Sylvanus Thayer

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Sylvanus Thayer (1785-1872) - Born 9 Jun 1785 in Braintree, Massachusetts. He had a long and distinguished military engineering career (1808-1863). Died 7 Sep 1872 in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Sylvanus Thayer by Robert Weir
West Point Statue and Memorial to Sylvanus Thayer

Sylvanus Thayer entered the United States Military Academy in 1807 and graduated in the Class of 1808 after a single year of attendance. On graduation, he became a 2nd Lt., Corps of Engineers and later served during the War of 1812. He served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy (1817-1833) and became known as "Father of the Military Academy" for making it a world class institution. He supervised the construction of the fortifications at Boston Harbor including Fort Independence (1), Fort Warren (2) and Fort Winthrop (1). He retired from the Army as a Colonel on 21 Apr 1863 and was given the rank of Brevet Brigadier General after being nominated by President Abraham Lincoln. He is interred at the West Point Cemetery.


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