JOHN JAMES ABERT - (1788-1863) - Army Engineer, born Sheperdstown, Va. Graduated at West Point (1811), was employed by War Dept. in Washington, resigning his commission (1813) to practice law. Served as private in the militia (1813), taking part in battle of Bladensburg, Md. Reappointed as major (1814), assisted in geodetic survey of Atlantic coast (1816). Later became chief of corps of topographical engineers (1838-61), and was instrumental in founding the national institute of science, later known as the Smithsonian Institute.