Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

150 Southern Historical Society Papers.

duty as an Assistant Professor of Engineering, Whiting was still at the head of his class, and for a large portion of that year came under my immediate personal instruction.

In 1845 he was graduated and appointed lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, in which I had then served three years. The intimate, friendly relations that were formed between us during the two years we were together at West Point continued until 1861, although we were most of the time stationed at ports far distant from each other.

In the latter year, when I joined General J. E. Johnston's army, in September, and was assigned to command the 2d corps, Whiting commanded one of its brigades, and our personal and official rela- tions were from that time closer and more intimate than ever before.

In the early part of that summer Whiting had been Chief of Staff to General J. E. Johnston. At the battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and placed in command of Bee's Brigade, made vacant by the death of General Barnard E. Bee, killed in that battle.

Whiting was justly proud of his new assignment, and he deter- mined, if possible, to fully supply the place made vacant by Bee's death. But it was soon suggested by President Davis that the exist- ing brigades in that army should be reorganized.

On that subject the President wrote to me, October 10, 1861: ' ' How have you progressed in the solution of the problem I left the organization of troops with reference to States and terms of ser- vice ? Mississippi troops were scattered as if the State was unknown. Brigadier-General Clark was sent to remove a growing dissatisfac- tion, but though the State had nine regiments there, he, Clark, was put in command of a post and depot of supplies. These nine regi- ments should form two brigades; Brigadiers Clark and (as a native of Mississippi) Whiting should be placed in command of them, and the regiments for the war should be put in the army man's bri- gades."

Besides his rank in the volunteers, Whiting then held a commis- sion as Major of Corps of Engineers in the regular Confederate States Army. On the 24th October, 1861, he wrote to me: " I had heard that attempts were on foot to organize the regiments into bri- gades by States a policy as suicidal as foolish. * * * For my own part, I shall protest to the bitter end against any of my regi- ments being taken from me; they are used to me and I to them, and accustomed to act together. If left to their own desires, not one would be willing to change. It has been reported to me that a Gen-