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 Brigadier-General Walter Husted Stevens, whose Confederate service was rendered in Virginia, was born at Penn Yan, N. Y., August 24, 1827. He was appointed from New York to the United States military academy, where he was graduated fourth in the class of 1848, and promoted in the army to brevet second lieutenant, corps of engineers. After a short service at Newport harbor, R. I., he was assigned to the repair of fortifications, defending the approaches to New Orleans until 1853, when he was put in charge of the survey of the rivers and harbors of Texas. From 1853 to 1857 he served as lighthouse inspector on the coast of Texas, with the rank of second lieutenant until 1855, when he was promoted first lieutenant. He was superintending engineer of the construction and repair of fortifications below New Orleans, 1854-60, superintended the construction of the custom house and the fortifications at Galveston, and was a member of the special board of engineers for Gulf defenses. Entering the service of the Confederate States in May, 1861, he accompanied General Beauregard to Virginia, as a member of his staff, and with the rank of captain, corps of engineers. He served with the advance forces at Fairfax Court House for sometime before the battle of Manassas, and laid out the works there in an admirable manner, General Beauregard reporting that he had ‘shown himself to be an officer of energy and ability.’ General Bonham commended him for his indefatigable labors, and constant attention to execution of orders, in camp and field, and Gen. J. E. Johnston especially mentioned his valuable services during the battle of July 21st. He was promoted major, and appointed chief engineer of the army of Northern Virginia, under Johnston, and was commended for his skillful and devoted services both in his own profession and as a member of the general staff at Seven Pines. After General Lee came into command of the army, he was succeeded by Colonel Gilmer, and with promotion to colonel was given charge of the defensive works around Richmond. In command of the troops and defenses of Richmond in 1863-64, he participated in the operations against Kilpatrick's and Dahlgren's raid, and rendered valuable assistance to General Beauregard when the city was threatened by Butler. In August, 1864, he was
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