econd eldest daughter Nell married Amiel Weeks Whipple, a native of Greenwich, Massachusetts, and graduate of West Point, at St. John’s church in Portsmouth, N.H., in 1843. He had met Nell while an assistant in surveying Portsmouth Harbor. With their three young children, they stayed at the Warner House until the 1850s when Amiel purchased the house next door. As a topographical engineer, he was away for extended periods, traveling to the Northeast and the New Mexico Territories to define national boundaries, the Southwest to survey the best possible route for the transcontinental railroad (an expedition that the War Department appointed him to direct and to which his journal was later published as A Pathfinder in the Southwest, and to the Great Lakes to oversee the lighthouses.
During the Civil War, Amiel reported to Washington. Initially, he surveyed northern Virginia for the Union Army, and his maps of the Virginian countryside proved vital in protecting the Union capital. Located in Arlington, Virginia, his headquarters were at the former residence of General Robert E. Lee, who had abandoned the property when war broke out. Amiel helped to improve the fortification, a property that overlooked Washington. In 1861, Whipple was appointed a major in the Regimental Army. Soon he requested field duty and commanded a division at Fredricksburg in 1862, which was followed promotion to brigadier general of volunteers in April of the following year.
On the second day of the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, a Confederate sniper mortally wounded Amiel Whipple. Unfortunately, Amiel had been sitting on his horse writing an order to remove that same sniper. The rebel sharpshooter was later killed in the very same battle. Unconscious, he was taken from Virginia to his brother-in-law John Pitts Sherburne’s Washington residence. He lived for three days, and a promotion to major general was hastily completed. Surrounded by his family, Maj. Gen. Amiel Weeks Whipple died on May 7,1863. The funeral procession was attended by President Abraham Lincoln who stated he was there not as the president but as a friend of the family. Amiel was later buried in Portsmouth.
Nell died in 1874.
Next: The Heirs: The Penhallows