Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HOUSTON, David Crawford, engineer, born in New York city, 5 December, 1835. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1856. and was retained at the academy as assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy until September, 1857, when he was placed on construction of fortifications at Hampton Roads, Virginia From 1856 till 1860 he commanded a detachment of engineer troops in Oregon, after which he was assistant engineer in the construction of a fort on Sandy Hook, New Jersey During the civil war, as 1st lieutenant of the engineer corps, he aided in constructing the defences of Washington. D.C. He was at Blackburn's Ford and Bull Run as engineer of General Tyler's division, and as chief engineer 1st army corps, department of the Rappahannock. He was with the 3d army corps in the second battle of Bull Run and of Cedar Mountain, after which he was brevetted captain. He became chief engineer of the 1st corps, Army of the Potomac, in the Maryland campaign, and was engaged in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, where he was brevetted major. 17 September, 1862. He was in charge of the defences of Harpet's Ferry, Virginia, and of the Department of the Gulf during the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, in March, 1863, for which service he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, 17 June, 1863. He took part in the expedition to the mouth of the Rio Grande, 1863, and in the Red River campaign in April, 1864. He was a member of the special board of engineers for the defences of San Francisco, California, in 1864-'5. On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted colonel for "gallant and meritorious services during the rebellion." He served on the board for defences of Willet's Point, New York, in 1865, and from 1865 till 1867 on the board to carry out in detail the modifications of the defences near Boston, as proposed by the board of 27 January, 1864. He was also superintending engineer of the construction of the defences of Narragansett bay. R. I., in 1865; of the river and harbor improvements in Rhode Island and Connecticut from 1866 till 1870; and of surveys and improvements of various rivers in Wisconsin since July, 1870. In 1868 he was a member of the board of engineers on Block Island breakwater, on the wreck of the steamer "Scotland," and on the improvement of Ogdensburg and Oswego harbors. In 1869 he served on the Wallabout channel and in the New York navy yard. in 1871 he was charged with the plans for docks in Chicago breakwater, and from 1872 till December, 1875, was engaged in constructing harbors in the northwest He was also superintending engineer on modifications proposed for Michigan city harbor, Indiana, in July, and on the improvement of Fox and Wisconsin rivers in August, 1878. He became major of the corps of engineers on 7 March, 1867, lieutenant-colonel, 30 June, 1882. and since 1886 has been a member of the board of engineers for fortifications and river and harbor improvements.
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