Madison probably enlisted as a sergeant in the Nacogdoches company commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Rusk in October 1835 and marched with it to San Antonio de Bexar. The General Council of the provisional government elected him second lieutenant of the revolutionary army on November 28, 1835, but he declined the commission. Instead, he enlisted about March 6, 1836, as a private in the Nacogdoches Volunteer Company, first commanded by Capt. Leander Smith and then by Capt. Hayden S. Arnold, this being the first company of volunteers in the second regiment under Col. Sidney Sherman. Whitaker fought at the battle of San Jacinto and was discharged on June 6, 1836. He appears as number thirty-three in the painting The Surrender of Santa Anna by William H. Huddle, which hangs in the Capitol in Austin. Whitaker was then briefly a captain in the Texas Rangers. Some sources say that he served under Gen. Kelsey H. Douglass in the Cherokee War of 1839.
Whitaker was elected senator to the Fifth and Sixth Texas legislatures, 1853-56, representing District Thirteen, Nacogdoches and Angelina counties. He was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Nacogdoches University, serving as treasurer, vice president, and president. He helped to found the rural Liberty School, north of Nacogdoches, in 1836. Whitaker became a Mason about 1839 and a member of Milam Lodge No. 2 of Nacogdoches. He was also a longtime member of the Texas Veterans Association, serving as both first and second vice president and as supervisor of the Nacogdoches district. He was a Baptist. He married Henrietta M. Fitts on August 25, 1841, in Nacogdoches County, and they became the parents of eight children. He died on January 23, 1893, in Nacogdoches County and was buried in Old North Church Cemetery north of Nacogdoches.
31° 40.039, -094° 39.476
Old North Church Cemetery