Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Engineering a City

Even though a Pennsylvania native, Alexander Hays lived in the City of Allegheny for less than a decade but for that time he was the city's chief engineer and bore responsibility for a number of projects. When the Civil War came, he returned to the military (he had served in the Mexican-American War), leading a charge at the Second Battle of Bull Run and a noted counterattack at Gettysburg. He was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia and was buried with honors in Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville.

General Hays was widely regarded as a hero by the residents of the City of Allegheny (annexed by the city of Pittsburgh in 1907).When Ulysses S. Grant was campaigning for the presidency, he stopped by the gravesite of his US Military Academy friend and openly wept.

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