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Abbot, Henry Larcom (13 August 1831–01 October 1927), Union soldier and engineer, was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Hale Abbot and Fanny Ellingwood. Abbot’s father, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was an educator and school principal. From 1850 to 1854 Abbot attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating second in his class. As a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, Abbot served first in the Office of Pacific Railroad Explorations and Surveys in Washington, D.C., and then in 1855 in California and Oregon surveying a railroad route....

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Abert, John James (17 September 1788–27 January 1863), army engineer, was born in Frederick City, Maryland, the son of John Abert and Margarita Meng. His father is said to have emigrated to America as a soldier with the Comte de Rochambeau in 1780. He entered the fledgling U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1808, graduating in 1811. He married Ellen Matlack Stretch in 1812; they had six children. After resigning from the army, Abert was admitted to the District of Columbia bar in 1813 and the Ohio bar in 1814. Abert served his country as a private soldier in the District of Columbia Militia during the War of 1812, fighting in such engagements as the battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, on 24 August 1814....

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Babcock, Orville Elias (25 December 1835–02 June 1884), soldier, engineer, and presidential secretary, was born in Franklin, Vermont, the son of Elias Babcock, Jr., and Clara Olmstead. Graduating third in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1861, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of engineers. During the first year of the Civil War he gained promotion to first lieutenant, serving successively in the Department of Pennsylvania and the Department of the Shenandoah. He was then transferred to the Army of the Potomac, where he served on the staff of ...

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Bailey, Joseph (06 May 1825–26 March 1867), military engineer, was born probably in Pennsville, Ohio, and moved to Illinois as a child. His parents’ names and occupations are unknown. He studied civil engineering and in 1846 married Mary Spaulding. They had one daughter. In 1847 he relocated to Kilbourn City, Wisconsin, where he became a successful lumberman and engineer....

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Barnard, John Gross (19 May 1815–14 May 1882), soldier, engineer, and scientist, was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Foster Barnard and Augusta Roberta Porter. He was the younger brother of the distinguished educator Frederick Augustus Barnard, president and chancellor of the University of Mississippi and president of Columbia College (now Columbia University) in New York City. Barnard graduated second in his 1833 class of the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. He married Jane Elizabeth Brand, who died in 1853. He married Anna E. Hall Boyd in 1860....

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John G. Barnard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1641).

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Bernard, Simon (26 April 1779–05 September 1839), military engineer, was born in Dôle, in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France, the son of an artisan. His parents’ names are unknown. Although extremely poor, Bernard managed with the aid of a local priest to enter the École Central des Travaux Publics (soon renamed the École Polytechnique) in Paris, the basic school to train candidates for the technical branches of the French army. Graduating second in his class in 1797, he joined the Army of the Rhine, and for the next seventeen years he performed ably as an officer of engineers. He earned the notice of Emperor Napoleon I for a reconnaissance before the battle of Austerlitz in 1805, engaged in road building and counter-guerrilla operations in Dalmatia, and supervised the fortification of Antwerp. In 1809 he married Maria Anna von Lerchenfeld, with whom he had an unknown number of children. In 1813 Bernard was appointed an aide-de-camp to the emperor, and the following year he rose to ...

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Pamela Scott and Martin K. Gordon

Casey, Thomas Lincoln (10 May 1831–25 March 1896), military engineer, was born at the Madison Barracks, Sackett’s Harbor, New York, the son of General Silas Casey and Abby Sophia (maiden name unknown). The Caseys’ three sons all became army or navy officers, and their two daughters married army officers....

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Chittenden, Hiram Martin (25 October 1858–09 October 1917), historian and civil engineer, was born in Cattaraugas County, New York, the son of William Chittenden and Mary Wheeler, farmers. Chittenden was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy, but he spent two terms at Cornell University in 1879–1880 to broaden his education before entering West Point in the spring of 1880. He graduated from the military academy in 1884, ranked third in a class of thirty-seven cadets, a position that earned him an assignment in the Corps of Engineers. After marrying Nettie Parker later that year (a union that produced three children), Chittenden spent the next three years in postgraduate study at the Engineer School of Application in New York City. Then, after a year of mapping and surveying for the Department of the Platte, he was transferred to river and harbor work on the Missouri and Ohio rivers, where he remained until 1896....

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Comstock, Cyrus Ballou (03 February 1831–29 May 1910), military engineer, was born in West Wrentham, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Comstock and Betsey Cook. As a boy Comstock developed an interest in surveys after observing a railroad survey and a party from the Coast Survey, and he served as a rodman and leveler for two Massachusetts railroads. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1851 and graduated in 1855 at the top of his class. Following graduation Comstock supervised fortification construction in Florida and Maryland. From 1859 until July 1861 he served as assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy at the Military Academy....