U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers

Pre-Civil War Personnel




Col. J. J. Abert

Lt. Col. James Kearney


 Hartman Bache


William Swift

 Campbell Graham 

John Mackay

Walter B. Guion** 

  Thomas J. Cram
 John McClellan 


 John N. Macomb
James H. Simpson

Augustus P. Allen

Thomas J. Lee


Lorenzo Sitgreaves 

William R. Palmer**
Israel Woodruff

Joseph D. Webster**
Eliakim P. Scammon

William H. Warner 
Charles N. Hagner**


* The Corps was made up entirely of officers.  Although requests for a "company of pioneers" to assist in survey duties had been made repeatedly, it was not until August, 1861 that a company of topographical engineer enlisted men was authorized by Congress.  By that time, the Corps was in competition with myriad volunteer units.  With no established infrastructure to handle recruitment and training, enlistment efforts foundered.  After two months, recruitment was halted and a total of three enlisted men were transferred to the Corps of Engineers (Schubert, F. N., The Nation Builders). 
** Asterisks indicate men who did not graduate from West Point.




July 31, 1839
George Thom appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 17, 1840
Washington Hood, died
July 1, 1841
Amiel W. Whipple,  Second Lieutenant, transferred from the Artillery
Sept. 1, 1841
Augustus P. Allen, died
March 31, 1842
Walter B. Guion, resigned
May 19, 1842
George G. Meade, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; John Pope, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; James W. Abert, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1843
W. B. Franklin, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; William F. Raynolds, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; M. L. Smith, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Robert M. McLaneresigned.
July 1, 1844
William G. Peck, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1845
William F. Smith, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant;  Thomas J. Wood, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
May 9, 1846
Jacob Blake, killed (Mexican War)
July 1, 1846
Edmund L. F. Hardcastle, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Francis T. Bryan, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; George H. Derby, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
Oct. 19, 1846
Thomas J. Wood, transferred to Second Dragoons
March 15, 1848
John C. Fremont, resigned
July 1, 1848
Robert S. Williamson, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Nathaniel Michler, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1849
John G. Parke, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 14, 1849
Charles N. Hagner, died
July 31, 1849
W. H. Swift, resigned
Sept. 26, 1849
William H. Warner, killed
July 1, 1850
Gouverneur K. Warren, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
April 24, 1851
Thomas B. Linnard, died
Aug. 4, 1851
George W. Hughes, resigned
July 1, 1852
George H. Mendell, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1852
George W. Rose, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Joseph C. Ives, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1853
William R. Boggs, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
April 7, 1854
Joseph D. Webster, resigned
April 18, 1854
Augustus Canfield, died
June 28, 1854
William R. Boggs, transferred to Ordnance
July 1, 1854
Henry L. Abbott, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Charles N. Turnbull, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
Sept. 1, 1854
John McClellan, died
March 3, 1855
William H. Emory, transferred to 2nd Cavalry
March 3, 1855
Joseph E. Johnston,  transferred to 1st Cavalry
April 30, 1855
Thomas J. Lee, [resigned]
Oct. 2, 1855
William G. Peck, resigned
April 30, 1855
Edmund L. F. Hardcastle, resigned
June 4, 1856
Eliakim P. Scammon, dismissed
June 27, 1856
Junius B. Wheeler, transferred from the Cavalry
July 1, 1856
Orlando M. Poe, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
Oct. 7, 1856
George M. Rose, resigned
July 1, 1857
J. L. Kirby Smith, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Haldemand S. Putnam, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; William P. Smith, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
Dec. 9, 1857
William Turnbull, died
July 1, 1858
William H. Echols, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1860
Charles R. Collins, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Orlando G. Wagner, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; Robert T. Beckham, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
July 1, 1860
Nicholas Bowen, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant; James H. Wilson, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
April 11,
Hartman Bache takes charge of the Topographical Bureau
May 15, 1861
George H. Derby, died
June 24, 1861
Alfred Mordecai, appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant
Sept 9,
J. J. Abert, James Kearney, Campbell Graham placed on retired list.  Stephen Long becomes Colonel of the Corps, Thomas Cram becomes second-in-command.
Sept 28,
Howard Stansbury placed on retired list.
Oct. 23, 1861
Alfred Mordecai, transferred to Ordnance
Dec 11,
Stephen Long takes over as head of the Topographical Bureau
Dec 5,
I. C. Woodruff takes over day-to-day operation of Bureau



1837 Washington Hood 1848-1849 Edmund L. F. Hardcastle
1838-1839 Thomas J. Lee 1848-1849 John McClellan
1839 Washington Hood 1849-1855 Thomas J. Lee
1840-1841 Andrew A. Humphreys 1849 George W. Hughes
1841 John McClellan 1850 Lorenzo Sitgreaves
1841-1842 Joseph E. Johnston 1850-1854 William Turnbull
1842 Lorenzo Sitgreaves 1853 William R. Boggs
1843-1844 William H. Emory 1855-1856 Martin L. Smith
1843-1849 William H. Swift 1857-1861 Israel C. Woodruff
1844-1845 James W. Abert 1859 Josephe C. Ives
1845-1846 William B. Franklin 1861 Charles R. Collins
1847-1848 George H. Derby    


from Beers, Henry P. "A History of the U.S. Topographical Engineers, 1813-1863." 2 pts. The Military Engineer 34 (Jun 1942): pp. 287-91 & (Jul 1942): pp. 348-52. 
    This copyrighted material is used with the permission of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), publisher of The Military Engineer in which this article appeared in its volume no. 34, #200 and 201, June, 1942 and July, 1942.

1  "It is implied that Bryan resigned to join the Confederacy.  I think he was perhaps a Southern sympathizer, as he was born and raised in North Carolina, and other members of his family were strong supporters of the Confederacy (a brother, George, died defending Richmond [Powell, William S., (ed.) Dictionary of North Carolina Biography:  The University of  North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1979, pp. 254-255 (biographical sketch of John Heritage Bryan--his daddy)].  Bryan, however, had married (26 March 1856) a rich young lady from St. Louis (Edmonia Taylor), whose family had strong ties to the Union.  He did resign his commission early in the war (the effective date was 10 July 1861), but, fact is, he just stayed there in St. Louis.  Never took up arms either for or against the Confederacy [Bryan's Mexican War pension file  (SC 8466), National Archives].  In the 1870 federal census, he gives his occupation as "Retired Captain USA" [1870 U.S. census, microfilm publication M593, roll 815, City of St. Louis, Missouri, ward 5, page 159, dwelling 715, family 901.]  He may have sneaked away and joined the Confederacy under a different name, but I doubt it.  Cullum, in the 1868 edition (vol. 2) of his Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy... (New York: D. Van Nostrand), p. 144, describes Bryan as living near St. Louis "since" 1861."  Personal communication, 1998, Don Pusch, El Lago, Texas.



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