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Brigadier General Charles Gratiot Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: August 29, 1786 in St. Louis, Missouri
Died: May 18, 1855 in St. Louis, Missouri
Biography | show moreshow less
Charles Gratiot (1786-1855), son and namesake of a successful St Louis merchant, was a member of the 5th graduating class of the US Military Academy (1806). At that time, West Point was the premier engineering college in the United States, and engineering the most promising career track for young officers. Gratiot served as William Henry Harrison's Chief Engineer during the War of 1812, receiving the thanks of Congress for his contribution to the war effort. In 1828, he became the Army's Chief Engineer. Under his leadership, the Army undertook an ambitious program of road, harbor and fortification improvements. In 1838, Gratiot was dismissed by President Van Buren in a financial dispute, having failed to reimburse the US Treasury for unauthorized expenses. Gratiot pursued lengthy litigation against the US, the case reaching the Supreme Court twice, but ultimately lost the case in 1846.

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