Skip to main content
Drexel Library Libraries Home Button Drexel Health Sciences Search Services Get Help About

Drexel University Archives and Special Collections

Rob Sieczkiewicz

Rob Sieczkiewicz
University Archivist
Hours M-F: 8:30 am-5:30 pm
Hagerty Library, Room L40 215-895-1757


Alexis Antracoli

Alexis Antracoli
Records Management Archivist
Hagerty Library, Room L42 215-895-6472


Anita Lai

Anita Lai
Archives Technician
Hagerty Library, Room L42 215-895-


← Back to Drexel Archives

Brigadier General Herman Haupt

As the 1862 Railroad Act placed the railroad and telegraph lines under government jurisdiction, civilian railroad experts were given military status. One such man was Herman Haupt (1817-1863), a native of Philadelphia and civil engineer well-known for his genius.   He had been Chief Engineer for the construction of several rail lines, including the Pennsylvania, and he authored "General Theory of Bridge Construction," published in 1851.  Haupt was working on the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel in Massachusetts when he was called upon for service and appointed Chief of Construction and transportation.  There was controversy over the tunnel and Haupt had personally funded a portion of the project.

Haupt accepted the position under a few conditions, he wanted neither rank nor pay in return for no military interference in conducting his personal business affairs and being able to return to work on the tunnel upon his release of service.  Among Haupt's many accomplishments during the Civil War was the rebuilding of the bridge over the Potomac Creek.  The original bridge took three years to build and the reconstruction was done in less than a week.  Unfortunately, the Union army lost his service because none of the conditions above were meet. He still received military rank, in fact he was promoted from Colonel to Brigadier General. Military interference in his personal business became so excessive.  Haupt retired from service in September 1863. He never returned to work on the Hoosac Tunnel.

Letter from Herman Haupt, November 20, 1862Letter from Herman Haupt, November 20, 1862

The envelope

Copyright © 2014 Drexel University  |   Privacy Policy

Powered by Drupal Druplicon icon

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system