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It was no small honor to be first in a class that held General Chas. P. Stone (the organizer of the army of Egypt, after the Civil War), General Fitz John Porter, General Gordon Granger, Generals E. Kirby Smith, Barnard E. Bee, and the like. It has been generally conceded that no class contained so many men that afterwards rose to distinction in the great war. Upon graduating, his position entitled him to the honor of an appointment to the engineer corps, the elite of the army. He served as second lieutenant until his promotion to first lieutenant, March 16, 1853, and captain, December 13, 1858. He tendered his resignation from the United States service February 20, 1861. Shortly after graduation, he was ordered to the dangerous task of laying out a military road from San Antonio to El Paso. It will be remembered that Texas had just been annexed, and the country swarmed with the fierce Comanche Indians. This was accomplished with a small party, although with many hair-breadth escapes from the rifle and the scalping knife. He was next at various stations on the gulf until 1852. While temporarily in command at Pensacola, he won high reputation among professional engineers, by successfully closing an opening
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