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Encyclopedia > Montgomery C. Meigs
Montgomery C. Meigs
Montgomery C. Meigs

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (IPA: [mɛgs]) (May 3, 1816January 2, 1892) was a career U.S. Army officer, civil engineer, construction engineer for a number of facilities in Washington, D.C., and Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during and after the American Civil War. His management of the immense logistical requirements of the war was a significant contribution to the Union victory. Image File history File linksMetadata Montgomery_C._Meigs. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Montgomery_C._Meigs. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... January 2 is the second day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... Nickname: the District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Official website: http://www. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Abraham Lincoln+ Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis Robert E. Lee Strength 2,213,363 1,064,200 Casualties KIA: 110,100 Total dead: 359,500 Wounded: 275,200 KIA: 74,500 Total dead: 198,500 Wounded: 137,000+  The American... Map of the division of the states during the Civil War. ...

Contents


Early life and engineering projects

Meigs was born in Augusta, Georgia. While a boy, he moved with his family to Pennsylvania and he initially attended the University of Pennsylvania, but was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1836. He received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery, but most of his army service was with the Corps of Engineers, in which he worked on important engineering projects. Augusta skyline with The Lamar Building featured in the center Broad Street, downtown Augusta during the 1950s Augusta is a city located in the state of Georgia. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 33rd 119,283 km² 255 km 455 km 2. ... The University of Pennsylvania (Penn is the moniker used by the university itself; UPenn is also in common usage) is a private, nonsectarian research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Alternate meanings: West Point (disambiguation). ... Charles Darwin 1836 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned rank in many armed forces. ...


His favorite engineering project before the war was the Washington Aqueduct, which he supervised from 1852 to 1860. It involved the design of the monumental bridge across Cabin John Branch, which for fifty years remained unsurpassed as the longest masonry arch in the world. From 1853 to 1859 he also supervised the building of the wings and dome of the United States Capitol, and from 1855 to 1859, the extension of the General Post Office Building. The Washington Aqueduct is the public water supply system serving Washington, D.C. and parts of its suburbs. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Cabin John is a census-designated place and an unincorporated area located in Montgomery County, Maryland. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1859 is a common year starting on Saturday. ... United States Capitol The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as home for Congress, the legislative branch of the United States federal government. ... 1855 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1859 is a common year starting on Saturday. ...


In the fall of 1860, as a result of a disagreement over procurement contracts, Meigs "incurred the ill will" of the Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, and was "banished to Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico to construct fortifications at that place and at Key West." Upon the resignation of Floyd a few months later, Meigs was recalled to his work on the aqueduct at Washington. The Secretary of War was a member of the Presidents Cabinet, beginning with George Washingtons administration. ... John Buchanan Floyd (June 1, 1807–August 26, 1863), American politician, was born at Blacksburg, Virginia. ... Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, from northeast The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located at the end of the Florida Keys, USA, about 113 km west of Key West, and 60 km west of the Marquesas Keys, the closest islands. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... Map of Key West Key West is a city located in Monroe County, Florida. ...


Civil War

Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, Meigs and Lieutenant Colonel Erasmus D. Keyes were quietly charged by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward with drawing up a plan for the relief of Fort Pickens, Florida, by means of a secret expedition. In April, 1861, together with Lieutenant David D. Porter of the Navy, they carried out the expedition, embarking under orders from the President without the knowledge of either the Secretary of the Navy or the Secretary of War. In the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a commissioned officer superior to a major and inferior to a colonel. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The presidential seal was first used by president Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... William H. Seward William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. ... Sketch of Fort Pickens, Florida, by Lt. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 22nd 170 451 km² 260 km 800 km 17. ... Portrait of David Dixon Porter during the Civil War Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter (June 8, 1813 – February 13, 1891) was a United States naval officer who became one of the most noted naval heroes of the Civil War. ...


On May 14, 1861, Meigs was appointed colonel, 11th U.S. Infantry, and on the following day, promoted to brigadier general and Quartermaster General of the Army. He established a reputation for being efficient, hard-driving, and scrupulously honest. He molded a large and somewhat diffuse department into a great tool of war. He was one of the first to fully appreciate the importance of logistical preparations in modern military planning, and under his leadership, supplies moved forward and troops were transported over long distances with ever greater efficiency. May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Colonel is a military rank of a commissioned officer, with the corresponding ranks existing in nearly every country in the world. ... A Brigadier General, or one-star general, is the lowest rank of general officer in the United States and some other countries, ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. ...


Of his work in the quartermaster's office, James G. Blaine remarked, "Montgomery C. Meigs, one of the ablest graduates of the Military Academy, was kept from the command of troops by the inestimably important services he performed as Quartermaster General. Perhaps in the military history of the world there never was so large an amount of money disbursed upon the order of a single man ... The aggregate sum could not have been less during the war than fifteen hundred million dollars, accurately vouched and accounted for to the last cent." Secretary of State William H. Seward's estimate was "that without the services of this eminent soldier the national cause must have been lost or deeply imperiled." James G. Blaine James Gillespie Blaine (January 31, 1830 – January 27, 1893) was a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator from Maine and a two-time United States Secretary of State. ...


