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Herman Haupt

Herman Haupt



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Military railroad photo

Military railroad photo


Josiah Gorgas (18181883)
CLASS OF 1835

“That man Haupt has built a bridge across Potomac Creek, about 400 feet long and nearly 100 feet high, over which loaded trains are running every hour, and, upon my word, gentlemen, there is nothing in it but beanpoles and corn stalks.”
  —Abraham Lincoln, 23 May 1862

Haupt resigned his commission a month after graduation to become a successful civil and railroad engineer. In 1838 he married Ann Cecilia Keller of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. One of the couple’s eleven children also graduated from West Point.

Haupt’s experience as a railroad engineer brought him back to the army in the Civil War. The railroad transportation corps he organized and trained for the Army of the Potomac became a byword for speedy and efficient construction, repair, and operation of military railroads. Haupt resigned after the Battle of Gettysburg, but the men he trained continued to supply Union armies by rail.

A half-century later, war planners drew upon Haupt’s Civil War experience to reorganize the domestic railroad system when it threatened to break down during World War I.


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Montgomery Cunningham Meigs




Key Figures






Josiah Gorgas
Josiah Gorgas
1818–1883
Class of 1841



Herman Haupt
Herman Haupt
1817–1905
Class of 1835



Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
1816–1892
Class of 1836



Alexander Brydie Dyer
Alexander Brydie Dyer
1815–1874
Class of 1837





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Choosing Sides Organizing for War Fighting the Civil War The Army in Reconstruction