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Forrest Simpson Whitaker

Obituary of William Burton Whitaker, Merdian, Mississippi.

W. B. Whitaker, a prominent citizen of Meridian, Miss., died at his home there on July 8, 1916. Representatives of Walthall Camp, U. C. V., of Meridian, of which he was a member, and of both Chapters, U. D. C., were present at the funeral, and the red and white of the Confederacy was largely in evidence in the many beautiful floral tributes.

William Burton Whitaker was born in Orange County, near Raleigh, N. C., February 18, 1840. Later he went to Tennessee and just at the close of the war he was married to Miss Mary Simpson, of Purdy, Tenn. His married life was spent in Tupelo, Miss., and the last twelve years in Meridian. He was mustered into the service of the Confederacy under Jefferson Forrest and after the death of the latter served under Gen. N. B. Forrest until the close of the war, being one of the advance guard of this noted cavalry leader. At one time, while stationed near a Northern regiment at Fort Pillow, one of the Northern soldiers dared young Whitaker to come and take the Stars and Stripes that was flying from the fort. Whitaker answered: "You wait, and I'll do it." When the fighting began, the daring soldier did capture the colors. President Davis wrote offering to make him a lieutenant for his bravery, but, ever modest and reserved, he declined the honor and told his chieftain that he preferred to remain in the ranks as a private soldier. It is with pride that his family tells of their father's great love for General Forrest, and his record as a soldier under that great leader is a precious heritage to them.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, October, 1916.

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