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Major General C. Ernest Edgar III papers

Identifier: MS-0537
The papers span the military and civilian careers of General Edgar. Included are files that document every significant Corps of Engineers assignment, arranged chronologically. Included is information about his service overseas at Heilbronn, Germany with the 237th Engineer Battalion (1958-1961); Vietnam War assignments (U. S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, 1965-66; and as CO 577th Engineer Battalion Construction , 1969-1970; Commander and District Engineer, Little Rock District (1975-1978) and other stateside assignments.

The papers also include material relating to Edgar's post-Army career as an executive and consultant; involvement with non-profit and civic organizations; and subject files documenting his long relationship with the Virginia Military Institute, including his service as Commandant of Cadets and on the Board of the VMI Research Laboratories.

Types of records include correspondence, memoranda, military orders and citations, project files, photographs and slides, and printed material.


  • 1956 - 2010


Conditions Governing Access

The bulk of the collection has no restrictions. However, some specific files are confidential.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


5.5 cubic feet (5 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Major General C. Ernest Edgar III served over thirty-four years in active military service following his commissioning in June 1958 as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. Prior to his retirement on 1 October 1992, he served at every level of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from the individual project to the USACE's worldwide military and civil works programs, culminating in his service first as Deputy Commanding General/Deputy Chief of Engineers and then as Commanding General and Acting Chief of Engineers, Washington, DC. In that capacity, General Edgar was also the senior staff engineer for the Army, supervising the Army's worldwide facilities, engineering and environmental activities, and providing advice on combat and topographic engineering.

Prior to his final assignment, General Edgar served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Mobilization Planning Requirements). Previously, he was the Commanding General of the Corps' South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, Georgia, with responsibilities extending halfway around the world, including eight southeastern states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa. General Edgar's other command assignments include Commander and Division Engineer, New England Division, Waltham, MA; Commandant of Cadets and Professor of Military Science, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA; Commander and District Engineer, Little Rock District, Little Rock, AR; Commander, 577th Engineer Battalion (Construction), Vietnam; Company Commander, 237th Engineer Battalion (Combat), Germany. Other staff assignments have included service as Deputy Director and Acting Director of Civil Works, Headquarters, USACE; and as a Staff Officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of Military Operations and in the Office of Personnel Operations, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, among others.

Following his retirement from the Army, General Edgar worked as an executive for several engineering firms, as a consultant, and on the boards of various non-profit organizations.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of C. Ernest Edgar III, 2017-2018

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450