The garrison consisted of two companies of the 10th North Carolina, under Major James Reilly; the 36th North Carolina, Colonel William Lamb, ten companies; four companies of the 40th North Carolina; Co. D of the 1st North Carolina Artillery Battalion; Co. C, 3rd North Carolina Artillery Battalion; Co. D, 13th North Carolina Artillery Battalion, and the naval detachment, under Captain Van Benthuysen.
affirms that at no time during the last and heaviest action were there in the Fort
more than 1,900 men, including the sick, killed and wounded.
The activity of the blockade-running steamers stirred the Federal
government to prepare a gigantic force for the long deferred attack.
It was known that the Confederate steamer, R. E. Lee
, had made twenty-one trips within ten months from the British
port of Nassau
, and Chicago
bacon had become familiar in our ranks.
Men of worldwide fame visited the port under assumed names.
Among these was Hobart Pasha
, the Englishman who afterwards commanded the Turkish navy; Captain Murray
, who was C. Murray Aynsley
, afterwards Admiral
in the British
navy, and others.
Rumors came thick and fast of the great expedition in preparation, and in the midst of active movement the troops were thunderstruck at the news that General Braxton Bragg
had assumed command at Wilmington
, superseding but not removing General Whiting
, who remained second in command.
The speaker, whose duties in the engineer service called him to many points of the city and river defences, found the feeling of melancholy foreboding at this change to be universal.
's career in the Mexican
war, in the vigor of early life, when captain of artillery, was most brilliant and honorable.
But whatever may have been the cause, no matter what his ability or efforts, the fact was known that his record throughout the war, from the attack on Pickens
to the day that he gave up the army of Tennessee to Johnston
, was one involving much slaughter and little success.
says (in his address at Wilmington
This was a bitter disappointment to my command, who felt that no one was so capable of defending the Cape Fear as the brilliant officer who had given so much of his time and ability for its defence.
The patriotic Whiting showed no feeling at being superseded, but went to work, with redoubled energy, to prepare for the impending