Montgomery C. Meigs

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Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (1816-1892) - Born 3 May 1816 in Augusta, Georgia. A career U.S. Army officer, engineer, architect and United States Military Academy graduate who served as Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during the U.S. Civil War and beyond. Died 2 Jan 1892 in Washington DC.

Montgomery C. Meigs

He entered the United States Military Academy 1 Jul 1832 and graduated 1 Jul 1836 in the Class of 1836 ranking 5th out of 49.

Montgomery Meigs began his military career in the 1st U.S. Artillery but soon secured a position in the U.S. Corps of Engineers. He was posted to a series of Third System coastal forts and harbors through the 1840s and 1850s to construct, upgrade and repair these facilities.

In 1850s Meigs was posted to Washington DC and supervised construction on several high profile public projects including the Washington Aqueduct and the U.S. Capitol Expansion that added two new wings and a dome.

U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War Montgomery C. Meigs was a Captain with 8 years in that grade. He was called upon to participate as Chief Engineer in a secret plan to relieve the besieged garrison at Fort Pickens, Florida, and hold that fort for the Union. The plan succeeded and Fort Pickens remained in Union hands. Even before the outcome of the Fort Pickens plan was assured, Meigs was promoted from Captain to Colonel on 14 May 1861. The next day, 15 May 1861, Meigs was promoted to Brigadier General and named Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army.

General Meigs tenure as Quartermaster General took the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps from totally unprepared for war to a massive logistics behemoth. During the duration of the war Meigs oversaw the expenditure of some $1,956,616,000 which was a vast sum of money for the time, all accurately vouched and accounted for to the last cent. Meigs said that only on two occasions did the logistics system fail to keep up, Chickamauga and Sherman's march to the sea.

During the war, General Meigs personally oversaw the creation of what is now Arlington National Cemetery from the Arlington estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

On 5 Jul 1864 General Meigs was breveted Major General for Distinguished and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion.

Post Civil War

After the end of the war General Meigs continued as the Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army until his retirement in 1882. During this period he continued his development of Arlington National Cemetery. He also served on many boards and commissions, conducted inspections of military facilities and spent a year on sick leave in Europe. From 1876 to 1878 he worked on architectural projects for a new National Museum, an extension to the Washington Aqueduct and on a plan for a Hall of Records. He retired from active service on 6 Feb 1882.

He died on 2 Jan 1892 in Washington DC and was buried in Section 1, Grave 1 in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. The Meigs gravesite also contains the remains of his wife, Mary, his eldest son, John Rodgers Meigs (also a United States Military Academy graduate), and several other of his children. The remains of his father and grandfather were reinterred in this site with separate markers.

Fort Meigs (2) and Battery Meigs on Fort Washington (1), both in Maryland, were named for General Meigs.


Father: Charles Delucena Meigs (1792–1869)

Mother: Mary Montgomery (1794–1865)

Marriage:

  • Louisa D Rodgers (1816–1872) married 2 May 1841, Washington DC; born 17 Aug 1816, Washington DC; died 21 Nov 1872, Washington DC

Children:

  • John Rodgers Meigs (1842–1864) born 9 Feb 1842, died 3 Oct 1864
  • Mary Montgomery Meigs (1843–1885) born 22 Aug 1843, died 13 Mar 1885
  • Charles Delucena Meigs (1845–1853) born 5 Jun 1845, died 3 Sep 1853
  • Montgomery Meigs (1847–1910) born 27 Feb 1847, died 1910
  • Vincent Trowbridge Meigs (1851–1853) born 12 Sep 1851, died 8 Oct 1853
  • Louisa Rodgers Meigs (1854–1923) born 4 Aug 1854, died 1923
  • A Daughter born 12 Dec 1856, died 12 Dec 1856

Assignments:

  • (1832-1836) Cadet, United States Military Academy
  • (1836-1836) 2nd Lt. (1 Jul 1836) 1st U.S. Artillery Assistant Engineer Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania
  • (1837‑1839) 1st Lt. (7 Jul 1838) U.S. Corps of Engineers, Building Fort Delaware and improvement of harbors in Delaware River, Bay and Breakwater
  • (1839‑1841) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Board of Engineers Atlantic Coast Defenses
  • (1841-1841) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Superintending Engineer of Fort Delaware
  • (1841‑1849) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Fort Wayne (2), Detroit, Michigan
  • (1846‑1849) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Fort Porter (1), Fort Niagara, and Fort Ontario, New York
  • (1849‑1850) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Special duty in the Engineer Bureau, Washington DC
  • (1850‑1852) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Superintending Engineer Fort Montgomery (2), New York
  • (1852-1852) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Harbor improvements in Delaware Bay, and on the New Jersey Coast
  • (1852-1860) 1st Lt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Construction of the Potomac Aqueduct, Washington DC
  • (1853-1859) Capt. (3 Mar 1853) U.S. Corps of Engineers, Construction of the U.S. Capitol Extension, new Wings and Dome, Washington DC
  • (1854-1859) Capt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Construction of U. S. General Post Office Extension
  • (1854-1860) Capt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Repairs of Fort Madison (2), Annapolis harbor, Maryland
  • (1860-1861) Capt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Building of Fort Jefferson (1), Tortugas, Florida
  • (1861-1861) Capt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Construction of the Potomac Aqueduct, Washington DC
  • (1861-1865) U.S. Civil War
    • (1861-1861) Capt. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Chief Engineer for an Expedition relieving Fort Pickens, Florida
    • Col. (14 May 1861) 11th U.S. Infantry
    • Brig. Gen. (15 May 1861) Quartermaster General
    • (1861-1866) Equipping and supplying the Armies in the field generally from headquarters at Washington, D. C.
    • (1861-1861) Present, but not engaged, at the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861
    • (1864-1864) Defense of Washington, D. C.
    • Bvt. Maj.Gen. (5 Jul 1864) - Distinguished and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion
    • (1865-1865) Directly supporting General Sherman's army
  • (1866-1882) Quartermaster General, Washington DC
    • (1866-1867) Board for preparing plans and specifications for new War Department Building
    • (1867-1867) Board for marking graves in National Cemeteries
    • (1869-1869) Board on illumination of Military Posts
    • (1867-1868) Sick leave of absence in Europe
    • (1869-1870) Inspection of Natural Cemeteries and Quartermaster affairs, in Texas and the Southwest
    • (1871-1872) Inspection in California and Arizona
    • (1872-1872) Inspection of Arsenals at Philadelphia, Pa., and Western Posts and Railroad Routes
    • (1873-1874) Inspection of the Departments of California and Columbia
    • (1875-1876) In Europe studying European Armies
    • (1876-1876) Commission for Reform and Re-organization of the Army
    • (1876-1876) Project for new National Museum at Washington
    • (1876-1876) Project for Extension of Washington Aqueduct
    • (1878-1878) Plan for a Hall of Records
    • (1880-1880) Member of Board for Codification of the Army Regulations
  • (6 Feb 1882) Retired from Active Service, over 62


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