Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.

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  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has been an extremely influential institution in American military and scientific history and has had enduring national and global impact. The Corps’ origins date to its congressional establishment (Pub. L. 7–70) on March 16, 1802, and assignment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. This organization was called the Corps of Topographical Engineers from 1838 to 1863, and its early responsibilities included building coastal fortifications, constructing canals, surveying roads, and exploring and documenting the continually growing and westward-expanding geographic boundaries of the United States, including with the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 1850s.

    Subsequent decades would see the Corps involved in a number of different projects affecting the West. These included building Pacific Coast fortifications, such ...

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