Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Stephen

Last Name: Long

Birthplace: Hopkinton, NH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Harriman

Date of Birth: 30 December 1784

Date of Death: 04 September 1864

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Stephen Harriman Long


Stephen Harriman Long
Colonel, U.S. Army

Stephen Harriman Long was born on 30 December 1784 in Hopkinton, NH, the son of Moses and Lucy Harriman Long. He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1809 and an A.M. from Dartmouth in 1812. In 1814, he was commissioned a Lieutenant of Engineers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Upon the reorganization of the Army in 1816, he was appointed a Major on 16 April and assigned to the Southern Division under Major General Andrew Jackson as a Topographical Engineer.

In 1817, Major Long headed a military excursion up the Mississippi River to the Falls of St. Anthony near the confluence with the Minnesota River. As a result of his recommendations, the Army established Fort Snelling to guard against Indian incursions against settlers in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Long recorded his experiences of the expedition in Voyage in a Six-oared Skiff to the Falls of St. Anthony, in 1860.

In March 1819, he married Martha Hodgkins of Philadelphia, PA. Soon afterwards he led the scientific contingent of the 1819 Yellowstone Expedition to explore the Missouri River. In 1820 he was appointed to lead an alternative expedition through the American West, exploring areas acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. The specific purpose of the voyage was to find the sources of the Platte, Arkansas, and Red Rivers.

Later, in 1823 he led additional military expeditions into the U.S. borderlands with Canada, exploring the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Minnesota River, the Red River of the North and across the southern part of Canada. During this time, he determined the northern boundary at the 49th parallel at Pembina.

Following his official military expeditions, Major Long spent several years on detached duty as a consulting engineer with various railroads. Initially he helped to survey and build the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1826, he received his first patent for his work on railroad steam locomotives. Long received many more patents for locomotive design and worked with other Army engineers in planning and building the railroad.

In 1832, along with William Norris and several other business partners, he formed the American Steam Carriage Company. The business was dissolved in 1834 due to the difficulties in placing Long's locomotive designs into production.

Colonel Long received a leave of absence to work on the newly incorporated Western & Atlantic Railroad in Georgia. His yearly salary was established at $5,000, the contract was signed 12 May 1837 and he served as the Chief Engineer for the W&A until 3 November 1840. He arrived in north Georgia in late May and his surveying began in July. By November he had submitted an initial report which the construction followed almost exactly.

In 1838 he was appointed to a position in the newly-separated U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers. Like most of their officers, Major Long remained loyal to the Federal government during the Civil War, and he became Colonel of the Corps in 1861 until its merger back into the U.S. Corps of Engineers in 1863. He died in Alton, IL, in 1864.

Death and Burial

Colonel Stephen Harriman Long died on 4 September 1864 in Alton, IL. He is buried at Alton Cemetery in Alton.

Honoree ID: 2780   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image