Tuesday, May 13, 2014

March 22, 1864 (Saturday): The Navy Drafts Soldiers

General W H C Whiting

RICHMOND, VA., March 22, 1864.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Wilmington, N. C.:
    GENERAL: To man efficiently an at once the vessels of the Navy it has become necessary to transfer 1,200 men from the armies. To this end the honorable Secretary of the Navy has detailed officers, with instructions to proceed to the headquarters of each army for the purpose of selecting and designating the men to be so transfered. From you command 50 men will be designated, whom you are requested to transfer to the Navy, upon the written request of the naval officer sent to your command, and under his direction to send them to Wilmington, N. C. You will please forward a list of the men so transferred to this office without delay.
    By command of the Secretary of War:

    S. COOPER,
    Adjutant and Inspector General.

    (Copy sent to Secretary of the Navy.)

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 33, Part 1, Page 1238.

While all recognized the need for an effective Navy, the Confederacy did not possess the resources to build enough ships or the manpower to place them in action.  That Richmond would remove 1,200 men from the defenses in North Carolina and Virginia at this point in the war is somewhat extraordinary and could not have been palatable to the Army. 

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