All honor to the noble women of the Memorial Association
, that they have taught their lesson, year by year, not only in the silent but eloquent eulogy of flowers; not only in recalling to mind the herioc self-sacrifice of the hosts in gray, in their voiceless camps of death; but also have decreed that heroes who have served their country in conspicuous station, shall be honored by the recital of their services, and a record shall be forever kept in grateful remembrance.
It is the privilege of the speaker to recite briefly some of the many leaves of history, which cluster like chaplets of laurel around an illustrous soldier, who though not born upon your soil, loved with his whole heart your people and your State, and gave his life for them.
William Henry Chase Whiting
, the son of Levi and Mary A. Whiting
, was born March 22, 1824, at Biloxi, Mississippi
His father, originally from Massachusetts
, spent his life as an officer of the U. S. Army, serving forty years, from 1812 to 1853, being at his death Lieutenant-Colonel
of the 1st Artillery.
At twelve years of age he was ready for the Public High School of Boston
, where he remained two years, taking the highest stand, particularly in Latin and Greek
Gifted with extraordinary quickness of perception, unyielding tenacity and fidelity of memory, and great will-power, the combination gave evidence of the rarest mental power.
He saw at a glance, yet comprehended to the utmost depth.
At fourteen, he entered Georgetown College, D. C., and completed with ease the four years course in two years, besides receiving his diploma with high distinction at the head of his class.
It was said of his knowledge of Latin, that he could converse in it with fluency.
Yet an entirely different class of studies awaited him at West Point
, where he entered the U. S. Military Academy, at seventeen.
Always at the top, he took at once a high stand, maintained it throughout the course, and graduated after four years, July I, 1845, at the head of the class of forty members, and with a higher stand than any officer of the army had ever taken up that period.
is described briefly, but vividly, a letter from his room-mate, General Fitz John Porter
, to the speaker: