A Guide to the Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences, [ca. 1889] Haupt, Herman Manuscript Reminiscences Ms1988-010

A Guide to the Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences, [ca. 1889]

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1988-010


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

2018 (CC0).

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences, ca. 1889
Physical Characteristics
0.2 Cubic Feet 1 box
Haupt, Herman
Manuscript draft of the Civil War reminiscences of Herman Haupt, who served as the chief of construction and transportation for the military railroad system for the Union Army. Includes Civil War correspondence, telegraph messages, reports, and general orders (originals and typescript copies). Among the correspondence is a letter from Robert Todd Lincoln.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences, Ms1988-010, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences were purchased by Special Collections in 1988.

Processing Information

The processing of the Herman Haupt Manuscript Reminiscences commenced and was completed in November, 2018.

Biographical / Historical

Herman Haupt, civil engineer and inventor, was born in Philadelphia in 1817. Appointed to the United States Military Academy at age 14, Haupt graduated in 1835 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd U. S. Infantry. He resigned his commission just two months later to become a railroad engineer. Haupt served as an assistant engineer on the survey for the Norristown & Valley Railroad in 1835 and located the line from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to the Potomac River, later incorporated as part of the Western Maryland Railway.

In 1838, Haupt married Ann Cecelia Keller. The couple would have 11 children.

Haupt served as a professor of mathematics and engineering at Pennsylvania College in Gettysburg from 1840 until 1847, when he accepted a position as construction engineer on the Pennylvania Railroad. He became the line's general superintendent in 1849. Two years later, Haupt was named chief engineer of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi. During this time, he published his most important book, General Theory of Bridge Construction (1851). Haupt returned to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1853, serving as chief engineer until 1856, when he became chief engineer of the Hoosac Tunnel in western Massachusetts.

In early 1862, Haupt was appointed chief of construction and transportation for the military railroad system of the Union Army and was initially given the rank of colonel. In September, he was promoted to brigadier general but asked to serve without pay and to be allowed freedom to maintain his private business affairs. When this became impossible to do, he resigned in September 1863.

After the Civil War, Haupt worked as chief engineer or general manager for a number of railroads, including the Shenandoah Valley, the Richmond and Danville, and the Northern Pacific. He also served as president of the Dakota and Great Southern Railroad.

Herman Haupt died in 1905.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a manuscript draft written by Herman Haupt, who served as the chief of construction and transportation for the Union Army's military railroad system during the Civil War. The draft formed the basis of Reminiscences of General Herman Haupt, self-published in 1901.

Haupt's reminiscences focus on his service as chief of railroad construction and transportation. They include Haupt's memories of personal interactions with President Lincoln, his cabinet, and the commanding generals of the armies of the Union. Not included here is the biographical sketch, written by Frank Abial Flower, that appears in Haupt's published reminiscences.

The 349-leaf draft differs markedly from the published book, containing a number of passages--some short, others more significant--that do not appear in the latter. The original preface and introduction, for example, were omitted from the book. At the same time, the manuscript itself is incomplete. Most noticeably, the manuscript lacks the section corresponding to pages 231 to 289 in the book. Meanwhile, a set of unnumbered leaves, perhaps from an earlier draft, corresponds roughly to chapter 21 in the published work, though this set of leaves also includes the final page of what would become, in the book, chapter 23.

Inserted within the draft are Civil War correspondence, telegraph messages, reports, and general orders (originals and typescript copies). Among the correspondence--and comprising the final leaf of the draft--is an 1889 letter from Robert Todd Lincoln.

Related Material

Haupt, Herman, Reminiscences of General Herman Haupt (limited autograph ed.) Milwaukee, WI: Wright & Joys, 1901. (E470.2 H37 1901 Civil War Spec)

Index Terms


  • Civil War
  • Railroad
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Box-Folder 1 folder: 1
Preface and introduction (leaves 2-14)
Box-Folder 1 folder: 2
Army of the Rappahannock: Operations under General McDowell (leaves 15-55)
[2 folders]
Box-Folder 1 folder: 3
Army of Virginia: Campaign of Major General John Pope (leaves 56-153)
[4 folders]
Box-Folder 1 folder: 4
Army of the Potomac: Campaign of General McClellan (leaves 154-177)
[2 folders]
Box-Folder 1 folder: 5
Army of the Potomac: Campaign of Major General Burnside
[2 folders]
Box-Folder 1 folder: 6
Army of the Potomac: Campaign of General Hooker (leaves 233-268)
[2 folders]
Box-Folder 1 folder: 7
Army of the Potomac: Campaign of Major General George G. Meade (leaves 269-296)
Box-Folder 1 folder: 8
[Subsequent achievements of the Military Railroad Corps] (26 leaves)
Box-Folder 1 folder: 9
Conclusion (leaves 368-[397])
[2 folders]