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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1862

Vol. II

(Born Ten.)

George L. Gillespie

(Ap'd Ten.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1858, to June 17, 1862, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, June 17, 1862.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1862‑66: on Artillery duty at the Military Academy, June 17 to Aug. 31, 1862; in command of Engineer Company (Army of the Potomac), in the Maryland Campaign, Sep. to Nov., 1862, being engaged in the Battle of Antietam, Sep. 17, 1862, — in building, guarding, and repairing Ponton Bridges across the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, at Harper's Ferry and Berlin, Md., Sep. 21 to Nov. 3, 1862, — and on March to Falmouth, Va., Nov., 1862; in command of Engineer Company (Army of the Potomac), in the Rappahannock Campaign, Dec., 1862, to June, 1863, being engaged in the Battle of Fredericksburg in throwing Ponton Bridges for  p845 the advance and retreat of the Army of the Potomac across the Rappahannock River, Dec. 11‑16, 1862, — in disembarking and equipping Ponton Train at Belle Plain, and transporting it to Falmouth, Va., Jan. 15‑19, 1863, — on the "Mud March" with Ponton Bridge for Banks's Ford, Jan. 20‑26, 1863, — in constructing Field-works, making Surveys, guarding Bridges, etc., Feb. to Apr., 1863, — in throwing Bridge below Fredericksburg,

(First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, Mar. 3, 1863)

Apr. 29, 1863, — at the Battle of Chancellorsville, in constructing Defensive Works and Bridges, May 3‑6, 1863, — and in throwing a Bridge in the face of the enemy at Franklin's Crossing of the Rappahannock, June 5, 1863; in the Pennsylvania Campaign, commanding an Engineer Company (Army of the Potomac), June‑July, 1863, being engaged in laying Bridges over the Occoquan, June 14, 1863, and across the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry, June 21, 1863, — in building Defensive Works, etc., on the march through Pennsylvania, June‑July, 1863, — and in constructing Bridge over the Potomac, at Berlin, Md., July 18, 1863; in the Rapidan Campaign (Army of the Potomac), Aug. to Nov., 1863, being engaged in constructing, guarding, and repairing Bridges over the Rappahannock, Aug. 1‑23, and Sep. 1‑22, and over Bull Run, near Blackburn's Ford, Oct. 7, 1863; on Recruiting service for Engineer troops, Nov. 26, 1863, to May 29, 1864; in command of Engineer

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, Apr. 22, 1864)

Company (Army of the Potomac), in the Richmond Campaign, May 31 to Oct. 30, 1864, being engaged in Sapping at the Battles of Cold Harbor, June 1‑11, 1864, — in throwing Bridge across the James River, June 15, 1864, — and constructing Defensive Works about and at Siege of Petersburg, June 17 to Oct. 30, 1864; and as Asst. Engineer on the

(Bvt. Major, Aug. 1, 1864, for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Campaign before Richmond, Va.)

Staff of Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sheridan, Oct. 30, 1864, and Chief Engineer, Feb. 28, 1864,º to June 1, 1865, being engaged in the Combat of Waynesborough, Mar. 2, 1865, — Action of Ashland, Mar. 14‑15, 1865, — Battle of Dinwiddie C. H., Mar. 31, 1865, — Battle of Five Forks, Apr. 1, 1865, — Battle of Sailor's Creek, Apr. 6, 1865, — Action of Appomattox Station, Apr. 8, 1865, — and Capitulation of Appomattox C. H., Apr. 9, 1865.

Bvt. Lieut.‑Colonel, Apr. 9, 1865, for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Campaign from Winchester to Appomattox C. H., Va.

Served: as Chief Engineer of the Military Division of the Southwest, June 3 to July 17, 1865, — of the Military Division of the Gulf, July 17, 1865, to Aug. 11, 1866, — of the Department of the Gulf, Aug. 11, 1866, to Mar. 6, 1867, — and of Fifth Military District (Louisiana and Texas), Mar. 6 to Aug. 22, 1867; as Asst. Engineer in the construction of the Defenses of Portsmouth Harbor, N. H., Aug. 26, 1867, to July 13, 1868, — of Improvements in Boston Harbor, July 13, 1868, to May 5, 1869; as Secretary of Board of Engineers on Ponton Equipage and Establishments, Dec. 19, 1868, to Aug. 1, 1869; as Superintending Engineer of Tenth Light-house District, May 5, 1869, to May 1, 1873, — of Ft. Wayne, Mich., and Harbor and River Improvements on Lake Erie, west of Dunkirk, Apr. 25, 1871, to May 1, 1873; making Surveys in the Shenandoah

