Memoir

John Barnard

May 19, 1815 - May 14, 1882


Election Year: 1863
Membership Type: Member

John Gross Barnard was a charter member of the Academy and a well known Engineer in the U.S. Armed Forces. Barnard graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1833, showing a great propensity for mathematics, and was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout his fifty-year career with the Corps, Barnard served on a number of fortification details, and was instrumental in securing a vital Mexican port in the midst of the Mexican-American War, which gave the American forces a significant advantage. During the Civil War, Barnard was the named the Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, and played a major role in ensuring the safety and security of the Capital. Barnard contributed more than seventy articles to the Johnson “New Cyclopedia.” Of all his entries, the one regarding the measuring device, the Gyroscope, was the most influential and earned Barnard a good deal of recognition within the scientific community.

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