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The following text is reproduced from (the report of the) Twenty-Fourth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 9th, 1893.

 p60  Edward Maguire
No. 2164. Class of 1867.
Died, October 11, 1892, at Philadelphia, Pa., aged 45.

Edward Maguire, son of Edward Maguire and Sarah Frances Brooks, was born August 31, 1847, at Nashville, Tenn.

 p61  He attended the public schools there, was one year at the High School in Chicago, and then was admitted to the U. S. M. A. at West Point, September 29, 1863, being but one month over 16, and, with one exception, the youngest member of his class. Upon graduation, he was the youngest man, the exception above having fallen back one class, due to sickness. In mastering the course at the Military Academy, one is, to some extent, handicapped by too great youth; nevertheless, Maguire was graduated ninth in a class of 63 members, and, had the course been one year longer, in all probability, he would have stood still higher.

He came to the Academy well equipped with a thorough common school education, supplemented by a remarkable fund of general knowledge derived from an extensive reading of well chosen books covering a wide range of topics. This knowledge, due to a retentive memory, he had always at ready command, and his quick intelligence and keen appreciation of the circumstances of the case enabled him to apply it most effectively, whether in the mastery of his lessons, in the entertainment of his friends, or, in the controverting of the arguments of his opponents.

In addition to his natural and acquired mental equipment, he was endowed with the soldierly instinct to a remarkable degree and with a strong love of his country and the military profession, which had been whetted rather than dulled by the jeers and scoffs of his Southern schoolmates and comrades in Nashville.

His appointment as Cadet was due to his own exertions, the events and scenes of the Rebellion as transpiring at his home having thoroughly aroused his enthusiasm and made him ambitious to serve his country as an officer of her Army.

As Cadet private, Corporal, Sergeant, and First Lieutenant, he gave in the faithful discharge of his duties, a forecast of the soldierly qualities afterwards so characteristic of his service as a commissioned officer.

I well remember his appearance when he reported at West Point; bright, clear eyes; handsome and manly features; a trim, active, well proportioned figure. His personal qualities, to those who knew him well, soon endeared him to them, and as his classmate,  p62 friend and comrade in quarters and field, I can well believe, to quote the language of a near and dear relative, that, "He was a loving and tractable son, both as boy and man, was very loyal and warm hearted, and always interested and helpful in our best aims and pursuits. It was in our family circle that he showed his best qualities of heart and character, and we all loved him devotedly."

He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, June 17, 1867, and retained on duty at the Military Academy that summer as Assistant Instructor in Artillery Tactics. On November 1, he reported for duty with the Battalion of Engineers, at Willets Point, and in January, 1869, was appointed Battalion and Post Adjutant, although there were several lieutenants present for duty who were his seniors.

The zealous and military discharge of his duties as Adjutant, fully justified his selection.

He received his First Lieutenancy, February 15, 1869.

Without going into the details of his service, it will be sufficient to say that he served as Assistant on the Geodetic Survey of the Northern Lakes; as Assistant on various river and harbor works; as Chief Engineer Officer of the Department of Dakota, during which tour of duty he performed valuable service in the field, as Engineer of the expedition under General Terry against the Sioux Indians, anterior and subsequent to the Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Custer Massacre; as Engineer in charge of various rivers and harbors and the construction of permanent fortifications; as Engineer of a Light House District; as Commander of a Company of the Engineer Battalion; as Instructor at the Engineer School of Application and as Secretary of the Fortification Board for over three years.

He received his Captaincy June 14, 1881, and, at the time of his death, was second on the list of Captains in the Corps of Engineers.

This synopsis of his service shows a wide and varied experience in the several branches of his profession, but fails to show with what zeal, intelligence and high sense of honor he  p63 discharged all the duties of his various assignments. The records and official reports, as well as the testimony of numerous acquaintances, bear witness that in none of his positions was he found wanting.

His work as Secretary of the Fortification Board was very difficult and exacting, but he performed it most ably and to his own great credit and the entire satisfaction of a board composed of distinguished Army and Navy Officers and Civilian Specialists. He also supplemented this work by publishing a monograph entitled, "The Attack and Defense of Coast Fortifications," which briefly embodied the latest leading principles of the Art and was for some years used as a Text Book in the Department of Military Engineering, at the Engineer School of Application.

In thus recounting the services and characteristics of my friend, I desire to avoid all fulsome flattery. He had many faults; most of us have plenty, but he was fully conscious of them, and struggled hard to overcome them. That he had warm friends and bitter enemies testified to a strong character. The strict discipline he maintained as a Company Commander and his high standard of excellence and close adherence to the equities and the laws, while in charge of works, created many enmities among the refractory, the vicious and the evilly-disposed. The possession of enemies among these classes is a compliment to a man and is offset by the high regard of the honorable and fair minded, who appreciate strong character and determined will.

It was my pleasant duty while presiding at the Twenty-five year reunion dinner of the class of '67 in June last, to read to the members there assembled a number of letters of regret from absent members, and I well recall what warmth of feeling, bright display of wit and humor, and strong expression of deep regret at his necessary absence, Maguire's letter contained. Knowing as I did, how he was suffering from a physical disability which was a constant cause of discomfort and embarrassment, which made him at times irritable and difficult to get along with, and which ultimately caused his death, I admired him all the more for the cheerful tone of this letter, and for the depth of true  p64 manliness and love for his Alma Mater to which it bore witness.

In conclusion, I will quote a few tributes which have been paid to my friend. The Army and Navy Journal, in speaking of his death says: "Captain Maguire was a most valuable officer, highly esteemed in his corps and by his superiors, and since his graduation, over a quarter of a century ago, has held many responsible positions. * * * His death will be sincerely regretted by a large circle of friends in and out of the Army." The Chief of the Corps of Engineers in General Orders speaks of him, as follows: "He was zealous and diligent, and sought through published notes and pamphlets to share with others the result of his labors."

Captain Maguire was married at Flushing, New York, October 26, 1871, to Miss Clara Townsend. Mrs. Maguire and an only son, Robert Townsend Maguire, now over 20 years of age, live at Flushing, New York.

To them both, and to Maguire's mother, brother and sister, we of the class of '67, extend our warmest sympathies and sincerest regrets, and in this we are joined by the large circle of his friends and admirers in the service and in civil life.

Those of us who survive will always cherish for him a warm place in the heart, and when we are called to report for duty in the life hereafter, hope that we may be able to carry with us the self consciousness of duty as ably and as faithfully performed.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Clinton B. Sears

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