Charles M. Whelden was born at Boston, December twenty-sixth, 1821, and died at Newton, Massachusetts, January twenty-fifth, 1910. He became a resident of Pittsfield in 1851, after adventurous experiences in California and South America. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he attached himself to the leadership of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler; and through the influence of that much-debated commander he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1862. The actual commission, because of the pique, it was said, of a fellow officer, did not come into his possession until 1895. Col. Whelden served as a provost marshal in Louisiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. He was for many years of his long life a druggist in Pittsfield, where his sprightly temperament and ability to make many men his friends brought him often to the fore in town affairs and in those of the Rockwell Post.
— from The History of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, by Edward Boltwood, published by the City of Pittsfield, 1916