Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com advises that these 19th Century
biographies, although edited, still contain period bias.
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ARMISTEAD, Walker Keith, soldier, brother of George, born in Virginia about 1785 ; died in Upperville, Virginia, 13 October 1845. His name stands third on the consecutively numbered list of West Point graduates, and at the head of the class of 1803, the second class that was graduated. This of itself was no especial distinction, since there were only three men in the class, but Armistead proved himself an excellent engineer, and superintended the defenses of Norfolk, Virginia, in 1808-'11. At this time he ranked as captain, and was promoted to be major of engineers 10 July 1810. In 1811 he was on duty at the military academy. During the war of 1812 he was chief engineer, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the army on the Niagara frontier. He was superintendent of the defenses of Norfolk and the Chesapeake in 1813-'18, when he was pro-rooted to be colonel of engineers and chief engineer of the army, November 18. In the reorganization of the army, 1 June 1821, he became colonel of the 3d artillery, and, remaining in that grade for ten years, was brevetted brigadier. He served in the Florida war, and was appointed on various important boards and commissions, and in command of the 3d artillery at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, in 1844, when he was granted sick leave, from which he was never able to return to duty.
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