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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1842

Vol. II

(Born D. C.)

John D. Kurtz

(Ap'd D. C.)


John Daniel Kurtz: Born Apr. 27, 1820.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1838, to July 1, 1842, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, July 1, 1842.

 p114  Served: as Asst. Engineer in the construction of the Fortifications of Charleston Harbor, S. C., 1842‑51; as Superintending Engineer of the Repairs of Fts. Macon and Caswell, N. C., and preservation of their sites, 1847‑51, and of the Fortifications of Charleston Harbor, S. C., and preservation of their sites, 1851‑52; as Member of the Commission for devising project for the Improvement of Charleston Harbor, S. C., 1852; as Assistant to the Chief Engineer at Washington, D. C., 1852‑56; as Superintendent of construction of experimental Embrasure Target at West Point, N. Y., 1852, of Repairs of Fortifications in Portsmouth Harbor,

(First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, Mar. 3, 1853)

N. H., and Portland harbor, Me., 1856‑60, — of Light-house Operations

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, July 1, 1856, for Fourteen Years' Continuous Service)

on Lake Champlain, 1856‑60, — of the construction of Ft. Knox, at the Narrows of Penobscot River, Me., 1856‑60, — and of building Ft. Gorges, Portland Harbor, Me., and Ft. Popham,º for the Defense of the Mouth of the Kennebec River, Me., 1857‑60, — of Owls'-head Breakwater, Me., 1856‑60, — as Member (ex officio) of the Board of Engineers for Atlantic Coast Defenses of Maine and New Hampshire, 1859, — of Special Board of Engineers for modifying plan of Fort at Sandy Hook, N. J., 1860, — and of Board to examine Washington Aqueduct, 1860; on sick leave of absence, 1860‑61; and as Assistant to Chief Engineer at Washington, D. C., 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: as Chief Engineer of the Department of Annapolis, June‑July, 1861, — and of the Shenandoah, Aug., 1861; as Assistant to the Chief Engineer at Washington, D. C., Aug. 7, 1861, to Aug. 12, 1866; as Member of Board of Engineers

(Major, Corps of Engineers, Mar. 3, 1863)

to examine Timby's Revolving Iron Tower for Harbor Defense, Dec. 15, 1862, to June 23, 1863, — of Board for examination of Reid's plan for Revetting Fortifications with Iron, Apr. 27 to July 6, 1863, — of Board to report upon the efficiency of Currier's Shot-proof Dome, June 15 to July 8, 1863, — of Board for the Examination of Officers of the Corps of Engineers for Promotion, Aug. 1, 1863, to Mar. 8, 1864, — of Board to examine the "McCarty Gun," Mar. 14 to Apr. 1, 1864, — and of Board for the Examination of Officers of the Corps of Engineers for Promotion, Sep. 20, 1864, to Apr. 17, 1865; and as Asst. Engineer in the

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Engineer Department)

(Bvt. Colonel, Mar. 13, 1865, for Meritorious Services during the Rebellion)

Defense of Washington, D. C., July 12‑15, 1864, against the Rebel Raiders under General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Early.

Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Aug. 8, 1866.

Served: as Assistant to the Chief of Engineers, at Washington, D. C., Aug. 12, 1866, to Nov. 19, 1869; as Superintending Engineer of the Defenses of Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D. C., and of Forts on the Potomac River, Nov. 19, 1869, to Mar. 31, 1870, — of the Defenses of Delaware Bay and River, Apr. 9, 1870, to Oct. 16, 1877, — and of Improvements and Surveys of various Rivers and Harbors in the State of Delaware, in Southern New Jersey, and in Eastern Pennsylvania, Apr. 9, 1870, to Oct. 16, 1877; and as Member of Board to examine plans of Bridge across the Delaware between Philadelphia and Camden, May 10, 1870, to Apr. 29, 1871, — on Screw-pier at Lewes, Del., Apr. to July, 1871, — on Harbor of Refuge at Delaware Breakwater, Nov. 8, 1871, to Aug. 29, 1872, — for  p115 examination of Horse-shoe Shoals in Delaware River, Mar. 15 to May 28, 1873, — on Preservation of Falls of St. Anthony, Apr. 14‑20, 1874; on Improvement of Channel between Staten Island and New Jersey, May 12 to Dec. 4, 1875, — on Improvement of Stonington Harbor, Ct., June 29 to July 3, 1875, — and on the Foundation of the Washington Monument, Sep. 26, 1876, to Oct. 16, 1877.

Died, Oct. 16, 1877, at Georgetown, D. C.: Aged 58.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1878, for an obituary notice.º

Buried, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC.

Thayer's Note:

a Col. Kurtz's middle name is from Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, and his birthdate is from his tombstone (q.v.). His AOG obituary states he "was born October, 1819", but the Official Register of Officers and Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy, 1839, lists him (p14) as being 18 years and 2 months old on July 1, 1838, which is consistent with the date on the tombstone.

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Page updated: 17 Apr 15