(Major, Corps of Engineers, Sep. 5, 1871)

Valley to illustrate the Campaign of 1864, May 1, 1873, and Chief Engineer of the Division of the Missouri, June 30, 1874, to May 9, 1877; as Superintending Engineer of Harbor Improvements at southern end of Lake Michigan, July 14, 1874, of Survey of Wolf Lake Cut, Aug., 1874,  p846 and Survey of Canal Route to connect the Wabash with Lake Michigan, May, 1875, to May 9, 1877; on leave of absence in Europe, May 9, 1877, to July 12, 1878; as Member of Board of Engineers on Improvement of Grand River Harbor, O., Feb. 26, 1872, — to examine condition of Toledo Harbor, Dec. 27, 1872, — on Improvement of outer Harbor, at Michigan City, Jan., 1875, — to examine St. Joseph's Harbor and Railroad Bridge across it, June 10‑18, 1875, — on Improvement of Ahnapee Harbor, Wis., Oct. 13, 1875, to June 18, 1876, — and on Modifications of Chicago Harbor, Mar. 12, 1877; as Chief Engineer of the Division of the Missouri, July 16 to Sep. 28, 1878; and as Superintending Engineer of Surveys and Improvements of Rivers and Harbors in Oregon and Washington Territory, of Thirteenth Light-house District, and defenses at the mouth of Columbia River, Oct. 21, 1878, to July 27, 1881, — of Harbor Improvements on Lake Champlain, and River Improvements and Surveys in District of N. E. New York and Western Vermont, Sep. 1, 1881, to July 6, 1882, — of River and Harbor Improvements in the District of Northern New Jersey, Sep. 1, 1881, and Western Long Island, July 17, 1882, to Feb. 3, 1886, — of interior defenses of New York Harbor, July 21, 1882, to Feb. 3, 1886, — of the Government control of the Bartholdi Statue on Bedloe's Island, N. Y., Nov. 22, 1882, to June 9, 1886, — and of defenses of Boston Harbor, and River and Harbor Improvements in Massachusetts, Feb. 4, 1886, to Dec. 20, 1888; in temporary charge of

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Oct. 12, 1886)

the improvement of New York Harbor, Hudson and Harlem Rivers, and removal of wrecks therefrom, Harbors of Rondout and Saugerties, N. Y., Raritan Bay, N. J., Gowanus Bay, and Buttermilk Channels, deepening Gedney's Channel and Newtown Creek and Sumpawanus Inlet, removal of obstructions in East River and Hell Gate, and supervising East River Bridge, Dec. 31, 1887, to June 27, 1888, continuing in charge since Jan. 3, 1889; in charge of the defenses at Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., and Sandy Hook, N. J., since Jan. 3, 1889, and of Ft. La­fayette, N. Y., since July 8, 1889; as Member of the Board of Engineers for Fortifications and River and Harbor Improvements, and of the Board of Visitors to the Engineer School of Application since Jan. 30, 1889, — of various Engineer Boards, 1879‑90, — of Board on Boston Harbor Lines since Aug. 13, 1888, and of New York since Jan. 30, 1889, — and Deepwater Harbor, Gulf of Mexico, since Mar. 16, 1889.

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

Military History. —

Medal of Honor

for most distinguished gallantry in action near Bethesda Church, Va., May 31, 1864. He went through the enemy's lines to communicate with General Sheridan and verify his presence; was seized as a prisoner, but escaped; again ordered to surrender, but dashed away under fire, reached General Sheridan's command, and thence immediately returned to General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Meade with very valuable information; while serving as 1st Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers.

— Member of various Engineer Boards. — Member of Boards of Engineer Officers on Harbor Lines, as follows: Boston, Mas., till Oct., 1891; Stamford, Ct., Nov., 1889-Jan., 1895; Norwalk, Ct., April, 1892-April, 1893; Bridgeport, Ct., July, 1891-April, 1893; Greenwich, Ct., Aug.‑Oct., 1895; of Board on Deepwater Harbor, Gulf of Mexico, till Jan., 1890. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers on Deepwater Harbor on the Pacific coast between Points Duma and Capistrano, Oct., 1890-Jan., 1892. — Represented the War Department at the Sixth Congress of Internal Navigation,​a held at The Hague, Netherlands, July 22‑28, 1894. — On leave of absence abroad, July 29 to Oct. 22, 1894. — Member and President Mississippi River Commission since Feb. 15, 1895. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers to consider project for Pensacola harbor, Fla., since July 30, 1895.

