Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GRAHAM, Charles Kinnaird, civil engineer, born in New York City, 3 June, 1824. He was entered in the United States navy as midshipman in 1841, and served in the Gulf during the war with Mexico, at the close of which, in 1848, he resigned, returned to New York, and devoted himself for several years to the study of engineering. About 1857 he was appointed constructing engineer of the Brooklyn navy yard, the dry-dock and landing-ways being built under his supervision. At the beginning of the civil war he volunteered in the National army, about 400 men in his employ in the navy yard following his example. The Excelsior brigade was organized, in which Graham subsequently became major and colonel. Throughout the early part of the contest he was actively engaged in the Army of the Potomac. In November, 1862, he was commissioned brigadier-general, and fought at the battle of Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded. He was afterward assigned to the command of a gun-boat flotilla on the James River under General Butler, and was the first to carry the national colors up that river. He subsequently took part in the attack on Fort Fisher, and remained on duty at different points until the close of the war, when he returned to the practice of engineering in New York City. He was brevetted major general of volunteers 13 March, 1865. Among the enterprises with which he has since been connected are the Broadway pavement commission and the Beach pneumatic transit company. General Graham was chief engineer of the dock department from 1873 till 1875, and surveyor of the port of New York from 1878 till 1883, when he became naval officer, and held that post until 1885.
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