Corps Of Topographic Engineers

Also known as “topogs”, the Corps of Topographic Engineers is a U.S. Army Division in the nineteenth century. The Corps of Topographic Engineers was an offshoot of Corps of Engineers. This was a division that was originally established in 1775 to create fortifications and other military infrastructure. In 1838, the topographical engineer division was founded. Their purpose was to make the American West more accessible through exploration. One of the Corps of Topographical Engineers’ first projects was to make the Ohio River and Mississippi River navigable. This project was actually started in 1824, more then a decade before the Corps was officially founded

The Corps also started long-running flood projects in the middle of 1800s. The Corps of Topographical Engineers was also charged with the mapping and design of lighthouses, navigational routes, as well as other federal civil projects. The General Survey Act granted the Corps of Topographic Engineers permission to survey roads throughout the nation. The National Road survey and construction was the first major road surveying project that the topogs completed. Federal funds stopped funding it a few more years later. This division was also active in boundary surveys all over the country, including in Texas and West.

The Corps of Topographic Engineers participated in surveying projects for both the Mexican-American War of the 1840s, and the U.S Civil War of the 1960s. The Corps of Engineers were responsible for surveying, constructing, and maintaining railroad bridges and forts during the Civil War. This division was crucial in logistically making the war possible, especially for Union troops.

The Corps of Topographic Engineers merged with Army Corps of Engineers on 1866. This federal agency remains in existence to this day. It is the most important public engineering, surveying, construction design agency in the entire world. Today, the Corps of Engineers is involved in projects in all 50 US states and 90 countries. The Corps operates more than 600 dams. It dredges over 255,000,000 cubic yards each year during construction or maintenance. Nearly all of Corps of Engineer’s projects require substantial surveying work, before or during construction and as part of ongoing maintenance and repair.