Samuel Whiteside was born on April 12, 1783, in Rutherford County, North Carolina. He was the son of John D. Whiteside and grandson of Willian Whiteside. Samuel was the nephew of Davis, James, John D., William F., Thomas, Samuel, and Adam Whiteside who fought the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain, 1780, during the American Revolutionary War. Davis died of wounds suffered in that battle. Both William Sr. and his son, Davis Whiteside, were signers of the Tryon Resolves.
Around 1792, the Whiteside family settled near Columbia, Illinois, on the abandoned Flannery Fort site on the Kaskaskia to Cahokia Trail. William F. Whiteside was a militia captain and lived at the fort, called Whiteside Station,until his death in 1815. Thomas died at the fort in 1785 and John moved his family to Bellefountaine, now Waterloo, Illinois. Around 1800 many Whitesdie descendents moved to the Goshen Settlement, near modern Edwardsville, Illinois.
In 1811, during Tecumseh's War, Whiteside was placed in command of an Illinois company of the newly formed 17th Infantry. Captain Samuel Whiteside commanded a company of mounted infantry in the Illinois militia during the War of 1812 and served from August to November 1812. This company was drawn from St. Clair County, which comprised most of the modern State.
In August 1813 he was commissioned in the Regular Army as a captain in the Rangers. In 1814, a woman and six children were killed near modern Alton, Illinois by Native Americans. A party led by then Capt. Whiteside pursued the killers, and killed one of them who was hiding in a tree. He was discharged from the Army on July 30, 1814.
As a captain Whiteside was a signatory to the Kickapoo and Osage Treaties in 1815. In 1819, Whiteside served on the commission to select a new site for the Illinois State Capital, selecting Vandalia, Illinois. He served in the Illinois General Assembly from 1819 to 1821.
He served as a brigadier general in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War from April 26 to June 30, 1832. He commissioned 23-year-old Abraham Lincoln as a captain in the militia. Lincoln led a militia company for one month under command of General Whiteside.
Whiteside was married to Nancy Miller and had nine children: Thomas, Nancy, Michael, Judith, Sarah, Joel, William Modrel, Samuel Ray and Elizabeth Ann. Brigadier General Samuel Whiteside died at his daughter Elizabeth Whiteside Henderson's home in Mt. Auburn, Christian County, Illinois on January 3, 1866. He is buried at Hunter Cemetery, in Christian County.
Whiteside County, Illinois was named in honor of Samuel Whiteside.
- Baldwin, Carl R. Echoes of their Voices, (1978), LC Classification 78-71849.
- Baldwin, Carl R. Captains of the Wilderness: The American Revolution on the Western Frontiers (1986), (ISBN 9997484665) (ISBN 9789997484666).