William Gaston Lewis
William Gaston Lewis was born at Rocky Mount, North Carolina, September 3, 1835. After receiving his early education at Lovejoy's Military School at Raleigh, he was graduated from the University of North Carolina at the age of nineteen. Subsequently a school teacher in North Carolina and Florida, and a government surveyor in Minnesota, he assisted in the construction of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad from 1858 to 1861. He served at the outbreak of war in the Bethel Regiment, and was elected major of the 33rd North Carolina. He was present at New Bern, and was promoted lieutenant colonel of the 43rd North Carolina in April 1862. He was at Gettysburg in 1863, and after the capture of Plymouth, North Carolina, in April 1864, he took part in the initial stages of the siege of Petersburg under General Beauregard. His promotion to brigadier general dates from May 31, 1864. Assigned to Ramseur's division, Lewis' brigade took part in Early's Valley campaign of that year, and was in the trenches at Petersburg the following winter. On the retreat toward Appomattox he was wounded and captured at Farmville, Virginia, April 7, 1865. After his parole he resumed the practice of civil engineering, which he carried on with considerable success for more than thirty years; for some thirteen years he was state engineer of North Carolina. He died at Goldsboro, North Carolina, January 7, 1901, and is buried there.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.