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In 1846-48, many of the topogs were withdrawn from civil projects to participate in the war with Mexico.
The acquisition of the vast Southwest from Mexico, as a result of the war, and the settlement of the Oregon controversy with Britain, opened up the Far West for further exploration by the topogs and the undertaking of numerous boundary surveys.
During the two decades prior to the 1850s, the topogs had flourished.
Meade were the chief topogs engaged in these duties throughout the 1850s.
With the coming of war, the few civil works under the direction of the topogs were suspended.
In two acts of Congress passed on 3 and 6 August 1861, the Corps of Engineers and the topogs were each authorized an additional 12 officers.
The topogs were also authorized to organize a company of enlisted men.