Daniel P. Whiting – A Soldier’s Life

A Soldier’s Life is delightful and will have appeal to general readers, and I know that scholars will find it extremely useful. Murphy Givens, Jim Moloney and the Nueces Press have done a tremendous service in making this long-lost manuscript available. Daniel P. Whiting’s commentary on his experiences in the Second Seminole War, the war against Mexico, the Mormon expedition, and most particularly the relationships between soldiers and civilians in the antebellum United States offer invaluable insights into the nation’s military experience. It also offers a unique perspective on a widowed father’s attempt to raise his children. A Soldier’s Life has some unique insights into mid-nineteenth century America, and deserves a broad audience. I know that I would have benefited from it in writing my last book, and hope to be able to use it as I continue working on the present one.

Dr. Robert Wooster, Regents Professor of History, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

A Soldier’s Life is available in one edition:


6″ x 9″ format

First Edition $44.95
Orders placed in Texas will be taxed. Shipping will add $6.00 per book.

Front Flap

Daniel Powers Whiting served in the United States Army for 35 years, from his time as a West Point cadet, then officer in the 7th Infantry, until he was placed on the retirement list in 1863 from physical disability related to his long years of service. He was a respected officer, with many friends in the service, who spent most of his career on the frontiers of a rapidly expanding country. His tours of duty included two stints in Florida during the bloody Seminole Wars and he fought in major battles in the Mexican War, from the siege of Fort Brown, to the battles of Monterrey, Veracruz and Cerro Gordo. Whiting in his long career was stationed at army posts in Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Indian Territory, Mormon Country, and, at the start of the Civil War, in New Mexico and Colorado. Where his name is known today, it is known largely because of his five lithographs of Mexican War drawings, including the earliest known view of Corpus Christi in October 1845. During his service, Whiting kept a diary of events, which he used to write his memoirs during his two years in Utah Territory. The memoirs have not been published until now. They reveal the trials and tribulations of a dedicated officer, who traveled vast distances between frontier garrisons, despite being left a widower with seven children to raise. The shape and extent of the country we know today was made possible by the dedication of men like Daniel Powers Whiting, who served on the front lines of “Manifest Destiny.”

Back Cover

Autobiographies are usually published about the rich, famous and notorious. Perhaps that is why the memoirs of Daniel P. Whiting have not been printed for 150 years. Whiting was not rich, famous or notorious. He was a loyal officer in the U.S. Army for three decades during the middle of the 19th century. His career began in the time of Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun. It coincided with a period in American history when the country was moving West in those tumultuous years of Manifest Destiny. As an infantry officer, Whiting seemed to be in the thick of every crisis. He was in Florida during the Seminole wars. He was in Indian Territory in today’s Oklahoma. He was in Corpus Christi when Texas became a state and in the bombardment of Fort Brown when the Mexican War began. He was with Zachary Taylor at Monterrey and Winfield Scott at Veracruz. He was in Utah Territory during the “Mormon troubles” and was on garrison duty out West when the Civil War began. During his far-flung service, he fathered seven children with his beloved wife until her untimely death after child-birth. Whiting wrote his autobiography during the last years of service. He retired during the Civil War after long years of duty in war and peace at a time of decisive change in American history.