Abert, James W.

Born: 1820-11-18 Mount Holly, New Jersey

Died: 1897-08-10 Newport, Kentucky

Son of John J. Abert, chief of the U. S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, James W. Abert graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1838 and then attended West Point. He first served garrison duty in Michigan in 1842 but transferred to the Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1843. He was part of John C. Fremont's third expedition into the Rocky Mountains in 1845 along with William G. Peck. Abert's report from the expedition became one of its most significant results. He served in the Mexican War but missed a large portion due to illness and then surveyed portions of New Mexico with Peck. He made captain in 1856 and traveled to Europe in 1860 to study fortification construction. He served during the Civil War and became a major when the Corps of Topographical Engineers became part of the Corps of Engineers in 1863. Abert was injured due to a fall from his horse and resigned from the service in 1864. Thereafter, he became a merchant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Frederick W. Rathjen, The Texas Panhandle Frontier (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973); William H. Goetzmann, Army Exploration in the American West, 1803-1863 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959).