West Point Academy Correspondence] June 16, 1841 letter written to Cadet J. D. Kurtz West Point, ...

West Point Academy Correspondence] June 16, 1841 letter written to Cadet J. D. Kurtz West Point, New York by his father


Published by [Georgetown], 1841
Condition: Good
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Approx. 8" x 10" folded letter with 3 of 4 pages used to write young Cadet Kurtz. Addressed and post marked on last folding page. Georgetown post mark on last page. Cadet Kurtz father writes two pages and is pleased with his son's position in the Academy. The father writes about the family, business, his son's expenses, and the weather. Family relative "Kate" also writes 1 page letter to her young Cadet cousin. From the report of the Ninth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 13th, 1878: JOHN D. KURTZ No. 1114 - Class of 1842. Died Oct. 16, 1877, at Georgetown, D. C., aged 58.Brevet Colonel John D. Kurtz, the subject of this memoir, was born October, 1819, in the District of Columbia, was appointed a Cadet of the U. S. Military Academy, and served in that capacity from July 1, 1838, to July 1, 1842, when he was graduated and promoted in the army to be Second Lieutenant of the Corps of Engineers; in which Department of the Army he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and served continuously until his lamented death at Georgetown, D. C., Oct. 16, 1877.His professional services were various and important, and were first applied to the construction of permanent fortifications in Charleston Harbor, S. C., of repairs to Forts Macon and Caswell, N. C., and the preservation of their sites, and as member of a Commission upon the project for the improvement of Charleston Harbor. A continuous residence in that section of the country from 1842 to 1851, in attention to the duties of his profession, sapped the vigor of his constitution, and it may be said that he never recovered from the effects of protracted exposure to climatic influences.He was next transferred to the office of the Chief of Engineers, in Washington, serving from 1852 to 1856, where his services were highly appreciated by the Department.From 1856 to 1860, he was engaged upon the fortifications at Portsmouth, N. H.; Fort Knox, Penobscot river; Fort Gorges, Portland; and Fort Popham, Kennebec river, Maine; also upon duties under the Light House Department on Lake Champlain, and upon Civil works in Maine.p51 He served during the Civil war as Chief Engineer of the Department of Annapolis, and of the Shenandoah, during a critical period of the war; but his health precluding continuous participation in the active duties of a campaign, he was again detailed for duty in the office of the Chief of Engineers, where his experience and judgment were proved to be very valuable. These duties did not, however, prevent his taking the field when the Confederate forces threatened the national Capital.After the war, upon being relieved from duty with the Chief of Engineers, he was assigned to the fortifications of Baltimore and Washington, and afterwards to the same service at Philadelphia, where his duties were increased by the charge of civil improvements - the Delaware river and bay including works at Philadelphia and Newcastle, the Delaware breakwater, and screwpile pier at Lewes, Delaware. In addition he was charged with the improvement of the Schuylkill river and various rivers in New Jersey.During his professional career, he was frequently detailed as member of important Commissions and of Boards of Engineers. This brief sketch gives, it is true, a very inadequate idea of the valuable services rendered to the country by this modest and capable officer; but it is more profitable to pass from this branch of the subject, to the important one of the effect of his life and character upon the army and upon his surviving comrades.Certainly nothing can be more in place here, than an inquiry, for a brief space, into the origin of the reputation enjoyed by the army for honor and integrity, and the causes thereof. It may be confidently said, that the humiliating legacies which every war has left to the army - of envies and rivalries contracted in the push for promotion - of reputations slaughtered to clear the way for the more unscrup. Bookseller Inventory # 7075

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Bibliographic Details

Title: West Point Academy Correspondence] June 16, ...

Publisher: [Georgetown]

Publication Date: 1841

Binding: Letter

Book Condition:Good

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