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[179] were so clear, his nerve so steady, and his hand so vigorous, that under his direction we all felt absolutely secure. A skilled engineer, he had left nothing undone for the defence of the Cape Fear, and if on the night that Fisher fell, Whiting could only have been on the outside, in command, with the troops that stood idly by, and saw Ames from the land side overpower the little garrison, a very different story would now be history.

Once, in Virginia, I was sent by my commanding officer to General Lee, bearing a note of complaint (and with good reason), that he had been, by General Lee's order, improperly subordinated to others; and I remember Lee's endorsement upon the note, in substance: “ What do you care about rank? I would serve under a corporal if necessary.”

General Whiting did the thing which General Lee said he would do. Without a murmur, giving up the command of the defences, which he had so magnificently planned, he went down into Fort Fisher, where the presence of such a gallant commander as Colonel Lamb made it unnecessary, and gave up his life in its defence.

The peer of any one in intellect, he died as he had lived-the modest, Christian gentleman, the lovely man, the brave, unflinching soldier. I think his death was sublime.

The last time that I ever saw General Whiting was on the boat which carried him for the last time to Fort Fisher. I had followed him down to the landing, and had just stepped from the gang-plank to the deck, when he spied me. “Where are you going?” he said. “With you,” was my reply. “You must go back,” said he; “you can serve me better here than in Fort Fisher.” With a heavy heart I went ashore, and stood watching him while I could see him. With Whiting penned up in Fisher, our faith was badly shaken.

I believe, Fairly, that there are not many of us left who used to assemble in headquarters, on the corner of the main street, in Wilmington. In spite of the stirring war times then, my life was full of hope, and I recall many and many a happy hour I spent in your company in the little cottage under the shadow of the City Hall.

Page after page might be multiplied with one and the same testimony from glorious heroes who served under him; they all speak the language of devotion, of veneration for his matchless power, and of the strong, manly love in true souls for the chivalric quality of self-sacrifice.

With an exquisite illustration of this grace so tender, I bring this


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William Henry Chase Whiting (4)
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