Meigs's services during the Civil War included command of Ulysses S. Grant's base of supplies at Fredericksburg and Belle Plain, Virginia (1864), command of a division of War Department employees in the defenses of Washington at the time of Jubal A. Early's raid (July 1114, 1864), personally supervising the refitting and supplying of William T. Sherman's army at Savannah (January 529, 1865), and at Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, reopening Sherman's lines of supply (March–April 1865). He was brevetted to major general on July 5, 1864. Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... Fredericksburg is an independent city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia, 50 miles south of Washington, D.C., and 55 miles north of Richmond, Virginia. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 – March 2, 1894) was a lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 170 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman by Mathew Brady William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, and author. ... Nickname: The Coastal Empire or The Hostess City Motto: Official website: Savannah, Georgia Location Government County Chatham Mayor Otis S. Johnson Geographical characteristics Area Total 202. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... Goldsboro is a city located in Wayne County, North Carolina. ... Downtown Raleigh Skyline Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, a state of the United States of America. ... In the US military, brevet referred to a warrant authorizing a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but usually without receiving the pay of that higher rank. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 179 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Meigs recommended that the historic Custis Mansion in Arlington, Virginia, owned by Mary Custis Lee, the wife of Robert E. Lee, be used as a military burial ground. Based on this recommendation, Arlington National Cemetery was created in 1864. In October of that same year, his son, First Lieutenant John Rodgers Meigs, was killed at Swift Run Gap in Virginia and is buried at Arlington Cemetery. Arlington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Virginia (which calls itself a commonwealth), directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. By an act of Congress July 9, 1846, the area south of the Potomac was returned to Virginia effective in 1847 As of 2000... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... Arlington Cemetery Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, is an American military cemetery established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Robert E. Lees home. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Postbellum career

In 1865, Meigs was in the honor guard at Abraham Lincoln's funeral. 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ...


As Quartermaster General after the Civil War, Meigs supervised plans for the new War Department building (186667), the National Museum (1876), the extension of the Washington Aqueduct (1876), and for a hall of records (1878). In 186668, to recuperate from the strain of his war service, he visited Europe, and in 187576 made another visit to study the organization of European armies. After his retirement on February 6, 1882, he became architect of the Pension Office Building, now home to the National Building Museum. He was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and one of the earliest members of the National Academy of Sciences. 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1876 (MDCCCLXXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Categories: Museum stubs | Museums in Washington, DC | Architecture museums ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ... The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by founding father Benjamin Franklin, continues to operate to this day. ... President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ...


Meigs died in Washington after a short illness and his body was interred with high military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. The General Orders (January 4, 1892) issued at the time of his death declared that "the Army has rarely possessed an officer ... who was entrusted by the government with a great variety of weighty responsibilities, or who proved himself more worthy of confidence." January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Pension Building (1882–87)

Following the end of the Civil War, the United States Congress passed legislation that greatly extended the scope of pension coverage for both veterans and for their survivors and dependents, notably their widows and orphans. This ballooned the number of staff that was needed to implement and administer the new benefits system to over 1,500 and quickly required a new building to house them all. Meigs was chosen to design and construct the new building, now the National Building Museum. He broke away from the established Greco-Roman models that had been the basis of government buildings in Washington, D.C., up until then, and was to continue following the completion of the Pension Building. Meigs based his design on Italian Renaissance precedents, notably Rome's Palazzo Farnese and Plazzo della Cancelleria. Categories: Museum stubs | Museums in Washington, DC | Architecture museums ... A mid-18th century engraving of Palazzo Farnese by Giuseppe Vasi Palazzo Farnese, Rome (housing the French Embassy), is the most imposing Italian palace of the sixteenth century (Sir Banister Fletcher) (1). ...


Included in his design was a 1,200-foot long sculptured frieze executed by Caspar Buberl. Since creating a work of sculpture of that size was well out of Meigs's budget, he had Buberl create 28 different scenes (totaling 69 feet in length), which were then mixed and slightly modified to create the continuous 1,200-foot long parade that includes over 1,300 figures. Because of the way that the 28 sections are modified and mixed up, it is only by somewhat careful examination that the frieze reveals its self to be the same figures repeated over and over. The sculpture includes infantry, navy, artillery, cavalry, and medical components as well as a good deal of the supply and quartermaster functions, since that was where Meigs served during the Civil War. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Hillsbobo, Ohio Caspar Buberl, American sculptor, born in 1834 in Königsberg, Bohemia, (now Kynsperk nad Ohrí in the Czech Republic) and died August 22, 1899 in New York City. ...


Meigs's correspondence with Buberl[1] reveals that Meigs insisted that one teamster, "must be a negro, a plantation slave, freed by war," be included in the Quartermaster panel. This figure was ultimately to assume a position in the center, over the west entrance to the building.


When Philip Sheridan was asked to comment on the building, his reply echoed the sentiment of much of the Washington establishment of the day, that the only thing that he could find wrong with the building was that it was fireproof. (A similar quote is also attributed to William T. Sherman, so the story might well be apocryphal.) Philip Sheridan Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career U.S. Army officer and one of the great generals in the American Civil War. ... Portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman by Mathew Brady William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, and author. ...


The completed building, sometimes referred to as "Meigs's Old Red Barn", was created by using more than 1,500,000 bricks, which, according to the wits of the day, were all counted by the parsimonious Meigs.



Quartermaster Hall of Fame

General Meigs was inducted into the Quartermaster Hall of Fame in its charter year of 1986. 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Modern descendants

Another member of the Meigs family is also named Montgomery C. Meigs. Also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he is a veteran of the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War (see Battle of Medina Ridge). He retired from military service with the rank of general. Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand the Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 1,250,000+ US dead: 58,226 US wounded... Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. ... The Battle of Medina Ridge was a decisive tank battle fought on 27 February 1991, during the Gulf War, between the United States 1st Armored Division and the 2nd Brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard Medina Luminous Division outside Basra. ... General is a high military rank, used by nearly every country in the world. ...


Notes

  1. ^  McDaniel, Collected Works.

References

External links


 
 

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