6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry U.S.

Col. Walter C. Whitaker, a fiery lawyer, farmer, and state senator, from Shelbyville. Whitaker was from an old Kentucky family and, despite being a large slave owner, was a leader in the effort to keep Kentucky in the Union. Colonel Whitaker had served in the 3rd Regiment Kentucky Foot Volunteers during the war with Mexico, and as a major in the Kentucky State Guard— the active militia.

            Whitaker possessed a hot temper and when angry sometimes became violent. His zeal for the Union and contributions to its defense, his bravery, his self-aggrandizement, and his intemperate behavior were all demonstrated during his 4 years of military service. The colonel was promoted to brigadier general ranking from June 25, 1863 and led a brigade until he left the army in August 1865. The aggressive Kentuckian was breveted a major general of volunteers. He won praise for the leadership of his brigade at the Battle of Nashville in December 1864. 

             General Whitaker practiced law in Louisville, Kentucky after the war and died at his home in Lyndon, Kentucky at age 65 on July 9, 1887. He is buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery at Shelbyville, Kentucky. Whitaker was born in Shelby County.

 More to come.

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