William Louis Marshall

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William Louis Marshall
USACE William Louis Marshall.jpg
William Louis Marshall, Chief of Engineers 1908–1910
Born (1846-06-11)June 11, 1846
Washington, Kentucky
Died July 2, 1920(1920-07-02) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1862-1863,1868-1910
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held Chief of Engineers
Battles/wars American Civil War

William Louis Marshall was born June 11, 1846, in Washington, Kentucky, a scion of the family of Chief Justice John Marshall. At age 16 he enlisted in the 10th Kentucky Cavalry, Union Army. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1868 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. Accompanying Lieutenant George Wheeler's Wheeler Survey expedition (1872–76), Marshall covered thousands of miles on foot and horseback and discovered Marshall Pass in central Colorado. He oversaw improvements on the Lower Mississippi River near Vicksburg and on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway canal system in Wisconsin. As Chicago District Engineer from 1888 to 1899, he planned and began to build the Illinois and Mississippi Canal. Marshall made innovative use of concrete masonry and developed original and cost-saving methods of canal lock construction. Stationed at New York (1900–08), his genius further expressed itself on the Ambrose Channel project and in standardizing fortification construction methods. He retired June 11, 1910—the final Chief of Engineers to have served in the Civil War—but his engineering reputation earned a special appointment from President William Howard Taft as consulting engineer to the Secretary of the Interior on hydroelectric power projects. General Marshall died July 2, 1920, in Washington, D.C.


This article contains public domain text from "Brigadier General William Louis Marshall". Portraits and Profiles of Chief Engineers. Archived from the original on March 6, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2005. 

Military offices
Preceded by
Alexander Mackenzie
Chief of Engineers
Succeeded by
William Herbert Bixby