Meigs, Montgomery C. (Montgomery Cunningham), 1816-1892

Alternative names
Birth 1816-05-03
Death 1892-01-02

Biographical notes:

United States engineer and architect, Meigs served in the Army Corps of Engineers as supervising architect of the United States Capitol from 1853 to 1861, during which time the building was expanded with wings and the central dome was designed and constructed.

From the description of United States Capitol architectural drawings, circa 1853-1861. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 269260958

American army officer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Hall Neilson, 1853 Nov. 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270638404

Montgomery C. Meigs was an army officer and engineer. He was born in Augusta, Ga. on May 3, 1816. Meigs graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836, where he studied civil and military engineering. Meigs was engaged in several federal engineering and surveying projects from 1836 to 1851. Between 1852 and 1860, he was supervising engineer for the Washington Aqueduct and for the U.S. Capitol dome and wings. Meigs served as a brigadier general during the Civil War and participated in the battles of Bull Run and Chattanooga. After the war, he supervised plans for the War Department Building. In a private capacity, Meigs designed his own house, a plan for the National Museum Building of the Smithsonian, and the Pension Building. Meigs married Louisa Rodgers in 1847; they had seven children. Meigs was a regent of the Smithsonian, member of the American Philosophical Society, and an early member of the National Academy of Science. He died in Washington, D.C. on January 2, 1892 and was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.

From the description of Papers, 1856-1892, 1856-1860. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 84666039

West Point graduate and the Union Army's quartermaster general, dispatching men and equipment to the scattered battlefields of the war. His understanding of the north's overwhelming superiority in manpower and resources led Lincoln to make Meigs one of his principal military advisers. As a military engineer Meigs had already built the stone aqueduct that provided Washington with pure water and supervised construction of the Capitol's cast-iron dome. His son, John Rodgers Meigs also a West Point graduate, was killed in 1864 in the Shenandoah Valley and buried at Arlington Cemetery, which his father was instrumental in creating. Meigs was buried next to his son at Arlington.

From the description of Recollections of the relations of President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton in the military conduct of the Civil War. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 52751228

Engineer and army officer.

From the description of Letters, 1859. (Historical Society of Washington, Dc). WorldCat record id: 70952991

Army officer, engineer, architect, and scientist.

From the description of Montgomery C. Meigs papers, 1799-1971 (bulk 1849-1892). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981184

Biographical Note

  • 1816, May 3: Born, Augusta, Ga.
  • 1832: Entered United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  • 1837: Second lieutenant, Corps of Engineers Surveyed Upper Mississippi River
  • 1838: Survey engineering work, Delaware River
  • 1839: Duty at army headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • 1841: Married Louisa Rodgers (died 1879)
  • 1843 - 1852 : Stationed in Detroit, Mich., until return to permanent duty in Washington, D.C.
  • 1852: Supervised construction of the Washington aqueduct for Great Falls, Va., and various United States Capitol improvements, including a new and larger dome
  • 1861, June: Appointed quartermaster general, United States Army
  • 1865, Apr. 15: Present at the death of Abraham Lincoln
  • 1867: Postwar illness and trip to Europe
  • 1882: Retired from the United States Army Began engineering work on the Pension Office building, Washington, D.C.
  • 1892, Jan. 2: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, 1799-1892, (bulk 1849-1892), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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  • Architecture
  • Architectural drawing--Detailing
  • Buildings--Washington (D.C.)
  • Public buildings
  • Mechanical drawing
  • Steam-engineering
  • Buildings
  • Distribution of decedents estates
  • Aqueducts
  • Public buildings--Heating and ventilation
  • Aqueducts--Washington (D.C.)
  • Architectural design
  • Architecture--Washington (D.C.)
  • Structural engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Military sketching
  • Architecture--Designs and plans
  • Civil engineers--Archives
  • Public architecture
  • Architecture--History--19th century
  • Aqueducts--Maryland


  • Engineers
  • Army officers
  • Architect
  • Scientists


  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Washington Aqueduct (Md. and Washington, D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Washington Aqueduct (Md. and Washington, D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Washington Aqueduct (Md. and Washington, D.C.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)