Black, William Murray, MG

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Engineer Corps
Primary Unit
1917-1919, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Service Years
1877 - 1919

Engineer Corps

Major General

Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Black, William Murray, MG.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Sep 24, 1933
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Engineer Shoulder Cord Ancient Order of Saint Barbara

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
William Murray Black was born December 8, 1855 in Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Attended Lancaster public schools, graduating high school in 1870. Attended Franklin and Marshall College until June 1873 when he enlisted in the United States Military Academy. Graduated head of class in June 1877. Commissioned 2nd Lieut., Corps of Engineers, United States Army in 1877. Served at West Point for two months and at the Engineer School at Willets Point, Long Island, where he was under instruction and in duty with Company C, Battalion of Engineers until March 1880, being in command of the company for the last year.

March 1880 promoted to 1st Lieut. on duty on River and Harbor Works at Charleston, Kanawha, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as assistant to Lieut. Colonels Craighill and Merrill, Major Ludlow and General Weitzel from March 1880 to August 1882. August 1882 to January 1886 on duty at West Point, New York, Assistant Instructor of Practical Military Engineering and with Company E, Battalion of Engineers. January 1886 to November 1891 on duty at Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida for the first 4 months as assistant to Captain William T. Rossell, Corps of Engineers and later in charge of the river and harbor improvements an fortifications of the Florida District.

Promoted Captain, Corps of Engineers, December 31, 1886. November 1891 to August 1895 on duty at United States Engineer's School, Willets Point, New York as Instructor of Civil Engineering, and commanding Company C. August 1895 to March 1897 stationed at Washington D.C., Assistant to Chief of Engineers in charge of the Division of Personnel and Fortifications, Office Chief of Engineers. March 1897 to May 1898, Commissioner of the District of Columbia.

May 1898 promoted to Major, Corps of Engineers and appointed Lieut. Colonel, Chief Engineer United States Volunteers, assigned to duty with 3rd Corps at Camp Thomas, Chickamauga Park and later in Tampa and in the expedition to Puerto Rico, being in command of the advance guard which captured the town of Guanica, Puerto Rico, where the first landing was made. November 1898, transferred to temporary duty in the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington D.C. and in December 1898, ordered to Havana, Cuba as Chief Engineer, Department of Havana, on the staff of Generla Ludlow. January 1900 made Chief Engineer, Division of Cuba on staff of General Wood. In charge of the work cleaning Havana and of organizing a modern department of public works for that city.

In 1888 became a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and in 1893 was awarded the Rowland prize by that society for his paper on The Improvement of Harbors on the South Atlantic Coast of the United States. Author of The United States Public Works, a volume descriptive of engineering methods published by John Wiley & Sons in 1895.

Married 1st to Daisy Peyton Derby in 1877, one son, Roger Derby Black, born January 18, 1883 at West Point, New York. She died in March 1889. He 2nd married Gertrude Totten Gamble September 1891. They had two sons, Percy Gamble Black, born September 17, 1893 at Willets Point, New York and William Murray Black Jr., born July 3, 1897 in Washington, D.C.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)US Army Europe (USAREUR)US Army Europe (USAREUR)US Army Engineer School Brigade (Staff) Fort Belvoir, VA
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  1877-1886, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  1886-1891, South Atlantic Division, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  1898-1901, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  1901-1903, US Army Engineer School Brigade (Staff) Fort Belvoir, VA
  1903-1917, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  1917-1919, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1877-1882 Indian Wars (US)
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War
  1917-1918 World War I
 Colleges Attended 
Franklin and Marshall CollegeUnited States Military Academy
  1870-1873, Franklin and Marshall College
  1873-1877, United States Military Academy
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