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Alexander Mackenzie (engineer): Wikis


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Alexander Mackenzie
May 25, 1844(1844-05-25) – March 21, 1921 (aged 76)
Alexander Mackenzie USACE.jpg
Brigadier General Alexander Mackenzie
Place of birth Potosi, Wisconsin
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Major General
Commands held Chief of Engineers
Battles/wars American Civil War

Alexander Mackenzie was born May 25, 1844, in Potosi, Wisconsin and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1864.

Major Mackenzie, from painting by Bosse.

Commissioned in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, he served with the Union Army in Arkansas in 1864-65. Mackenzie spent six years commanding a company of engineer troops at Willets Point, New York, that experimented in the use of torpedoes in coastal defense. In 1879 he began a 16-year stint as Rock Island District Engineer. He built 100 miles of wing dams on the upper Mississippi River and produced a 40-foot channel between St. Paul and the mouth of the Missouri River. Called to Washington in 1895, he became Assistant to the Chief of Engineers in charge of all matters relating to river and harbor improvements.[1] He was the first senior member of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, which reviewed improvements submitted by Corps of Engineer officers. He was a member of the general staff corps and War College Board when appointed Chief of Engineers on January 23, 1904. Retired May 25, 1908, as a major general, he was recalled to active duty in 1917 at age 73 as Northwest Division Engineer serving again in Rock Island, Illinois.[2]

General Mackenzie died March 21, 1921, in Washington, D.C.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
George Lewis Gillespie, Jr.
Chief of Engineers
Succeeded by
William Louis Marshall


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