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Mission of the Office of History

Office of History SealThe mission of the Office of History is to collect, document, interpret, disseminate, and preserve the history and heritage of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We are a separate office of the Headquarters and are located at the Humphreys Engineer Center on Telegraph Road in Alexandria, Virginia. Our office maintains research collections and a historical holding of several thousand artifacts.

Army Engineers in the District of Columbia

Army Engineers have a long record of involvement in Washington, D.C., from the city’s founding through today. The Office of History invites you to explore that history through three online resources.

  • Browse it. Take a look at CEHO’s illustrated brief history of Engineer activities in the nation’s capital. View the brochure online or download it to read later.
  • Map it. Check out an interactive map that locates select Engineer projects in the District of Columbia and nearby, with accompanying photos and brief descriptions.
  • Read it. Go deeper and read the book-length illustrated manuscript prepared for CEHO by author Pam Scott. Or download the file and read it at your own pace.

Or look back at past D.C.-related articles on: the American Red Cross buildings; the amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery; Kennedy's eternal flame; the cherry trees and tidal basin; and the White House.

Army Engineers in the American Civil War

Defenses of Washington - Fort Totten
Defenses of Washington - Fort Totten
Garrison forces and armaments at Fort Totten, part of the Defenses of Washington
Defenses along the Union lines at Petersburg, VA
Defenses along the Union lines at Petersburg, VA
Wooden obstructions at Fort Sedgwick along the Union lines during the Siege of Petersburg. Circa 1864-1865.
Inflating an observation balloon at the Battle of Fair Oaks
Inflating an observation balloon at the Battle of Fair Oaks
The Federal Observation Balloon "Intrepid," operated by the Topographical Engineers, being inflated for use in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Henrico County, Virginia, 1862.
Corduroy Road
Corduroy Road
Example of a Civil War corduroy road.
Ponton Bridges across the James River
Ponton Bridges across the James River
Engineer ponton bridges across the James River, near Richmond, VA, ca. 1865.
Engineer Enlisted Soldier
Engineer Enlisted Soldier
An example of U.S. Engineer uniforms and equipment during the Civil War. The subject is an enlisted soldier likely from Company A of the Engineer Battalion.