William Gaston Lewis

Contributed by: Diane Siniard

Name: William Gaston Lewis 
State Served: North Carolina  
Highest Rank: Brig-Gen  
Birth Date: 1835 
Death Date: 1901 
Birth Place: Rocky Mount, North Carolina 
Army: Confederacy  
Promotions: Promoted to Full Major (33rd NC Inf)
Promoted to Full Lt Colonel (43rd NC Inf (est day))
Promoted to Full Brig-Gen  
Biography: Brigadier-General William G. Lewis, of North Carolina, began
his service in the Confederate army as third lieutenant of
Company A, First North Carolina infantry, April 21, 1861.

By the close of the year he had shown such efficiency as an
officer that we find him on January 17, 1862, major of the
Thirty-third North Carolina, and before the active campaign of
1862 had fairly begun, lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-third
North Carolina infantry, April 25, 1862.

In the Gettysburg campaign this regiment was in the brigade of
Gen. Junius Daniel, of Rodes' division and Ewell's corps. On
June 10, 1863, Ewell's corps left Brandy Station, and two days
later reached Cedarville, whence Ewell sent Rodes and Jenkins
to capture Martinsburg, while he with Early's and Edward
Johnson's divisions marched directly upon Winchester.

On June 14th Ewell captured Winchester and Rodes captured
Martinsburg. The valley was thus cleared of Federal troops,
4,000 of whom were captured. Immense supplies were the spoils
of the Confederates, who marched on and crossed the Potomac.

In his report of the battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Junius Daniel,
after giving an account of the part acted by his brigade,
makes special mention of Lieut.-Col. W. G. Lewis among others,
and adds, "These officers all acted with bravery and coolness,
as did all my officers and men whose conduct came under my
observation, but the above were more conspicuous than the

Lewis participated with credit in the siege and capture of
Plymouth, N. C., in April, 1864, winning promotion to colonel,
and then, being ordered to Petersburg, won the rank of
brigadier-general in Beauregard's campaign against Butler.

Here he was in command of Hoke's old brigade, the Sixth,
Twenty-first, Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh North Carolina
regiments and First battalion, which was assigned to the
division of Gen. Robert Ransom.

The latter, in his report of the battle of Drewry's bluff, May
16th, said that after they had gained the enemy's outer works,
and were in confusion in the midst of a dense fog, a sudden
assault was delivered by the Federals, driving back the left
of Hoke's division. Though ammunition was almost exhausted,
"Colonel Lewis was ordered to throw the only regiment he had
in hand at double-quick" to the point of danger, "which was
handsomely done, and he engaged the enemy long enough to allow
Colquitt's brigade, of the reserve, to arrive. "

In command of his brigade, assigned to Ramseur's division,
General Lewis participated in Early's victorious march down
the Shenandoah valley and through Maryland to Washington, and
in the hard battles with Sheridan in the valley, during the
remainder of 1864, and then returning to Richmond and
Petersburg was on duty there until the retreat westward.

In a desperate fight of the rear guard at Farmville, April
7th, he was severely wounded and taken prisoner.

This gallant officer participated in thirty-seven battles and
heavy skirmishes. His life since the war has been one of
activity and honor. He has served as State engineer thirteen
years, and at present is chief engineer of the Albany &
Raleigh railroad, with his residence at Goldsboro.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. V, p. 328

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