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Graham, James Duncan (04 April 1799–28 December 1865), army officer, was born in Prince William County, Virginia, the son of William Graham, a revolutionary war veteran and physician, and Mary Campbell. Graham enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, on 19 June 1813 and graduated on 17 July 1817. While at West Point, Graham studied mathematics under former U.S. astronomer ...

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Gridley, Richard (03 January 1711–21 June 1796), artilleryman, military engineer, and entrepreneur, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Captain Richard Gridley and his third wife, Rebecca, whose maiden name is uncertain. His father, a currier by trade and an active militia officer, died when young Richard was only three years old. In 1719 his widowed mother married Benjamin Landon, a Boston shopkeeper. After grammar school, Richard was apprenticed to a merchant. In 1731 he married Hannah Deming; they had nine children....

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Ives, Joseph Christmas (25 December 1828–12 November 1868), soldier, engineer, and explorer, was born in New York City, the son of Ansel Wilmot Ives and Laura (maiden name unknown), occupations unknown. Little is known of his early years. Apparently, he was raised in a boardinghouse in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended Yale College and graduated fifth in his class at West Point in 1852. Commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant of ordnance, Ives served at the Watervliet, New York, arsenal (1852–1853) and was transferred to the topographical engineers in 1853. He was an assistant topographical engineer on the Pacific Railroad Survey (1853–1854) and in the Pacific Railroad Office in Washington, D.C. (1854–1857). In 1855 he married Cora Semmes, who came from a prominent southern family; they eventually had three children, all sons, two of whom would serve in the U.S. military. In 1857 Ives was promoted to first lieutenant and was named to lead an expedition up the Colorado River in order to develop potential routes of supply in the event of a war between the national government and the Mormon settlements in Deseret (Utah)....

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Long, Stephen Harriman (30 December 1784–04 September 1864), army explorer and engineer, was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, the son of Moses Long, a farmer, tradesman, and local politician, and Lucy Harriman. In 1809 he graduated from Dartmouth College, and he spent the next five years teaching at Salisbury, New Hampshire, and Germantown, Pennsylvania. In those positions he demonstrated a high level of mathematical skill while becoming a surveyor and an inventor. Soon he came to the attention of U.S. army chief of engineers General ...

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Meigs, Montgomery Cunningham (03 May 1816–02 January 1892), army officer, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Charles Meigs, a physician, and Mary Montgomery. Soon after the family relocated to Philadelphia. In 1831 Meigs briefly attended the University of Pennsylvania there. He transferred to the U.S. Military Academy the following year and on 1 July 1836 graduated fifth in his class of forty-nine. As a second lieutenant, Meigs was initially posted with the First Artillery Regiment but subsequently requested and received transfer to the engineers. He engaged in various construction projects over the next sixteen years, commencing with Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia. He also worked on navigational improvements along the Mississippi River with Lieutenant ...

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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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Swift, Joseph Gardner (31 December 1783–23 July 1865), soldier and engineer, was born on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the son of Foster Swift, a physician who served in both the army and the navy of the early American republic, and Deborah Delano, who was part of a large Quaker congregation on the island. In 1789 the family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where his father practiced medicine, and then moved again in 1792 to Taunton, Rhode Island. Although Swift intended to enter Harvard College, he instead became a cadet with the U.S. Artillery at Fort Wolcott, Newport, Rhode Island, on 12 May 1800. He studied there under Lieutenant Colonel ...

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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 ...

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Turnbull, William (1801–09 December 1857), army officer and military engineer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Turnbull (1751–1822), a merchant and iron manufacturer, and Mary Nisbet. Young Turnbull attended Dickinson College but left to enter the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1819. Although he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the artillery, Turnbull spent his early career almost continually on detached service as a topographical engineer, working mainly on government surveys of Lake Erie and its vicinity. In 1826 he married Jane G. Ramsay; they had ten children....