Water Resources PeopIe and Issues
Q: When you came to these Corps offices you came as a representative of the
Mississippi Valley Committee presumably?
Q: What kind of reception did the Corps give you? Do you recall?
A: Yes. There was a cordial reception for two reasons. One was that the Chief
of Engineers, General Markham, was a member of the Mississippi Valley
Committee. Markham attended some of the meetings, but Colonel Glen
Edgerton represented him at most of them. Edgerton was a very intelligent,
thoughtful representative of the Corps who had the respect of everybody on
the committee and who must have had the respect of the people in the Corps
because when the word went out that we wanted something, it was always
provided. The response was friendly.
The other reason was that here was a group trying to put together much of the
work on which people in the Corps had been laboring for a long time. In a
number of cases, people for the Corps served short times as assigned staff to
the Mississippi Valley work. I remember one person was Cone from the
Southwest area, who had been mainly responsible for the 308 reports on the
Arkansas, Red, and White rivers. He came in and was useful. At that stage,
the Corps personnel regarded this as an opportunity to get their experience
and judgment presented in a larger context. All was not promising. I recall
one interview with a team working on the New Madrid floodway. After the
members had presented their report, one asked Woodward what he thought
they needed. He replied dryly, "An historian. "
Q: Did you get to meet Harley Ferguson, who was the president of the
Mississippi River Commission at that time and the Division Engineer down
A: Yes. I met him. He was a fine person. I didn't have very direct dealings
with him. I spent much more time with Gerard Mathes, for example.
Q: The Senior Engineer?