Andrew Talcott (1797-1883) - Born 22 Apr 1797, Glastonbury, Connecticut, died 22 April, 1883, Richmond, Virginia.
Talcott graduated second in his West Point 1818 Class and was assigned as a Bvt. 2nd Lt. to the Corps of Engineers. He was garrisoned at Fort Atkinson, explored passage to Fort Snelling, 1820; started construction at Fort Adams, RI, 1824; Superintending Engineer for construction on Hampton Roads at Fort Calhoun (1) and Fort Monroe(1828-1835); surveyed Ohio-Michigan border, spring 1835 with Capt. Robert E. Lee.
On 21 September, 1836, he resigned his commission to become a civil engineer, and surveyed and constructed various railroads, examined Navy-yards, and marked the northern boundary of Iowa. In 1857 he became engineer for a railroad across Mexico, which was organized under the presidency of Don Antonio Escaudon, and surveyed the line from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico; but, owing to political events, the operations of this company were suspended, and Colonel Talcott returned to the United States.
U.S. Civil War
In 1861 he was appointed a Colonel and Chief Engineer of Virginia. He designed and supervised the construction of fortifications along the James River including Fort Huger (2), Fort Boykin and several gun batteries. These forts and batteries were subsequently abandoned when confronted by an overwhelming Union force in May 1862.
In 1862 Talcott returned to Mexico and resumed his office as chief engineer of the railroad from Mexico to the Gulf. A new company was formed with the aid of British capital and under the imperial government of Mexico, and the work of the, railroad was prosecuted in 1865-1866. A change of government in 1867 ended his direction of the work.
Needing some supplies for the work, he came with the president to New York in march 1863, where he was seized by the government officials and confined in Fort Lafayette as a spy, and accused of planning and constructing the fortifications around Richmond. He was transferred to Fort Adams, in Boston harbor, and kept there by the order of General John E. Wool until General John A. Dix was put in command of the Eastern military department. General Dix, who knew him well and believed in his loyalty to the United States government, had him brought to New York, listened to his statement, and released him.
After a visit to Europe he spent the remainder of his life in retirement in Baltimore and Richmond. He was a fine mathematician, and in 1833 devised "Talcott's method" for determining territorial latitudes by the observation of stars near the zenith, contriving a suitable modification of the zenith instrument for the purpose. He died 22 Apr 1883 in Richmond, VA, buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Section E, Lot 120.
Father: George Talcott, born 30 Sep 1755, died 13 Jun 1813, Gastonbury, CT.
Mother: Abigail Goodrich, born 1 Aug 1767, Glastonbury, CT.