previous next


On the 7th February, 1863, I resigned my commission in the Confederate States Army. On the 14th General Whiting wrote:

I received your note with great sorrow. It leaves me in the dark about the causes of so serious a step. I suppose unwarranted interference with your command is the immediate reason.

On the 23d of the same month he wrote: ‘I know you have a great deal of injustice to put up with and, harder yet, I see the Secretary of War interfering in the subordinate details of your command; but remember what you told me when I, too, was smarting under injustice of no common kind.’

From the time he entered the Confederate service as Chief Engineer at Charleston, Whiting, in every position he was called upon to fill, proved himself to be a thoroughly competent officer. His great natural ability was supplemented by a high order of education and systematic study of his profession. His good influence over officers and men under him was unbounded; and he was thoroughly loyal and true to those who were placed over him.

His extraordinary skill as a military engineer was fully exemplified in the defensive works he planned and constructed for the defense of the approaches to Wilmington; and, I am convinced, that in the final attack of the Federals upon that place, President Davis, by superseding General Whiting at the eleventh hour and depriving him of supreme control over the defences he had created, made a sad mistake.

In private life, in every relation, he was always a warm-hearted, high-toned gentleman, respected and beloved for his great worth. His death, from wounds received when Wilmington fell, was deeply lamented by all Federal, as well as Confederate, officers who knew him.

Very truly yours,

On the 28th February, 1863, the long delayed promotion of Brigadier-General Whiting to Major-General was made, and the correspondence of the General shows letters from some of the best and bravest General Officers of the army writing of their own accord to entreat him not to decline the tardy recognition, but to accept and work on for the good of the cause. General Smith said, “Accept, I beg you, what in justice should have been done long ago.”

General Gist wrote from Charleston:

Knowing you will feel disposed to decline this promotion, from

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. H. C. Whiting (4)
Gustavus W. Smith (2)
Gist (1)
Jefferson Davis (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 28th, 1863 AD (1)
February 7th, 1863 AD (1)
23rd (1)
14th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: