Saturday, December 28, 2013
Wilmington's W.H.C. Whiting-- Part 2: A Temperamental Man
Always a temperamental man, Whiting was constantly embroiled in feuds with his superiors, especially after joining the Confederate service. And, that would include Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and especially Braxton Bragg. Had Whiting survived the war there probably would have been a duel between Whiting and Bragg.
President Davis wanted him fired after Whiting deliberately ignored his orders to organize Confederate troops by state. Fortunately, Robert E. Lee was a friend and had Whiting sent to Wilmington and away from Davis.
General Whiting is credited for using his engineering skills in designing Confederate defenses of the Cape Fear River, especially Fort Fisher.
He went to the fort to help with its defense in both attacks and, in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, when called upon to surrender by the attackers, reportedly yelled out, "Go to hell you Yankee bastards!"
He was wounded and captured and taken to prison in New York. He died three months larter and was buried in Brooklyn. Years later, his widow had the general's remains moved to Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery.