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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 141 [01-18-1862]

              [Gunn�s handwriting]
F. Leslie�s Illustrated.     January 18, 1861.

A very cocky little personage.

[newspaper clipping, including engraving of Edward Serrell]
MAJOR EDWARD W. SERRELL, OF THE N. Y. ENGINEERS.�FROM A PHOTOGRAPH IN
THE POSSESSION OF HIS WIFE.

  MAJOR EDWARD W. SERRELL.
THIS eminent engineer was born Nov. 5th,
1828, in the city of New York, where his
father is well known as an engineer and
architect of repute.  In his boyish days
the subject of our present sketch unmis-
takeably marked the bent of his genius.
In his 12th year he entered the Mechanics�
School.  After studying for one or two
terms, his youthful fancy veered towards
a farmer�s life, but, with the usual fickle-
ness of genius, it suddenly turned towards
the sea, and, under the vague inspiration
of becoming a Decatur or a Dacres, he
applied to President Van Buren to carry
out his design; fortunately his mother
overruled him, and he was sent to Pro-
fessor Leggett�s mathematical school.  At
14 he entered upon his career, and for
three years was employed with his elder
brothers in surveying.  He was also em-
ployed in laying out the Atlantic Dock,
Brooklyn, and afterwards was engaged in
New Hampshire on the Northern Rail-
road.  Our space will not allow us to 
detail his various works, till he was ap-
pointed Chief Engineer of the Niagara Sus-
pension Bridge at Lewiston.  He next
superintended the erection of a similar
work at the city of St. John, New Bruns-
wick.  In 1856 he turned his especial at-
tention to building the Hoosic Tunnel
in Massachusetts.  In 1857 the compli-
ment was paid him of being sent for by
the Corporation of Bristol, in England,
to build a bridge over the Avon.  The
military experience of Col. Serrell com-
menced before his 18th year.  At that
time he joined the ranks of the 8th regi-
ment, New York State Militia, rose rapidly
through the different grades until he was
made the engineer officer of Gen. Hall�s
staff, with the rank of Major.
  When the present rebellion broke out,
he offered his services to the Federal
Government, and was appointed Colonel
of Engineers on the 26th July, 1861.  He
is now with his regiment at Port Royal, 
S. C.               
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