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The History of the North Pacific Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1888 to 1965

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The Secretary of War, on November 8, 1888, issued his General Order No. 93. This order authorized the Chief of Engineers, Brigadier General T. L. Casey, to assign as many officers not below the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as might be needed as Division Engineers. By terms of the order, these Division Engineers were to exercise care and oversight over the engineering works of officers within their divisions inspect the work at least once a year counsel and advise, and in case of emergency, direct the district officer in matters pertaining to the engineering work in his charge. In the performance of these duties, each Division Engineer was to be allowed a clerk. No other staff was authorized. In December of that year, the Chief of Engineers established five divisions -- Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest and Pacific. The North Pacific Division was to be established in 1901. District Engineers were to report to the Chief of Engineers through the five divisions named. Thus, decentralization of authority within the Corps became a fact - has remained so as a matter of policy throughout the years - a policy that has contributed as much, or more, than any other to the efficiency. stability and outstanding performance of the Corps. One engineer - one clerk - truly a small staff compared to existing division organizations. In the absence of staff, little could be or was done at the division level in the way of staff review and supervision - but in the early days there was really little to do. In those days of the mini-bureaucracy, division executive and administrative duties were few. Division Engineers could, and did, devote themselves to engineering, in itself. It was not uncommon for a Division Engineer personally to write a technical report, review a design analysis, or draft a specification. Frequently, these officers served in a dual capacity - both as Division and as District Engineer.

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  • Civil Engineering
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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