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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1859

Vol. II

(Born Wis.)

William E. Merrill​1

(Ap'd at Large)


William Emery Merrill: Born Oct. 11, 1837, Fort Howard, WI.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1854, to July 1, 1859, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, July 1, 1859.

Served: as Asst. Engineer in the construction of Fts. Pulaski and Jackson, Ga., and Ft. Clinch, Fla., and removal of obstructions in Savannah River, Ga., 1859‑60; and at the Military Academy as Asst. Professor of Engineering, Sep. 11, 1860, to July 8, 1861.

Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, Feb. 20, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: as Asst. Engineer, Department of the Ohio, July 15 to Sep. 12, 1861, being engaged

(First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, Aug. 6, 1861)

in fortifying at Red House, Md., and Chest Mountain and Elk Water, W. Va.; as Prisoner of War, Sep. 12, 1861, to Feb. 23, 1862 (except Nov. 10‑11, when he escaped and was recaptured); as Asst. Engineer (Army of the Potomac), in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign, Mar.‑Apr., 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, Apr. 5‑16, 1862, when he was wounded in the Attack above Lee's Mills;

(Bvt. Captain, Apr. 16, 1862,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in an Engagement with the Enemy before Yorktown, Va.)

on sick leave of absence, disabled by wound, Apr. 16 to May 12, 1862; in temporary charge of the construction of the Defenses of Washington, D. C., May 15, to June 30, 1862; as Asst. Engineer in the Northern Virginia Campaign, July 17 to Sep. 6, 1862, being present at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9, 1862, — and Battle of Manassas, Aug. 29‑30, 1862; as Superintending Engineer of the Defenses of Newport and Covington, Ky., threatened by General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.E. K. Smith's Rebel Raiders, Sep. 13 to Oct. 11, 1862; as Chief Engineer of the Army of Kentucky, Oct. 12, 1862, to May 25, 1863, being engaged in the construction of the Defenses of the Kentucky Central Railroad, Nov., 1862, to Mar., 1863, — and of Franklin, Ten., and improving the Defenses at Fts. Donelson and Clarksville, Mar. to May, 1863; in charge of the Topographical Department of

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

the Army of the Cumberland, May 29, 1863, to July, 1864, and Apr. 1 to June 27, 1865, — and as Chief Engineer of the Army of the Cumberland, Aug. 22 to Sep. 17, 1863, and Jan. 27, 1864, to June 27, 1865, being engaged in Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Rosecrans' Tennessee Campaign, May 29 to Oct., 1863, participating in various Actions and the Battle of Chickamauga,

(Bvt. Major, Sep. 19, 1863, for Faithful and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Chickamauga, Ga.)

Sep. 19‑20, 1863, — in laying out the Defenses of McMinnville, Nov. 1‑15, 1863, — Battle of Missionary Ridge, Nov. 23‑25, 1863, — Expedition to

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Mar. 13, 1865, for Faithful and Meritorious Services at the Battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, Ten.)

Knoxville, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, and in charge of the Defenses of the place, Dec. 1‑26, 1863, — and in the Invasion of Georgia, May 2 to June 6, 1864, participating in the Actions in front of Dalton, at Resaca, and at New Hope Church; in command of Engineer Regiment, July 2, 1864,

 p715  (Colonel, U. S. Veteran Volunteer Engineers, July 2, 1864)

(Bvt. Colonel, Mar. 13, 1865, for Faithful and Meritorious Services at the Battles of Resaca, and New Hope Church, Ga.)

to Sep. 26, 1865, which was employed in constructing Block-houses and Defensive Works upon the Military Railroads in Tennessee, Northern Alabama and Georgia, and at Chattanooga, Ten.; as Engineer Agent for Armies of the West at Cincinnati, O., June, 1865; and on temporary

(Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Sep. 26, 1865)

duty at Nashville, headquarters of the Military Division of the Tennessee, June 27, 1865, to Jan., 1866.

Served: as Superintending Engineer of the Defenses of Mobile and Pensacola, Jan. to Apr. 30, 1866; on leave of absence, June 12 to Sep. 28, 1866; awaiting orders, on Court Martial at Willet's Point, N. Y., and on temporary duty at the Engineer Bureau at Washington, D. C., Sep. 28, 1866, to Jan. 30, 1867; as Chief Engineer on the Staff of Lieutenant-General Sherman, commanding the Military Division of the Missouri, Feb. 4, 1867, to May 25, 1870; as Superintending Engineer of Harbor

(Major, Corps of Engineers, Mar. 7, 1867)

Improvements at southern end of Lake Michigan, Feb. 7 to May 25, 1870, — of Improvement of the Ohio River, and Surveys and Improvements of various of its tributaries, June 1, 1870, to Mar. 23, 1878, and since July 8, 1878, — of Water Gauges on the Mississippi, and its principal tributaries, Mar., 1871, to July 29, 1874, — on Light-house duty, Mar. 12, 1873, and of Fourteenth Light-house District, July 3, 1874, to Mar. 23, 1878, and since July 8, 1878, — of exploration of routes for extension of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to the Ohio River, by the North and South Branches of the Potomac, Mar. 12, 1873, to July, 1874, — of Surveys of Transportation Routes from the Youghiogheny River to Cumberland, Md., and portions of this "Central Route," by the Ohio River, and by the Kanawha, from its mouth to the Great Falls, July, 1874, to Feb. 25, 1875; on professional duty in Europe, gathering information on the construction of Movable Dams, etc., Mar. 23 to July 6, 1878; as Superintending Engineer of the Improvements of the Big Sandy, Guyandotte, and Little Kanawha Rivers, July 8, 1878, and of the Kentucky, Apr. 5, 1879, to Apr. 3, 1880, — of construction of Ice-harbor at mouth of Muskingum River, and improvement of Alleghany River, Pa., since Apr. 5, 1879, — of improvement of Harbor of Refuge, near Cincinnati, O., Aug. 8, 1882, to Mar., 1888, — of Louisville and Portland Canal, and improvement of the Falls of the Ohio River, Sep. 16, 1882, to Mar. 15,

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Feb. 20, 1883)

1886, — of construction of Ice-harbor at mouth of Great Kanawha River, Aug. 8, 1884, to May, 1886, — of Dam at Herr Island, Pa., since Aug. 12, 1886, — and of improvement of Muskingum River, since Apr. 7, 1887; on sick leave of absence, Aug. 29 to Nov. 30, 1886; in temporary charge of improvements of Little Kanawha, Guyandotte, Buckhannon, and Big Sandy Rivers, May 11, 1887, to Apr. 13, 1888; absent under orders, June 26 to Sep. 14, 1889, as U. S. Engineer Representative to the Congress of Engineers held in Paris, July, 1889, resuming upon his return the supervision of the works under his charge, Sep. 17, 1889;​a and as Member of various special Boards of Engineers on improvements of Rivers and Harbors, on construction of Bridges across navigable streams, etc., — and in charge of numerous examinations, surveys, and inspections, 1870‑90.

Civil History. — Author of "Iron Truss Bridges for Railroads," 1870, — and "Improvement of Non-Tidal Rivers," 1881.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Military History. — Served: As noted in No. 1825, Vol. II, Register of Graduates, 1891, to date of death.

Died, Dec. 14, 1891, on a railway train en route from Cincinnati, O., to Shawneetown, Ill., while on official business: Aged 54.

 p113  See Annual Association of Graduates U. S. M. A., 1892, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

The Author's Note:

1 Son of Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Moses E. Merrill, who was killed in leading the Stormers at the Battle of Molino del Rey.

Thayer's Note:

a During his absence, his functions were assumed by Lt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Lansing Beach.

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