Thomas Greely Stevenson

Thomas Greely Stevenson was born February 3, 1836, in Boston. From early childhood he was interested in military affairs and joined the state militia as soon as his age would permit, rising from the ranks to major of the 4th Battalion of Infantry. Meanwhile he had acquired a reputation as a drillmaster, and upon the outbreak of the Civil War many of his former enlisted men became officers in other Massachusetts volunteer regiments. Stevenson himself recruited the 24th Massachusetts, the nucleus of which was his old militia battalion, and was mustered in as its colonel on December 3, 1861. The regiment immediately was assigned to accompany Ambrose E. Burnside's expedition against the Carolina coast and was attached to John G. Foster's brigade during the operations against Roanoke Island and New Bern. Stevenson took part in the defense of Washington, North Carolina, in September and directed a brigade in the movements on Goldsboro and Kinston. Foster applied for Stevenson's promotion to brigadier and he was duly appointed on December 24, 1862, but the nomination was not confirmed by the Senate and he was reappointed and confirmed on April 9, 1863, to rank from March 14. In the summer of 1863 General Stevenson saw much active service in Charleston Harbor, where his brigade was attached to Naglee's division. He was present at the initial reduction of Morris Island, a key point in the Confederate defenses, and commanded the troops held in reserve during the assault on Battery Wagner, a fort on the northern extremity of the island at the base of Cumming's Point. Stevenson was on sick leave during the winter of 1863-64, suffering from malarial fevers contracted in the swampy approaches to Charleston, but in the spring of 1864 was assigned to the command of a division of Burnside's IX Corps during the initial phases of U. S. Grant's Overland campaign against Richmond. On the morning of May 10, 1864, while at the head of his command, General Stevenson was killed instantly by a Confederate sharpshooter. His body was taken back to Boston for burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

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