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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1877

Vol. III

(Born Pa.)

William Murrayº Black

(Ap'd Pa.)


Born Lancaster, PA.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1873, to June 14, 1877, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, June 15, 1877.

Served: at the Military Academy as Assistant Instructor of Practical Military Engineering, July 5 to Aug. 25, 1877 (leave of absence, to Dec. 1, 1877); with Engineer Battalion at Willet's Point, N. Y., Dec. 21, 1877, to Mar. 31, 1880; as Assistant to Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Craighill, Apr. 6, 1880,

(First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, Mar. 31, 1880)

to May 17, 1881, — to Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Merrill, May 18 to Nov. 8, 1881, — and to Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ludlow, Nov. 15, 1881 (Secretary of Commission Advisory to Board of Harbor Commissioners of Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 15, 1881, to June 30, 1882), to Aug. 14, 1882; at the Military Academy as Assistant Instructor of Practical Military Engineering, and on duty with Engineer Company, Nov. 15, 1882, to Jan. 5, 1886; as Recruiting Officer and on detached service, Nov. 15, 1882, to Jan. 13, 1886; as Assistant to Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Rossell, Jan. 16 to April 26, 1886; in charge of Ft. Marion, various River and Harbor Improvements, Removal of Wrecks, and making Surveys in Florida, since Apr. 26, 1886, — and of Ft. Taylor, Key West,

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, Feb. 10, 1887)º

Fla., since May 15, 1889; and Member of Board on railroad through Government land at West Point, N. Y., Sep. 12, 1882, to Jan. 5, 1886.

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

Military History. —

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, Dec. 31, 1886)​1

Served: At St. Augustine, Fla., in charge of various fortifications and of river and harbor improvements in the Florida District. — Member of various Boards of Engineer Officers to consider river and harbor improvements, Nov., 1891 to Aug. 28, 1895. — Commanding Company C, Battalion of Engineers, and Instructor of Civil Engineering, U. S. Engineer School, with station at Willets Point, Aug. 28, 1895 to March 2, 1897. — Assistant to Chief of Engineers, Washington, D. C., in charge of fortification and personnel branch of office of Chief of Engineers. — Member of Board of officers on Gulf fortifications, March 2, 1897 to June 1, 1898. — Engineer Commissioner, District of Columbia.

(Lieut.‑Colonel and Chief Engineer, U. S. Volunteers, May 9, 1898)

(Major, Corps of Engineers, May 18, 1898)

(Honorably discharged from Volunteer Service, June 13, 1898)

— Chief Engineer of 3d Army Corps, May 25, 1898 until June, 1898. — Chief Engineer, 5th Army Corps, June, 1898 until –––––; On staff of Major-General commanding army, June 10 to Dec. 2, 1898. — Served at Tampa and in Puerto Rico campaign, being in command of first landing party of U. S. troops at Guanica, P. R., July 25, 1898. — Organized Provisional Battalion of Engineers for Puerto Rico expedition, and bought and had charge of all engineer material for expedition. — On temporary duty in office of Chief of Engineers, Dec. 3 until Dec. 16, 1898. — Ordered to Havana, Dec. 16. — Chief Engineer, Department of Havana, on staff of Major-General Ludlow, Jan. 2, 1899 to ––––

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

Military History. — Served: Chief Engineer, Department of Havana, on staff of Major-General Ludlow, Jan. 2, 1899 to May 1, 1900; Chief Engineer, Division of Cuba, Staff of Major-General Wood, and Supervisor of Department of Public Works of Cuba, May 1, 1900 to April 23, 1901; commanding U. S. Engineering School, Posts of  p252 Fort Tottenº and Washington Barracks, and 3d Battalion of Engineers, April 29, 1901 to Mar. 31, 1903; on duty under the Isthmian Canal Commission, observing operations of French Canal Company, with station on the Isthmus of Panama, April 1, 1903 to July 26, 1904; Acting Chief Engineer Isthmian Canal Commission in the Isthmus of Panama, May 19, 1904 to July 1, 1904; in charge of River and Harbor Improvements and Construction of Fortifications, Maine District, Aug. 2, 1904 to Oct. 12, 1906.

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, June 26, 1905)

— On duty under the Provisional Government of Cuba, as Adviser, Department of Public Works, Oct. 17, 1906, to ––––

(Colonel, Corps of Engineers, July 28, 1908)

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

(Born Dec. 8, 1855.)

Military History. —

Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, June 26, 1905.

