150TH ENGINEER CASTLE BALL COMMEMORATIVE PRINT
capitol, but it was site specific a building most often. The US Capitol and Dome expansion was placed under CPT Montgomery Meigs as the engineer in charge of the project in 1853. The project had been floundering and CPT Meigs was brought into bring the project back on track. There was no budget for the territorial government Washington and the results were sporadic. Congress was very stingy with funds. The project was completed on time but not without acrimony. In 1860 after a spat with the Secretary of War, Meigs was assigned to the Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico to built forts. This was the farthest and most remote duty station possible in getting him away from Washington DC.
The outbreak of the American Civil War brought engineering to the Washington on an industrialized scale. The defense of Washington was of vital importance to the North and the area would serve as a marshalling point for much of the Army of the Potomac. A series of 53 forts were built around the capitol to protect it from the Army of Northern Virginia. The military brought a systematic approach to infrastructure to Washington and improved roads, railroads, and military encampments throughout the area. The use of centralized planning for roads, forts railroads, storage facilities brought high order of efficiency to the city. Much changed in the operation of the city during those four years.
After the Civil War the transition to a peacetime Army happened at a quick pace and left the Capitol and the Government in a predicament. As the American does after each war, it quickly transitions draftee and volunteers back to civilian life. The Civil War had placed the United States on the world stage. The breakaway colonies had been proven itself as an innovator in technology and martial skill. The Winning of the Civil War had thrust America onto the world stage and traffic from leaders around the world increased dramatically. These same visitors were struck with how primitive and backward the Capitol was compared to those of Europe. The well ordered engineer support for the city evaporated with the Army drawdown and without upkeep and planning the city started to experience growing pains