U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers

Orlando Metcalfe PoeOrlando Metcalfe Poe
1832 - 1895

Orlando Metcalfe Poe, soldier, born in Navarre, Stark County, Ohio, 7 March, 1832. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1856, and assigned to the topographical engineers. He became 1st lieutenant in 1860, and was on lake survey duty till the beginning of the civil war, when he engaged in the organization of Ohio volunteers. He was chief topographical engineer of the Department of the Ohio from 13 May till 15 June, 1861, being engaged in reconnoissances in northern Kentucky and western Virginia, participated in the battle of Rich Mountain, on the staff of General George B. McClellan. He became colonel of the 2d Michigan volunteers in September, 1861, was in command of his regiment in the defences of Washington, and took part in the principal battles of the Virginia peninsular campaign. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 29 November, 1862, was engaged at Fredericksburg, commanded a division of the 9th army corps from February to March, 1863, and became captain of United States engineers in that month, and subsequently chief engineer of the 23d corps of the Army of the Ohio. He occupied a similar post in the army of General William T. Sherman in the invasion of Georgia, the march to the sea, and through the Carolinas, until the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston. He received the brevet of major for gallant service at the siege of Knoxville on 6 July, 1864, that of lieutenant-colonel for the capture of Atlanta on 1 September, 1864, and that of colonel for Savannah on 21 December, 1864. In March, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general for "gallant and meritorious service in the campaign terminating in the surrender of the insurgent army under General Joseph E. Johnston." He was engineer secretary of the United States light-house board in 1865-'70, commissioned major in the latter year, constructed the light-house on Spectacle reef, Lake Huron, in 1870-'3, and became a member of the light-house board in 1874. He was aide-de-camp to General William T. Sherman in 1873-'84, and at the same time was in charge of the river and harbor works from Lake Erie to Lake Superior. In 1882 he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of engineers.  He died October 2, 1895.

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske (eds): D. Appleton and Company, New York.

Photo courtesy of Meade Album Collection, USAMHI

Poe is wearing the uniform prescribed in the 1851 uniform regulations -- save the hat, which is a non-regulation forage hat from the 1838 - 50 period.



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