138 Southern Historical Society Papers.
measures, speaks in exalted terms of praise of Major Whiting's ope- rations there; and long after, General Gist writes of his ardent desire that Whiting should return to Charleston in complete com- mand.
Leaving Charleston now for the field, he remains in North Caro- lina long enough to advise as to the defences of the Cape Fear, at the following request of the Governor, the lamented John W. Ellis, who fella victim to disease early in the war. He writes:
"EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, "RALEIGH, N. C, April 21, 1861. "WM. H. WHITING:
"Sir, You are hereby appointed Inspector-General in charge of the defences of North Carolina.
' ' Your attention will be particularly directed to Forts Caswell and Johnston, and the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Beaufort harbor and Fort Macon, Ocracoke and the coast generally.
" Exercise all the powers necessary to the public defence; extin- guish lights * seize vessels belonging to the enemy, and do whatever may seem necessary.
" Given under my hand, JOHN W. ELLIS.
" By the Governor:
"GRAHAM DAVES, Private Secretary."
Seeing the forts in North Carolina in Confederate hands, he ad- vised a system of defence, especially of the important Cape Fear region, after examining the condition of the forts and harbors; but there being no reason to anticipate immediate attack, he obeyed a call to duty in Virginia, whither he repaired to report for service to General Joseph E. Johnston, in command at Harper's Ferry of the Confederate forces protecting the Shenandoah Valley.
With his usual activity, he grasped the situation at Harper's Ferry, and we find General Joseph E. Johnston saying, in his "Narrative of the War," page 17:
"A careful examination of the position and its environs, made on the 25th May, with the assistance of an engineer of great ability, Major Whiting, convinced me that it could not be held against equal numbers," etc.
In correspondence, years afterwards, Johnston refers to this period