On duty under the Provisional Government of Cuba, as Adviser, Department of Public Works, Oct. 17, 1906, to

(Colonel, Corps of Engineers, July 28, 1908)

Jan. 28, 1909; at Washington, D. C., on duty in office of Chief of Engineers, Feb. 2 to 17, 1909; at New York City, in charge of improvement of East River and Hell Gate, Hudson River and tributaries, Feb. 18, 1909, to Mar. 9, 1916; in charge of river and harbor improvements on north shore of Long Island Sound west of the State of Connecticut and on the north shore of Long Island, Feb. 18, 1909, to Oct. 31, 1910; Chief Engineer Officer and Department Engineer, Departments of the East and of the Gulf, of the Eastern Division and of the Eastern Department, Feb. 19, 1909, to March 7, 1916; Member of Board to make survey for continuous inland waterway from Boston, Mass., to Beaufort, N. C., March 8, 1909, to Oct. 4, 1911; Division Engineer, Northeast Division and Eastern Division, Dec. 4, 1909, to March 9, 1916; Member of Board of Engineers and of New York Harbor Line Board, Dec. 8, 1909, to March 9, 1916; Member of Boston Harbor Line Board, July 27, 1910, to Mar. 9, 1916; senior Member of Board to raise or remove the wreck of the Battleship Maine from Havana Harbor, Aug. 2, 1910, to April 17, 1913; in charge of work for the defense of and for the improvement of harbors on Lake Champlain, N. Y., Oct. 31, 1910, to March 10, 1916; Member of Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, April 26, 1913, to March 9, 1916; War Department Representative of the National Association of Port Authorities, May 15, 1914, to Aug. 26, 1916; in charge of construction of memorials in commemoration of Victory of Commodore Thomas MacDonough on Lake Champlain in September, 1814, Aug. 14, 1914, to Mar. 9, 1916;

(Brigadier-General, Chief of Engineers, March 7, 1916)

at Washington, D. C., March 10, 1916, to Oct. 31, 1919; member of Rock Creek Park Commission and of Board of Control of Rock Creek Park; member of Commission on Suburban Highways in the District of Columbia; member of Board of Commissioners of the U. S. Soldiers Home and of the U. S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kans.; Member of Board for the Erection and Completion of Fireproof Laboratories and other buildings for the Bureau of Mines at Pittsburgh, Pa.; member of Board of Ordnance and Fortification, March 28, 1916; member of Nitrate Supply Committee, Aug. 9, 1917; Chairman Inland Water Transportation Committee, Council of National Defense, June 8, 1917, to Feb. 19, 1918; member of Sub‑committee on General Engineering, and of the Committee on Engineering and Education, Council of National Defense, June 11, 1917;

(Major-General, Chief of Engineers, Oct. 8, 1917)

Member Military Committee of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct. 31, 1917; member of Committee appointed by Director General of Railways to coördinate the waterway systems with the railroads of the U. S., Feb. 15, 1918.

 p225  Author of: Improvement of Harbors, South Atlantic Coast (prize essay, Trans. Am. Soc. of Civil Engineers, 1893); Public Works of the United States; collaborated with Prof. E. B. Phelps in Report on Discharge of Sewage into New York Harbor; contributor to periodicals.

Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Oct. 31, 1919,
At His Own Request, After Over 46 Years Service.


Distinguished Service Medal

"For especially meritorious and conspicuous service in planning and administering the Engineer and Military Railway services during the war."

Vol. VII
[Supplement, Vol. VII: 1920‑1930]

Military History: —

Distinguished Service Medal

Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Oct. 31, 1919,
At His Own Request, After Over 46 Years' Service.

Civil History: — Consulting Engineer, Emergency Fleet Corp., 1919 to 1920; Member of Whangpoo Conservancy, Board of Consulting Engineers, Shanghai, China, 1921; Member of firm, Black, McKenney and Stewart, Consulting Engineers, 1920 to 1929.

Fellow American Association for Advancement of Science; President, Society American Military Engineers, 1919‑1920. Author of Prize Paper "Railway and Waterway Equivalents." Member, American Society Civil Engineers, member, American Institute of Consulting Engineers.

[Supplement, Vol. VIII: 1930‑1940]

Military History: —

Maj.‑Gen., Ret., Oct. 31, 1919.

Died, Sept. 24, 1933, at Washington, D. C.: Aged 77.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1934.º

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.

The Author's Note:

1 To correct an error in Vol. III, Cullum's Register, 3d edition.

Thayer's Note:

a Gen. Black's birthplace is from his AOG obituary.

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