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[136] memoir of my old friend, General W. H. C. Whiting. It would be a great pleasure to me to do it if I could. Though he and I were classmates and roommates at West Point, and necessarily very intimate, after graduating we met but a very few times, and then only for a few hours. * * * Our spheres of duty widely separated us, and we knew of each other only through an occasional letter. * * As a cadet, Whiting's career was most exemplary. Pure in all his acts; of the strictest integrity, ever kind and gentle and open-hearted to his comrades; free from deception; just in his duty to his service and Academy, and never but kind and just to his comrades, and the cadets under him. These qualities caused him to be loved by his companions and respected by his subordinates, and honored and trusted by his superiors.

He was of first-rate ability, as shown in his studies and graduation at the head of his class. So long as he was in the army, he maintained that reputation, and there was great regret that he resigned to take to a different cause and field.

Wishing you success in your efforts, I am,

Yours truly,

It was no small honor to be first in a class that held General Chas. P. Stone (the organizer of the army of Egypt, after the Civil War), General Fitz John Porter, General Gordon Granger, Generals E. Kirby Smith, Barnard E. Bee, and the like. It has been generally conceded that no class contained so many men that afterwards rose to distinction in the great war.

Upon graduating, his position entitled him to the honor of an appointment to the engineer corps, the elite of the army. He served as second lieutenant until his promotion to first lieutenant, March 16, 1853, and captain, December 13, 1858. He tendered his resignation from the United States service February 20, 1861.

Shortly after graduation, he was ordered to the dangerous task of laying out a military road from San Antonio to El Paso. It will be remembered that Texas had just been annexed, and the country swarmed with the fierce Comanche Indians. This was accomplished with a small party, although with many hair-breadth escapes from the rifle and the scalping knife.

He was next at various stations on the gulf until 1852. While temporarily in command at Pensacola, he won high reputation among professional engineers, by successfully closing an opening

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