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From The Greensborough Patriot

From The Greensborough Patriot

July 3, 1862 Pg. 1

Maj. Webb and Capt. Freeland.

We regret to learn, that Major Robert F. Webb of Orange has been compelled by a sense of self respect to resign his commission as Major of the 6th Regiment of N. C. State Troops. The citizens of this county will recollect, that he was the senior Captain of that Regiment, and raised one of the first companies that entered the service, twelve months ago; and that on the resignation of Lieut. Col. Dortch, Major Lightfoot became Lieutenant Col. and Captain Webb became Major. In this office, he served with distinction, in the battle of Manassas, and in the subsequent engagements of the Regiment, including the recent fight of Seven Pines, on Chickahominy, in which his conduct is highly commended. But immediately after this desperate battle, we are told, he was ordered to transfer the command of the Regiment, which he held for the time being, to Capt. J. Avery, third or fourth Captain in the grade below him, whom the Governor of North Carolina had appointed Lieutenant Colonel in place of Lieut. Col. Lightfoot, elected Colonel of another Regiment. We are informed, that the rule is well established, whenever promotion is made by Executive appointment, that seniority of commission entitles an officer as a matter of right, to succeed to the place next above him, in case of vacancy, in all Regimental officers. But independently of the rule, Major Webb was entitled by his merits to receive this promotion, and to be spared the degration [sic] implied by denying it to him. He had served creditably as an officer of the Orange company of the N. C. Regiment in the war with Mexico, and when the Regiment to which he is attached in this war was formed, knew far more of discipline and the duties of camp and garrison, than any officer belonging to it, with the exception perhaps of Major Lightfoot. In diligent attention to and intelligent performance of duty, in sobriety and in honorable bearing, we venture to say that he has been excelled by no officer of the service. His resignation under these circumstances, therefore, was indispensable to the maintainance [sic] if his honor. Captain Wm. J. Freeland, of Orange, who was badly wounded in the battle last mentioned, is also overslaughed [sic] by this proceeding. He was next in rank to Major Webb, and upon the proper promotion of the latter to the Lieutenant Colonelcy, was entitled to become Major. But the rights of both are disregarded, to provide for a junior Captain. We are not in the habit of harsh comment on the conduct of public functionaries, but we have deemed it our duty to call attention to this violation of the rights of two gallant citizens of Orange who were among the earliest to rally for the defence of their country in this war who have now become veterans in danger and suffering, and to protest against it.Hillsboro Recorder.

Brig. Gen. Pender, in his report of the conduct of the 6th at the Chickahominy makes special mention of the gallantry of Maj. Webb.


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