who did montgomery meigs become friends with through his work?
I then called his attention particularly to the foregoing document, which I read to him. When Meigs wasn’t overseeing the manufacture of bricks for the aqueduct, the digging of tunnels or the construction of bridges, he was revising budgets or redrafting plans to enlarge the House and Senate. He happened to be one of the school’s best artists. He was clearly distressed. “I feel as though I was a plug which filthy rats & mice were gnawing at all the time in order to increase the flow from the Treasury — Contractors architects & Secretaries all against me,” Meigs wrote in a letter. “I have come to know [Meigs] quite well for a short acquaintance, and so far as I am capable of judging I do not know one who combines the qualities of masculine intellect, learning and experience of the right sort, and physical power of labor and endurance so well as he.”. Would Meigs, in a secret mission, take command of the fortress and keep them safe? On Dec. 29, he resigned, claiming indignation over the federal government’s efforts to reinforce Fort Sumter. When we arrived at the White House, Mr. Lincoln – who seemed to be aware of our errand ? Meigs, Montgomery Cunningham (May 3, 1816 - Jan. 2, 1892), soldier and engineer, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Dr. Charles Delucena Meigs and of Mary (Montgomery) Meigs of Philadelphia. In Lynchburg, Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Columbus, Ga.; and Montgomery, Ala., he snooped around and took notes. Robert O’Harrow Jr. is an investigative and accountability reporter at the The Washington Post. Meigs urged the president to move forward and seek guidance from a war council about how to do it. Meigs routinely declined Floyd’s requests, delayed or complained to Congress. Meigs would have none of him, arid in his diary he wrote bitterly: “I for one have no pleasure in association with such as he. Indeed I know of no one possessed of so many positive advantages, or to whom so little can be objected, & if he can win the cordial support of the principal assistants in the Department, that little would be nil in a month. The pace of Meigs' intellectual life also quickened in the federal city. The Civil War had begun. (A native of Georgia, Meigs later served as quartermaster general of the Federal Army during the Civil War.) While many of you may have heard his name, I would venture a guess that most people don’t know more than a couple of general things about him. Montgomery's mother had a strong aversion to slavery and Monty's father decided to move the family to Pennsylvania. Villard credited Meigs appointment to the influence of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, but the truth was that Meigs had cultivated relationships with President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward as well. He loathed slavery and saw something almost biblical in the unfolding struggle. But some of the roads were occupied by pigs, cows and chickens, and some were rutted with wheel tracks or filled with mud. Montgomery Meigs is, arguably, the most under-appreciated general in the Union army. “I believe that the temper of the South is excited, is dangerous,” Meigs wrote on Nov. 10, 1860. And he was worried about money. Meigs and his many assistants, working with private contractors, the nation’s railroads, ship builders and others, routinely came up with innovative solutions to the logistical problems the war posed. The blustery Meigs seemed almost humbled by his own achievements, particularly the aqueduct. Beauregard, Henry W. Halleck … Montgomery Meigs was a cynical interviewer when Brumidi, a refugee from political turmoil in Italy, came looking for work. “He certainly does not seem to come much to the level of the great mission.”. When his only son was killed in action during the Civil War, he turned Lee’s Arlington estate into a cemetery and buried his son by Lee’s door. Outside, down the hill in the direction of the White House, sat a new fountain. M.C. Indeed, neither Porter nor Seward took Navy Secretary Gideon Welles into their confidence either: Mr. Seward listened attentively, and, when I had finished what I had to say, he invited Captain Meigs ? Gideon Welles (Mr. Lincoln’s White House) But in a letter to Gen. Winfield Scott urging for the promotion, Lincoln expressed unalloyed admiration for him. Fort Pickens, thoroughly reinforced by Meigs and his colleagues, remained in Union hands for the rest of the war. opened the conversation. Montgomery Blair wired President Lincoln: “Appoint Meigs by telegraph things are deplorable and action must be decisive & prompt to save the state.”7 On a lighter note, when Hermann the magician performed at the White House on November 24, 1861, General Meigs was one of the few military officers present. But Meigs’s admiration would soon turn to bitter hatred. ‘Thus often,’ says the President, ‘I who am not a specially brave man have had to sustain the sinking courage of these professional fighters in critical times.'”9. Perhaps he can be forgiven for his egotism. ‘No one,’ said the President, ‘but these young men were here as clerks to write down his plans and orders.’ Most of the work was done, he said, in the other room. “He must take an officer of higher rank.”. Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Journalist Henry Villard later wrote in his Memoirs: “In the critical, anxious days in April, the President was persuaded to promote two subordinate officers in the regular army at once to high rank. He asked me whether Fort Pickens could be held. Shortly after the war Smith was in Washington and tried to renew the old friendship with Meigs. He ordered Meigs to turn over all his plans, accounting and other documents. But the construction challenges were daunting. They had high hopes that Georgia would be a fine place for his medical career and their family. I look upon it with constant pleasure for it seems to spring rejoicing in the air & proclaiming its arrival for free use of the sick & well, rich & poor, gentle & simple, old & young for generation after generation which will have come to rise up & call me blessed.”. Upon receiving one report from Meigs, whose script was notoriously illegible, an admiring Sherman said: “The handwriting of this report is that of General Meigs, and I therefore approve of it, but I cannot read it.”. I told him certainly if the Navy had done its duty and not lost it already. At Louisville Lee met up with Captain Shreve and inspected the equipment the experienced engineer had ordered for improving the rapids. His father, Charles, had earned a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, married and moved to Augusta, Ga., with his wife, Mary, in 1815. When General John C. Frémont caused political problems by issuing his own emancipation proclamation in September 1861, Meigs was sent with Postmaster General Montgomery Blair to Missouri to deal with the problem. Montgomery Meig's moth… I hope the prints do him injustice,” Meigs, a Democrat, wrote to his brother that evening, March 3, 1861. In a letter to his father, he wrote: “I wish you could see my jet d’eau in the Capitol Park. Plaques and inscriptions on the bridges and along the conduits still bear the words “Capt. It was the summer of 1837, some years after Lewis and Clark had made maps of the same spot. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Now, the water was spraying 60 feet into the air for any lawmaker to see. The senators patted one another on the back and talked at each other as though they were all hard of hearing. He was the son of Dr. Charles Delucena Meigs and Mary Montgomery Meigs. In was a tough period. They found a booming place filled with great aspirations — and a lot of muck. But it wasn’t over yet. Some people now consider it among the most beautiful, venerable buildings in Washington. Some contractors, railroads and speculators continued to take advantage of the military’s rapid growth. His goal was to become ... Of his work in the quartermaster’s office, James G. Blaine remarked: Montgomery C. Meigs, one of the ablest graduates of the Military Academy, was kept from the command of troops by the inestimably important services he performed as Quartermaster General. He gives us a sense of Meigs' work and his persona. Meigs wanted to serve the nation and build things. On Dec. 21, 1864, as William Tecumseh Sherman’s army came to the end of its devastating March to the Sea, his soldiers found a gift awaiting them in Savannah, Ga. A flotilla of transport ships in the harbor was crammed with comforts for the more than 62,000 weary men: tens of thousands of sturdy boots and shoes, fresh shirts, socks, underwear and trousers. Under Meigs’s plan, it would be fireproof and so well lighted that it would not have a single dark corner or corridor. The military was in the midst of its greatest expansion ever, and he did not know how the government was going to pay for it. At the time, some critics derided the building as an aesthetic catastrophe, calling it Meigs’s “Old Red Barn.” Sherman is said to have cracked that the building was fine but for one thing: “It’s too bad the damn thing is fireproof.”. In something of an irony, he came into the world as a Southerner. It was the family grounds of the wife of his former friend and colleague, Robert E. Lee. Urging for the relief of Fort Sumter in South Carolina began and ended a more legacy. Natural destination for him was West Point several years earlier his friendship with Meigs his masterpiece the... In world history at the front of the project almost biblical in the Army just then his,... And Mary Montgomery Meigs was a pittance, compared with the President as... Promotion, Lincoln was looking for work the family who did montgomery meigs become friends with through his work? of the great engineering of... Modern materials and methods, he came into the District through legal measures designed to the... 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