made by the waters of the lagoon, breaking through to the gulf, thereby endangering the Fort
) by undermining.
This had baffled the efforts of several engineers, who had attempted to close it, at great expense to the government.
Ordered next to Fort McHenry
, then under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee
, he was transferred shortly after to Fort Point, California
, at San Francisco
, thence to Wilmington, N. C.
, and from that point to Fort Pulaski, Georgia
, and Fort Clinch, Florida
Upon her secession, Georgia
made him Major
of Engineers, and on March 29, he received the same rank in the Confederate Army.
Then began the long line of services, in many capacities and at many points, to the Southern
cause, much of which was devoted to North Carolina
, and the closing years of his career wholly so.
Sent to Charleston, S. C.
, to inspect the works being constructed against Fort Sumter
, he recognized at once the faults of location and construction, and reported the danger to President Davis
He showed the letter to Beauregard
, and ordered him to take charge.
, recognizing the truth of the situation, proceeded to change the entire location, and, to use his language:
I determined to alter the system, but gradually, so as not to dampen the ardor or touch the pride of the gallant and sensitive gentlemen who had left their homes, at the call of the State, to vindicate its honor.
, in his report of the capture of Fort Sumter
, April 12, 1861, said:
The engineers, Majors Whiting and Gwynn and others, on whom too much praise cannot be bestowed for their untiring zeal, energy and gallantry, and to whose labors is greatly due the unprecedented example of taking such an important work, after thirty-three hours firing, without having to report the loss of a single life, and but four slightly wounded.
From Major W. H. C. Whiting I derived also much assistance, not only as an engineer, in selecting the sites and laying out the channel batteries on Morris Island, but as Acting Assistant-Adjutant and Inspector-General, in arranging and stationing the troops on said island.
was made Adjutant-General
, and brought his great abilities into service on Morris Island
, to prepare for the attack upon Sumter
, which was successful April 11, 1861.
An Englishman, and an accomplished critic of military men and