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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KURTZ, John D., soldier, born in the District of Columbia about 1822; died in Georgetown, D. C., 16 October, 1877. He was graduated from the United States military academy, 1 July, 1842, and entered the corps of engineers. He was employed in repairing fortifications in North Carolina and the forts in Charleston harbor, served on a commission to devise a project for the improvement of the harbor in 1852, and was promoted 1st lieutenant in March, 1853, and captain, 1 July, 1856, serving from 1852 till 1856 as assistant to the chief engineer in Washington, and then on harbor works in New England till the civil war. He was promoted major, 3 March, 1863, brevet lieutenant-colonel and brevet colonel, 13 March, 1865, and lieutenant-colonel, 8 August, 1866. He served during the civil war as chief engineer of the Department of Annapolis from June till July, 1861, and of the Shenandoah in August, 1861, and then as assistant to the chief of engineers at Washington, D. C., till 1869, having charge of the bureau during the absence of the chief engineer. Afterward he was employed as superintending engineer of various works, including the defences of Delaware bay and river in 1870-'7, the Delaware breakwater in 1871-'2, and the foundation of the Washington monument from 26 September, 1876, till his death.
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