John Dunlap Stevenson

John Dunlap Stevenson was born in the Shenandoah Valley town of Staunton, Virginia, on June 8, 1821. He attended South Carolina College, studied law in his hometown, and was admitted to the bar there, but he soon moved to Missouri where he began practice. In 1846 he organized and was elected captain of a battalion of the 1st Missouri Mounted Volunteers which saw service with S. W. Kearny's troops in the invasion of New Mexico. After the war he moved to St. Louis and in the interval before the Civil War was several times a member of the state legislature and for one term president of the senate. Stevenson became colonel of the 7th Missouri (Union) Infantry on June 1, 1861, and after the battle of Shiloh commanded at Jackson, Tennessee. He headed a brigade under James B. McPherson during the battle of Corinth and in the pursuit of the retiring Confederates; he was promoted to brigadier general on March 13, 1863, to rank from the preceding November 29. During the Vicksburg campaign his brigade was in Logan's division of the XVII Corps. He then led an expedition into northern Louisiana to clear the area of Confederates, commanding a division and one brigade of infantry, two batteries and a section of a third, and a battalion of cavalry. During the Chickamauga and Chattanooga campaigns he was in charge of the post of Corinth. When the Atlanta campaign began he was posted, with twenty-five hundred men, at Decatur, Alabama, and along the Tennessee & Alabama Railroad northward to Pulaski, Tennessee. This assignment seems to have been unsatisfactory for on April 22, 1864, his resignation was accepted.  He was, however, reappointed brigadier general on August 8, 1864, with his original date of rank and assigned to command of the District of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where he remained until the end of the war. For a few days in February, 1865, he was temporarily in command of the Department of West Virginia. He was brevetted major general of volunteers and upon the expansion of the Regular Army in 1866 was made colonel of the 30th Infantry. He was awarded the brevet of brigadier general, U. S. Army, in 1867 but for several months in 1869 was unassigned due to the reduction of the army effected that year. On December 31, 1870, General Stevenson was honorably discharged at his own request and resumed his law practice in St. Louis. He died there on January 22, 1897, and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.