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On the 10th June, General Whiting addressed the following to my chief of staff:

The attention of the general commanding the army should be called to the condition of this division. Its effective strength is daily decreasing. Since Yorktown, with the exception of some four days when it was encamped near Richmond, it has been constantly in contact with the enemy. It has fought two battles (one near the head of York river, the other at Seven Pines), the last engagement of great severity, in which it suffered heavy loss, especially in officers; followed by two days of great hardship and privation. It now occupies an important position, where the service is exceedingly onerous, directly in the face of the enemy, with whom they are constantly engaged. They are in a swamp of exceedingly unhealthy character, and to properly defend our center the labor is exhausting. * * * It is absolutely necessary that other troops relieve (this) the first division. If no other offers, the second (that of A. P. Hill, which was not engaged at Seven Pines) might take its place. The major-general, no doubt, is well aware of the condition of affairs, and although (he is) not now on duty, I appeal to his influence if it can be exerted. A copy of this is sent direct to the General Commanding the Army.

The foregoing appeal resulted in the relief of that division from its ‘onerous’ service. In an interview with General Lee, Whiting suggested and requested that orders be issued requiring him to take his own brigade and that of Hood, by rail, via Lynchburg, to join General Jackson's forces in the Valley of Virginia, and then march with those forces to rejoin the main army.

The instructions were given and executed; and these two brigades, under Whiting's command, played an important part in Lee's operations against McClellan in front of Richmond, and continued under Lee until Whiting was selected by the Confederate Government to take charge of the defences of Wilmington and the Cape Fear District.

In the meantime I had partially regained health, and been assigned command in portions of Virginia and the whole State of North Carolina, with headquarters at Richmond. Thus, Whiting's assignment to the Cape Fear District brought him again under my command.

Soon thereafter I urged, and repeatedly insisted, that in all fairness, he ought to be promoted to the rank of Major General. The importance of the command he then exercised would more than justify his immediate advancement; and his previons services, as commander of a division in more than one campaign, and upon various battlefields, fully entitled him to this promotion.

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W. H. C. Whiting (5)
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