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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1863

Vol. II

(Born N. Y.)

William R. King

(Ap'd N. Y.)


William Rice King: Born Dec. 15, 1839, Eagle Ridge, NY.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1859, to June 11, 1863, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, June 11, 1863.

 p869  Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1863‑66: as Asst. Engineer, Department of North Carolina, June 29 to July 18, 1863, being engaged on Expedition from Newberne, July 4, 1863; as Chief Engineer of the District of North Carolina, July 18, 1863, to Oct. 2, 1864, being present at the Engagement between Union Gunboats and the Rebel Ram Albemarle, in Albemarle Sound, May 5, 1864; as Chief Engineer of 18th Army Corps, Oct. 2 to Nov. 24, 1864, in Operations before Richmond, and was engaged in a Skirmish Oct. 27, 1864; and as Asst. Engineer of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Nov. 24, 1864,

(Bvt. Capt., Dec. 1, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Campaign of 1864
in the District of North Carolina)

to Aug. 14, 1865.

Bvt. Major, Apr. 9, 1865, for Gallant Conduct in the Field.

Served: as Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington, D. C., Aug. 1, 1865, to July, 1870, collecting information and experimenting

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, Dec. 31, 1865)

on Torpedoes, Modern Seacoast Artillery, Penetration of Projectiles, Counterpoise Gun-Carriages, etc.; as Member of Commission to examine and report upon the proposed Brooklyn Suspension Bridge across the East River, N. Y., Mar. 31 to May 22, 1869; in command of Engineer Company at Willet's Point, N. Y., July, 1870, to May 12, 1876; as Superintending Engineer of the Improvement of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and other Rivers in Georgia and Alabama, May 15, 1876, to Mar. 20, 1886; as Member of Board of Engineers on Bridge across the Delaware from Philadelphia to Camden, May 10, 1870, to Apr. 29, 1871; as Secretary to Sutro Tunnel Commission, Apr. 27, 1871, to Jan. 6, 1872; as Member of Board of Engineers on Lock and Sluices designed for Canal around Des Moines Rapids, May, 1875; in command of the

(Major, Corps of Engineers, Mar. 4, 1879)

Battalion of Engineers, since Apr. 26, 1886, — of Engineer Depot at Willet's Point, N. Y., since June 8, 1866, — and of construction of Officers' Quarters at Willet's Point, N. Y., Nov. 17, 1886 (leave of absence, Sept. 28 to Dec. 11, 1886), to May, 1888; as Member of the Board of Engineers and River and Harbor Improvements, Apr. 4, 1887, to Jan. 30, 1889; in command of Engineer School of Application, Torpedo Experiments, and Post and Fort, Willet's Point, N. Y., since Apr. 5, 1887;

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, July 23, 1888)

in charge of construction of Ft. Schuyler, N. Y., since Nov. 23, 1887; as Member of various Engineer Boards on River and Harbor Improvements, Bridge Constructions, etc., 1881‑88, — and on New York Harbor Lines, Oct. 5, 1888, to Jan. 30, 1889.

Civil History. — Author of "Torpedoes, their Invention and Use," 1866; "Experimental Firing with Modern Seacoast Artillery," 1868; "Armor Plating for Land Defenses," 1870; and of "Counterpoise Gun-Carriage," including a description of his own original design for applying the counterpoise principle to heavy Seacoast Artillery, 1869. Projector and constructor of inclined cable road to summit of Lookout Mountain, Ten., and branch, 1885‑86, and President of companies operating them, 1886‑87.

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

Military History. — At Willets Point, N. Y., in command of the Battalion of Engineers, the Engineer Depot, and the Engineer School, also member of the Board of Engineers and in charge of defenses at Fort Schuyler, etc., from April 26, 1886 to June 30, 1895. — Member of the Missouri River Commission, July 11, 1895 to Jan. 14, 1896. — At Rock Island, Ill., in charge of improvements of the Mississippi River, from St. Paul to St. Louis, and a member of the Mississippi River Commission, and of various boards, etc., from July, 1895 to May, 1898.

Died May 18, 1898, at Rock Island, Ill.: Aged 58.

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1898, for an obituary notice.

Thayer's Note:

a Col. King's birth data are from his AOG obituary; his middle name is from Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army.

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