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Amiel Weeks Whipple

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Military engineer and soldier, born at Greenwich, Massachusetts, 1818; died at Washington, D.C., 7 May, 1863. He was the son of David and Abigail Pepper Whipple.

After studying at Amherst College, he made the course at West Point, graduating 1 July, 1841. His early years of service were spent in surveying the Patapsco River, sounding and mapping the approaches of New Orleans, and in surveying Portsmouth Harbour. Later he helped to determine portions of the Canadian and the Mexican boundaries of the United States. In 1853 he had charge of the explorations for a railroad route near the 35th parallel of latitude to the Pacific Ocean. He became a Catholic around 1857, when he was in Detroit in charge of the lighthouse districts from Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence. In the war, after engineering under Gen. McDowell, he became chief topographical engineer under McClellan. His maps were used on many Virginian battlefields. In 1862, as brigadier-general of volunteers, he had charge of the defense of Washington on the Virginia side. After great gallantry at Antietam and Fredericksburg, with his division in General Sickles's corps, he was much exposed at Chancellorsville. In a skirmish at the close of the battle he was severely wounded in the neck by a sharpshooter, and received the last rites of the Church on the battlefield. Taken to Washington he was breveted brigadier-general on 4 May, major general of volunteers on 6 May, and major-general by brevet on 7 May, only a few hours before his death.

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