Alfred Whiting, Confederate Camp Servant
and Community Leader
and Community Leader
This page is a work in progress. We would appreciate help in enlarging the history of our African-American citizens, particularly those who were emancipated by the Civil War and those who were manumitted by their owners before or during the Civil War.
Alfred Whiting became a leader of the African-American community. He was one of the men who in January 1867 formed the Colored Benevolent Association that founded the Benevolent Cemetery below Indian Mound Cemetery. The photograph of him was made at a Confederate Reunion in Moorefield on October 9, 1912. Mr. Whiting attended many Confederate reunions because he had been the "body servant" of Isaac Brady of Hampshire County during Brady's time as a soldier in the Civil War. Mr. Whiting died on March 6th 1922. Evidence points to the fact that he is buried in the Mt. Pisgah Benevolent Cemetery in Romney although there is not a marker for him. He and Ann Eliza Banks were married on November 23, 1865. She is buried in Mt. Pisgah Benevolent Cemetery in Romney. Click on photo to see an enlargement.
We appreciate the research of Jane Ailes who has sent information on the manumission of Alfred Whiting. In Deed Book 59, page 139 of the Frederick County, Virginia, deed books James Gibson frees several slaves including a boy named Alfred who is at the time about five years old and is to be free on January 1st of 1852. The document was signed by Gibson on September, 1831 and recorded on February 6, 1832. According to this information Alfred would have been 96 years old at his death. However, Mr. Gibson may not have known the exact date of his birth as mentioned in the Review obituary. Jane Ailes also supplied the second obituary; the newspaper source is unknown, but it may have been the Hampshire Review.
This is a photo of a Confederate Veteran's Reunion in Moorefield, W. Va. on October 3, 1912. The individual third from the left in the front row is Alfred Whiting. He is, of course, the only African-American in the group. Click on the small photo to enlarge. An enlarged clip of Alfred can be seen by clicking here.
Below is an article courtesy of the Hampshire Review written by Rob Wolford as part of his Civil War series.
Please note that the Webmaster occasionally comments on outside articles listed here. In this case we note that the evidence that Mr. Whiting was a combat veteran is not supported by any documents. On the contrary, the obituary from the Hampshire Review (shown below Mr. Wolford's article) notes that Mr. Whiting served as "the body servent of Isaac T. Brady." Therefore we conclude that the fact Mr. Whiting is holding a rifle in the photo is simply done for effect, not to symbolize a combat role.
Contrary to what the article states we believe there is little if any support from reputable historians today for a significant number of African-American soldiers in combat. We leave it to the reader to sift through as many resources as possible before deciding on which side of this subject to take a stand. [sentence added 6/6/17]