Lt. Col. Powhatan Bolling Whittle, C. S. A.

By Henry H. Mitchell

Powhatan Bolling Whittle

An uncle of Matoaka Sims, Powhatan Bolling Whittle was the youngest of James Whittle's eight brothers. He was named after his ancestor, the Algonquian chieftain Powhatan. Reputed to have been a near-giant of a man, he was commanding officer of the 38th Virginia Infantry.

Possibly because of his remarkable height, Powhatan Whittle was noted and mentioned in an account of Pickett's Charge written by Gen. James Longstreet: “Colonel Whittle of Armistead's brigade, who had been shot through the right leg at Williamsburg and lost his left arm at Malvern Hill, was shot through the right arm, then brought down by a shot through his left leg.”

A relative described him: “Powhatan Bolling…served gallantly all through the war; lost an arm and was several times wounded. After the war he practiced law and was Judge of the Corporation Court of the City of Macon, Georgia…. He lived in Valdosta, Georgia, and was several times in the legislature. Your Uncle Powhatan [said] that in one of his campaigns for the legislature in Georgia he was talking to one of his supporters as to his chances for election and his reply was something like this, ‘I tell you Col. Whittle, an empty sleeve down in my neighborhood is a hell of a momentum.’…He was a magnificent looking man. Was six feet and a half tall and as straight as his Indian namesake and grandfather, eight times removed. He was a lovable and courteous old gentleman.”


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