time he befriended President Abraham Lincoln who would drive over from Washington DC to meet with General Whipple, often having lunch and getting a briefing from the General while Lincoln wrapped his arms around Whipple's two sons. General Whipple wanted a combat role and commanded a division at the battles of Fredericksburg and later Chancellorsville.   It would be there that a sharpshooter would shoot him while he was mounted on his horse.  He would be taken back to Washington DC where on May 7, 1863 would succumb from his wound.    Later Abraham Lincoln would attend his funeral, not as the President but a friend. In the book "Images of America - Fort Myer"the closeness of these two men is shown in an unpublished note from President Lincoln to General Totten which nominated General Whipple's son to West Point. General Whipple would later be honored when a fort was placed where he ordered an observation balloon sent up to observe combat activity to the west.  Fort Whipple would  ultimately  evolve and grow in use and importance after the Civil War and become Fort Myer.

2 comments

  1. My Uncle General Amiel Weeks Whipple was a legend in our family. His flight off of Key Bridge in Washington D.C. in his Hot Air Balloon to map out key locations of the Confederate forces outside DC stopped them from Sacking our Nations Capital said President Abraham Lincoln when he gave him the First Congressional Medal of Honor for doing so. My Father Llewellyn Maurice Weeks was in charge of the 89th Military Airlift Wing ” The Presidential Wing” for President Reagan from 01/13/1974 to July 1, 1984 and my Family are Proud to be an American Citizens of this Great Nation. We the Weeks Family date back to 1633 to Leonard Weeks who was granted a land Deed that my family would later make into the New Hampshire White Mountain National Park. We are all proud to be a part of these United States of America and In God we do Trust.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your information … I do think that you might mean the Aqueduct Bridge since the Key Bridge was built and opened on January 17, 1923. General Amiel Weeks Whipple passed on a few days after he was shot by a sniper in May 1863

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