Memoir

Andrew Atkinson Humphreys

November 2, 1810 - December 27, 1883


Election Year: 1863
Membership Type: Member

Andrew Atkinson Humphreys is remembered for his work with the Army Corps of Engineers, particularly his groundbreaking Report upon the Physics and Hydraulics of the Mississippi River. This exhaustive five-hundred-page work, based on then-modern scientific and engineering principles, was cited for decades in plans to control flooding on the Mississippi River. Humphreys graduated from West Point in 1831 and saw action in Indian wars in Florida. During the Civil War he became chief topographical engineer under General George B. McClellan, was promoted to brigadier general in 1862, and led troops in battle at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After the war, he was named chief of the Army Corps of Engineers and had a bitter conflict with fellow Academy member James B. Eads over the building of jetties in the Mississippi River. Humphreys was a charter member of the National Academy of Sciences

Photo from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Call # LC-DIG-cwpbh-00528

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