The 1st Battalion of Engineers was organized from Companies A, B and E, Battalion of Engineers on May 16, 1901. On May 31 the designation of Company “E” Battalion of Engineers, was changed to Company “C” 1st Battalion of Engineers. Company D organized on June 7, 1901 by the transfer of 1 sergeant; 4 corporals; and 6 first-class privates from Company A, 5 corporals and 7 first-class privates from Company B, and 4 corporals and 7 first-class privates from Company C.
Headquarters and Companies A, B, C, and D of the 1st Battalion of Engineers became Headquarters and Companies A, B, E, D of the 1st Regiment of Engineers, respectively. Company C First Regiment was formed by transfers from Companies A and B of the former 1st Battalion of Engineers and Company F was formed by transfers from Companies C and D of the former 1st Battalion of Engineers. The 1st Engineer Regiment was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and fought as part of the "Big Red One" and participated in the Lorraine and Meuse-Argonne campaigns of WW 1. On May 23, 1922, the First Engineer Regiment less Companies A, B, and D left Camp Dix, NJ en route to Fort Du Pont, DE and was in station at Fort Du Pont, DE on May 28, 1922. Company A was in station at Fort Jay, NY. Company D returned from Coblens, Germany and was in station at Fort Jay, NY on May 31, 1922 and then was in station at Fort Du Pont, DE on June 6, 1922. Company B was in station at Fort Mott, NJ on May 23, 1922. Company B was in station at Fort Du Pont, DE on October 29, 1929 and was made inactive on October 31. Company F was made inactive at Fort Du Pont May 1, 1930. Company A joined the Nicaraguan Survey Battalion on October 15, 1929 to survey a proposed canal route through the unmapped areas of Nicaragua. Company A returned from serving with Survey Battalion and was first in station at Fort Du Pont, DE on July 29, 1931.
Prior to the start of World War II, the 1st Engineer Regiment was reorganized as the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion and again assigned to fight as part of the 1st Infantry Division. The 1st Engineer Battalion is the oldest and most decorated engineer battalion in the United States Army. During its long history, the battalion has received 62 decorations and campaign streamers and eight foreign awards.
Fort Du Pont is located along the Delaware River and the original Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. In 1863 it was named Camp Reynolds for General John Fulton Reynolds, a Union officer from Pennsylvania who was killed at Gettysburg. It was formally commissioned as Fort Du Pont in 1899 to honor Delaware Civil War naval hero Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont.
The Fort Du Pont location was used by the military from before the Civil War and until it’s decommissioning on December 31, 1945. During the War of 1812 cannons were mounted on its shore to defend the Delaware River against the British.
Local residents remember training exercises where the Ft Du Pont 1st Engineer units competed by building pontoon bridges across the original Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.
Ulysses Simpson Grant III, the grandson of President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant, commanded the 1st Engineer Regiment at Fort DuPont, DE from 1934 to 1936. He was a full colonel by that time.
First Battalion of Engineers
First Regiment of Engineers
First Engineer Combat Battalion
Fort Du Pont, Delaware