Ernst, Oswald H. (ON HOLD)


Army engineer, West Point Superintendent 1893-98, led US troops at Coamo, Puerto Rico


Autograph ID: 6279
Condition: Very good, light toning strip at top edge
Description: “(1842-1926) USMA 1864, US Army engineer, astronomer, educator, West Point Superintendent. He commanded US troops at Coamo, Puerto Rico, in the Spanish-American War, Inspector General in Cuba to 1899. He sat on the original Panama Canal Commission after retirement from active service. On graduation from West Point, he was 1st Lt., Corps of Engineers, Army of the Tennessee, during the siege of Atlanta. In Oct. 1864, he returned to West Point as asst. professor of engineering, lecturing about practical siege engineering. Right after the War, he worked on constructing Pacific coast fortifications until 1868. Promoted to Captain March 1867, he led an engineer company at Willets Point, Queens, NY 1868-71. After detail as “Astronomer of the U.S. Commission to observe the solar eclipse in Spain” on Dec. 22, 1870, he again lectured USMA cadets 1871-78 about “practical engineering” and commanding the post’s elite engineer company. While teaching cadets and writing the “Manual of Practical Military Engineering”, Ernst wrote articles for Johnson’s Encyclopedia. He was chief engineer on Osage and Mississippi River projects 1878-89 and responsible for deepening shipping routes in Galveston Bay. In 1889, he became military aide to President Benj. Harrison and Chief Engineer in Charge of Washington’s Public Buildings and Monuments. He returned to West Point as Superintendent 1893-98. After the explosion of the USS Maine in Feb. 1898, Ernst was promoted to Brig. Genl. Vols., and led the 1st Division of volunteer troops deployed to Puerto Rico, and was victorious at the Battle of Coamo. He was Inspector General of Cuba to 1899 then a member of the original Isthmian Canal Commission and in charge of river and harbor improvements at Baltimore, Galveston and Chicago. He retired from active duty in 1906, promoted to Major General on retired list 1916.
2 3/4 x 3 1/2 card signed as Brig. Gen. of Vols., (Puerto Rico), (1898-99).”
Type: Signed Card

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