(Colonel, Corps of Engineers, Oct. 2, 1895)

— Member of Board of Officers to report upon sites for range stations and auxiliary objects, Feb.‑June, 1896; to report on certain projects of fortification defenses, including Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Fla., June, 1896-Feb., 1897; and of Board to consider the subject of filling in of Belle Isle Inlet, Boston harbor, Nov., 1896-March, 1897. — Division Engineer of the Northeast Division since Feb. 11, 1897. — Member of the Lighthouse Board since April 16, 1897. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers in connection with the works of improvement of the Savannah River, Ga., and Cumberland Sound, Fla., Sept.‑Nov., 1897. — Member of Board of Officers to examine applicants for commissions in the 1st Regiment, U. S. Volunteer Engineers, May 26-June 7, 1898.

(Brig.‑General U. S. Volunteers, May 27, 1898)

— Commanding Department of the East, Governor's Island, N. Y., June 30-Oct. 4, 1898.

(Honorably discharged from Volunteer Service,
Oct. 31, 1898)

Vol. V
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Military History. — Member of Board of Officers appointed by the President Feb. 9, 1899, "to examine the allegations made by Major General Miles before the Committee on the Conduct of the War with Spain Dec. 24, 1898, that unfit food had been served to the Army in the Spanish War." — Member of the Board of Officers appointed by the Secretary of War Nov. 17, 1900, to visit Puerto Rico, W. I., and "designate the part of the Crown Lands specified in the Treaty of Peace with Spain Dec. 10, 1898, which should be set apart for military and naval uses."

(Brigadier-General, Chief of Engineers U. S. Army,
May 3, 1901)

— Appointed member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification May 3, 1901, and to President of the same Aug. 8, 1903. — Appointed Acting Secretary of War, in the absence of the Secretary of War, by the President, Aug. 29, 1901, and was so acting when the President was assassinated on the grounds of the Buffalo Exposition, Sept. 6; by direction of the Secretary of War, was charged with the arrangement of the military ceremonies attending the receipt and lying in state of the body at the Capitol, Sept. 16‑17, and, later, was appointed one of the Special Guard of Honor to accompany the remains to the place of interment at Canton, Ohio, Sept. 17‑19. — Appointed member of the War College Board, Nov. 27, 1901, and Master of Ceremonies on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the War College Building, Feb. 21, 1903, by President Roosevelt. — Detailed member of the Joint Board of Army and Naval Officers constituted by the President "for the purpose of conferring upon, discussing and reaching common conclusions regarding all matters calling for the co‑operation of the two services," Oct. 13, 1903. — Detailed member of Board of Officers "to proceed to Guantanamo Bay and Bahia Honda, Cuba, and such other points as may be necessary to carry out the verbal instructions of the Chief of Staff referring to occupancy and defense of those treaty ports." Oct. 13, 1903. —

(Major-General, U. S. Army, Jan. 23, 1904)

and assigned to the General Staff as Assistant Chief of Staff, War Department. — Charged by the Secretary of War, Feb. 27, 1904, with the erection in front of the War College of the Statue of Frederick the Great, a gift to the United States from His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Germany, and also appointed Master of Ceremonies on the occasion of the unveiling of the statue by President Roosevelt, Sept. 19, 1904.

Retired from Active Service June 15, 1905,
at his own request, after 43 Years' Service.

— Residence, Washington, D. C.

Vol. VI
[Supplement, Vol. VI: 1910‑1920]

(George Lewis Gillespie, Born Oct. 7, 1841.)

Military History. —

Medal of Honor.

Major-General, U. S. A., Jan. 23, 1904.

Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, June 15, 1905,
at His Own Request After Over 43 Years' Service.

After retirement, resided in Washington, D. C.

Died, Sept. 27, 1913, at Saratoga, N. Y.: Aged 72.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1914.

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.

Thayer's Note:

a Properly, the 6th International Inland Navigation Congress.

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Page updated: 17 Jun 14