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Andrews, George Leonard (31 August 1828–04 April 1899), soldier, engineer, and educator, was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Manasseh Andrews and Harriet Leonard. After attending the state normal school at Bridgewater, he was accepted as a candidate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated at the head of the class of 1851 and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers. His first duty after graduation was in his home state, participating in the construction of Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. He then returned to the academy as an assistant professor....

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Samuel R. Curtis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2075).

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Curtis, Samuel Ryan (03 February 1805–26 December 1866), soldier and engineer, was born near Champlain, New York, the son of Zarah Curtis and Phalley Yale, farmers. In 1809 the family moved to Licking County, Ohio. Curtis obtained an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1831. Later that year he married Belinda Buckingham; the couple had six children. Curtis served briefly with the Seventh Infantry at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), but resigned his commission in 1832 and returned to Ohio. During the next decade he worked as an engineer on the National Road and was the chief engineer of the Muskingum River improvement project. He also studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1841. Curtis was active in the Ohio militia and was named adjutant general of the state when the Mexican War began, but he resigned in order to command the Third Ohio Infantry in the field. Much to his disappointment, he saw no action in Mexico but served as military governor of Matamoras, Camargo, Monterrey, and Saltillo....

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Grenville M. Dodge. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1672).

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Dodge, Grenville Mellen (12 April 1831–03 January 1916), civil engineer and army officer, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the son of Sylvanus Dodge, a peddler, and Julia Theresa Phillips. Despite a nearly impoverished childhood and the need to find employment at an early age, Dodge demonstrated a strong desire for a formal education. Following one semester of preparatory study at New Hampshire’s Durham Academy, he entered in 1848 Norwich University in Vermont, where he learned the scientific and engineering skills that would serve him well in life. After his graduation in 1851, he lived briefly at nearby Captain ...

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Eastman, William Reed (19 October 1835–25 March 1925), engineer, clergyman, and librarian, was born in New York City, the son of the Reverend Ornan Eastman, an ordained evangelist, and Mary Reed. Eastman descended from an old New England family. Like his father, Eastman attended Yale University, where he achieved election to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated in 1854 with honors. During the first of his three distinctive professional endeavors, he worked as a civil engineer, initially on the enlargement of the Erie Canal, subsequently on the construction of the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad, and finally on the survey of the first railroad from Vera Cruz to Mexico City....

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George Washington Goethals Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0358-A).

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Goethals, George Washington (29 June 1858–21 January 1928), engineer and military officer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of John Louis Goethals, a carpenter, and Marie Le Barron. At the age of fourteen he entered the College of the City of New York. In April 1876, after three years of college, Goethals won a cadetship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated second in his class in 1880, a distinction that won for him a commission as second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers....

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Greene, George Sears (06 May 1801–28 January 1899), civil engineer and soldier, was born in Apponaug, Rhode Island, the son of Caleb Greene, a shipowner, and Sarah Robinson. Greene attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1819 to 1823 and upon graduation became assistant professor of mathematics and engineering there. After four years of teaching, he served nine years in the artillery at posts in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 1828 he married Elizabeth Vinton, who died four years later....

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Haupt, Herman (26 March 1817–14 December 1905), railway engineer, inventor, author, and administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob Haupt, a businessman of modest attainments, and Anna Margaretta Wiall, the proprietor of a small dry goods store. Herman attended several private schools in Philadelphia, but in 1827 his father, suffering from poor health, gave up the grocery store he then owned and moved to Woodville, New Jersey. Jacob Haupt died the next year, leaving his widow in straitened circumstances; Herman, the eldest of six children, was only eleven years of age. Two years later Herman Haupt’s congressman, John B. Sterigere, offered to help the boy gain admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He received a presidential appointment in 1830, but his entry was deferred for a year because of his youth. Unhappy with the strict upbringing he had received from his father, he was very uncertain about subjecting himself to the hard discipline of the academy, but his mother prevailed....

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Mansfield Lovell. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2010).

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Lovell, Mansfield (20 October 1822–01 June 1884), soldier and civil engineer, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Dr. Joseph Lovell, surgeon general of the U.S. Army from 1818 to 1836, and Margaret Mansfield. Having entered West Point at the age of sixteen, he graduated in 1842 and was assigned to the Fourth Artillery Regiment as a second lieutenant. During the Mexican War he was wounded at the battle of Monterrey (18–21 Sept. 1846) and in the storming of Mexico City (13–14 Sept. 1847), in the process winning promotion to first lieutenant and being brevetted captain for gallantry in action. In 1849 he married Emily Plympton, the daughter of an army officer. In 1854, tiring of garrison duty along the frontier, he resigned from the army to take a position with the Cooper & Hewitt’s Iron Works in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1858 he moved to New York City, where he was at first superintendent of street improvement, then deputy street commissioner under another future Confederate general, ...

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Mullan, John (31 July 1830–28 December 1909), army explorer, road builder, and lawyer, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of John Mullan, a civil servant, and Mary Bright. The eldest of ten children, Mullan grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, where his father was postmaster at the U.S. Naval Academy. He received his education, beginning at the age of nine, at St. John’s College in Annapolis, from which he received a B.A. in 1847 and an M.A. in 1855. Family tradition holds that Mullan sought a personal interview with President ...

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Roberdeau, Isaac (11 September 1763–15 January 1829), civil and military engineer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel Roberdeau, a revolutionary war general, and Mary Bostwick. He was educated in Philadelphia and by 1783 was one of four clerks under Joseph Nourse, registrar of the Treasury Department. The same year Roberdeau visited the West Indies with his father before embarking for London, where he studied engineering until 1787. In 1792 Roberdeau married Susan Shippen Blair; they had three daughters....

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St. John, Isaac Munroe (19 November 1827–07 April 1880), soldier and engineer, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Isaac Richards St. John, a businessman, and Abigail Richardson Munroe. St. John graduated from Yale in 1845, the youngest member of his class. He briefly studied law and worked as assistant editor of the ...

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Stone, Charles Pomeroy (30 September 1824–24 January 1887), soldier and civil engineer, was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the son of Alpheus Fletcher Stone, a physician, and Fanny Cushing. An 1845 graduate of West Point, he served as an ordnance officer throughout the Mexican War, winning brevets for “gallant and meritorious conduct” at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. In 1853 he married Maria Louisa Clary, with whom he had one child....

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Stone, Roy (16 October 1836–06 August 1905), civil engineer and military officer, was born in Steuben County, New York, the son of Ithiel V. Stone, a prosperous farmer, and Sarah (maiden name unknown). In 1854 he enrolled at Union College in Schenectady, a school that in 1845 had become the first liberal arts institution in the country to offer engineering courses. Stone studied civil engineering for at least two semesters and received an honorary A.B. in 1857. He settled in Warren County, Pennsylvania, where his father owned property. In 1861 he married Mary Elizabeth Marker; they had two children....

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Swift, William Henry (06 November 1800–07 April 1879), soldier and engineer, was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, the son of Foster Swift, an army surgeon, and Deborah Delano. Under the guidance of his father and an older brother, Brigadier General Joseph Gardner Swift, an army engineer, he was prepared in youth for military life. In August 1813, when only twelve years old, he joined the corps of cadets of the U.S. Military Academy. While at West Point, his brother was appointed superintendent. Apparently, it was through General Swift’s influence that in 1818, while still a cadet, he joined the expedition of Major ...