Pvt. William Whitlock from Allegany died in 1865 while fighting in the Civil War. His great-great grandson, Dr. Val Dunham, will give a talk to the Allegany Area Historical Association on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. about Pvt. Whitlock’s experiences in the war. A cache of 39 letters that Pvt. Whitlock wrote to his wife Mary Eliza Trowbridge Whitlock form the basis of a book Dr. Dunham wrote about his great-great grandfather, “Allegany to Appomattox: The Life and Letters of Private William Whitlock of the 188th New York Volunteers.”
The letters, discovered more than 30 years ago by Dr. Dunham’s cousin, Howard Mark Whitney, in Dr. Dunham’s great-grandfather’s farmhouse, tell the story of Pvt. Whitlock’s wartime marches, battles, limited rations and overwhelming homesickness. Dr. Dunham, a distinguished professor emeritus at Coastal Carolina University, has written many books in his field of plant biology and chemistry, but this is his first history book and took over five years to research and write.
Copies of the book will be for sale at the meeting. Dr. Dunham will be available to autograph the copies after his presentation. The meeting at the Heritage Center, 25 North Second Street, Allegany, is free and open to the public.