Abstract from return of the Department of North Carolina, Major General W. H. C. Whiting, C. S. Army, commanding, for August 10, 1863.
Present for duty.
Command. Offic Men. Effect Aggreg Aggreg Pieces
ers. ive ate ate of
total. presen presen artill
t. t and ery.
General 9 3 3 12 14 .....
District of 252 3,857 4,406 5,163 6,206 119
the Cape Fear
District of 216 3,919 4,197 4,764 6,104 32
Total........ 477 7,779 8,606 9,939 12,329 152
August 11, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
Yours of 8th instant has been received. i am glad that you concur so entirely with me as to the want of our county in this trying hour, and am happy to add that after the first depression consequent upon our disaster in the west, indication have appeared that our people will exhibit that fortitude which we agree in beliieving is alone needful secure ultimate success.
It well became Sidney Johnston, when overwhelkmed by a senseless clamor, to admit the rule that success is the test of merit;* and yet there has been nothing which I have found to require a greater effort of patience than to bear the criticisms of the ignorant, who pronounce everything a failure which does not equal their expectations or desires, and can see no good result which is not in the line of their own imaginings. I admit the propriety of your conclusions, that an officer who loses the confidence of his troops should have his position changed, whatever may be his ability, but when I rear the sentence I was not at all prepared for the application you were about to make. Expressions of discontent in the public journals furnish but little evidence of the sentiment of an army. i wish it were otherwise, even though all the abuse of myself should be accepted as the results of honest observation. I say I wish I could feel that the public joblic journals were not generally partisan nor venal.
Were you capable of stooping to it, you could easily surround yourself with those who would fill the press with your laudations, and seek to exalt you for what you had not done, rather than detract from the achievements which will make you and your army the subject of history and object of the world's admiration for generations to come.
I am truly sorry to know that you still feel the effects of the illness you suffered last spring, and can readily understand the embarrassments you experience in using the eyes of others, having been so much accustomed to make your own reconnaissances. Practice will, however, do much to relieve that embarrassment, and the minute knowledge of the country which you have acquired will render you less dependent for topographical information.
*See Series I, Vol. VII, p. 261.