Jeremy Francis Gilmer
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Personal Information
Born: March 23, 1818(1818-03-23)
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Died: Template:Dda
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Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Confederate States of America
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Branch: Confederate Army
*Engineers
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Rank: Major General (CSA)
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Battles: Mexican War
American Civil War
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Jeremy Francis Gilmer (February 23, 1818 – December 1, 1883) was an American soldier, mapmaker, and civil engineer most noted for his service as the Chief Engineer of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. As a major general, he oversaw the planning of the elaborate defenses of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Gilmer was born in Guilford County, North Carolina. He entered the army corps of engineers as a second lieutenant upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1839. He ranked fourth in a graduating class that included future fellow Civil War generals Halleck, Canby, Hunt, and Ord. He was an assistant professor of engineering at West Point until June 1840, when he was reassigned to New York City where he was assistant engineer in the construction of Fort Schuyler in New York Harbor.

Gilmer served in the Mexican War as Chief Engineer of the Army of the West in the New Mexico Territory and helped design and construct Fort Marcy in Sante Fe. He also surveyed battlefields near Mexico City. Until 1961, he was active in making surveys, constructing fortifications in various locations including San Francisco, California, and executing various river and harbor improvements.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he resigned his commission in June 1861, left California, and entered the Confederate service. He was appointed as a major of engineers. He soon became chief engineer on the staff of General A. S. Johnston as a lieutenant colonel. Gilmer was severely wounded in his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh, where Johnston was killed. After his recovery in Georgia, Gilmer was promoted to chief engineer of the Department of Northern Virginia in early August 1862. He was stationed at Richmond with the rank of brigadier general.

File:Jeremy Francis Gilmer.jpg

Gilmer, Chief of the Confederate Engineering Bureau

In 1863, he was promoted to major general and appointed Chief of the Engineer Bureau for the Confederacy. He spent time overseeing the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, although he was still plagued by recurring health problems from his Shiloh wound. Concerned that the vital rail and manufacturing center of Atlanta would be targeted by Union forces, he commissioned Atlanta businessman and entrepreneur Lemuel P. Grant to develop a plan to ring the city with forts and earthworks along all the key approaches. These elaborate defenses would prove difficult to seize in frontal assaults, forcing the Union army to lay siege to Atlanta in the summer of 1864.

Gilmer helped improve the defenses of Mobile, Alabama, in June and July. He returned to Richmond late in 1864 and spent the rest of the war there in the Engineer Bureau.

Post-War career[edit | edit source]

After the war, from 1867–1883 Gilmer was president and engineer of the Savannah Gas Company. He was also a director of the Georgia Central Railroad.

Death[edit | edit source]

Jeremy F. Gilmer died from heart disease in Savannah, Georgia, and is buried in the city's Laurel Grove Cemetery.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

de:Jeremy Francis Gilmer

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