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[The text of this article is of especial value since it embraces personal reminiscences in a field where few official records or maps are available; namely, the operation of the engineer troops with the Army of Northern Virginia. The chapter is broadened by illustrations showing engineering works of the Confederate army in the West and South.--the editors.]

The account of the services rendered to the Southern Confederacy by its engineers must be largely, if not wholly, from memory, owing to the loss of records pertaining to this branch of the Confederate military service. The following, therefore, must be considered merely a reminiscence of the Civil War preserved in the memory of an individual participant in the events of the four years, from April, 1861, to April, 1865.

Prior to April, 1861, the State of Virginia maintained the hope that wise counsels would prevail, and urged forbearance; but mindful of the old adage, “In time of peace prepare for war,” an appropriation was made for river, coast, and harbor defenses, and the services of a competent military engineer were secured to plan and superintend the work. Thus it happened that, when the Ordinance of Secession was passed by the Constitutional convention of the State of Virginia, on the 16th of April, 1861, in answer to Lincoln's call for her quota of the seventy-five thousand troops, no time was lost in organizing a State corps of engineers to prepare defenses against the then inevitable invasion of the State.

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