John Newton


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(1822–95) army officer and military engineer, born in Norfolk, Virginia. Newton was chief of engineers from 1884 to 1886. Although Newton saw active service during the Civil War, his record as a leader of troops was uneven and he gained his greatest distinction as an engineer. He resigned from the army in 1886 to become commissioner of public works for New York City. During the Civil War Newton had participated in the Peninsular and Maryland campaigns (1862) and the Chancellorsville campaign (1863) before commanding a corps at Gettysburg (1863) and leading a division through the Atlanta campaign (1864). Early in the war he worked as assistant engineer in the construction of the defenses of Washington, D.C. (1861). His only field service prior to the Civil War was as chief engineer of the Mormon Expedition (1858).

From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.

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