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"Montgomery Meigs" Topic

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American Civil War

428 hits since 12 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse12 Sep 2018 12:14 p.m. PST

"Montgomery Meigs is, arguably, the most under-appreciated general in the Union army. West Point, Class of 1836, and 44 years old when the Civil War erupted, Meigs had spent his pre-war career in the engineers, working on several projects in Washington, including the dome and wings of the Capitol and the Potomac Aqueduct, which brought fresh water into the city. With the rapid expansion of the army following the attack on Fort Sumter, Meigs received a promotion from captain to colonel on May 14, 1861, but President Lincoln had bigger plans for Meigs. Seeking to promote Meigs to command the Quartermaster Department, Lincoln ran into opposition from Secretary of War Simon Cameron, who supported Col. Charles Thomas based on military custom and seniority. Asking Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott to use his influence to win over Cameron, Lincoln wrote, "so far as I am capable of judging I do not know one who combines the qualities of masculine intellect, learning and experience of the right sort, and physical power of labor and endurance so well as [Meigs]." Lincoln then assured Scott, "I have nothing personal in this, having never seen or heard of Col. Meigs, until about the end of last March." Impressed that Lincoln had asked for his help, Scott, who admired Meigs' "high genius, science, vigor & administrative capacities," quickly convinced Cameron to withdraw his objection. However, when the Senate dated Meigs' promotion to June 10, 1861, Lincoln again intervened, and succeeded in having the appointment back-dated to May 15, 1861. "One wonders," a Lincoln historian asked, "whether the misdating of Meigs' appointment in the list of promotions sent to the Senate…was entirely inadvertent."…."
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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 6:18 p.m. PST

A good article. Thank you.

jowady12 Sep 2018 7:23 p.m. PST

I would direct you to Herman Haupt.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse13 Sep 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

Glad you like it my friend!. (smile)


Trajanus19 Sep 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

Meigs and Haupt are probably the two most important Union personalities in the Civil War that no one has ever heard of!

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2018 1:21 p.m. PST

+1 on that last comment.

Bill N19 Sep 2018 4:12 p.m. PST

Why Haupt and not McCallum? Didn't Sherman give McCallum credit for keeping him supplied during the Atlanta campaign?

Regulars27 Sep 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

BG McCallum was a more quiet organizational genius and BG Haupt was a flashy self promoting genius entrepreneur engineering type. They were both instrumental in developing rail logistics but technically each ran a separate mutually supporting organization until BG Haupt was dismissed. By the end of the war BG McCallum was in charge of the entire US Army rail road network. McCallum's final report in 1865 is a good summary (if somewhat dry) of the development of rail logistics. Probably more important is they both fell under MG Meigs staff responsibility.

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