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Civil War Union Brigadier General. Born in Shelbyville, Kentucky, he attended the common schools and later graduated from Bethany College in western Virginia. He returned to Kentucky and began to study law when the Mexican-American War began. Whitaker volunteered, entered the service with the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Regiment, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant. After the war, he resumed his legal studies, was admitted to the bar, and practiced as an attorney in Shelby County, Kentucky. He was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1861 and ardently opposed the invasion of Confederate forces into Kentucky. He spoke out in the legislature for Kentucky's defense and advocated the call for military force. In September of 1861, Whitaker offered his service to the Union Army and became Colonel of the 6th Kentucky Infantry. He was involved in several major engagements including the Battle of Shiloh, the Siege of Corinth, and the Battles of Perryville and Stone's River. He was promoted to Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers on June 25, 1863 and commanded a brigade in the 4th Corps at the Battle of Chickamauga that was instrumental in the repulsion of Confederate forces. He was wounded at the Battle of Lookout Mountain but continued to lead his men during the Atlanta Campaign and at the Battle of Nashville. Near the close of the war, he was brevetted Major General of U.S. Volunteers for gallant service in battle on March 13, 1865. After the war, he returned to Kentucky and operated a large farm while resuming his legal profession as well. Whitaker earned a reputation as a notable lawyer in criminal cases. He was also a member of the Masonic Order. He died in Lyndon, Kentucky in 1887 when he was 63 years old.

Anthony CDV General Walter Whitaker

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