JJCLUB-2016B Engineer Ken Dunne, The Raid On St. Francis, 1759
A military engineer’s position in the 18th century can be reduced down to two things, building and destroying forts. An engineer in the 18th century were mainly classically trained military engineers. They constructed forts, and if attacking forts, their job was to determine the most effective method of destroying the fort.
They were also architects, since an engineer also designed the buildings inside the fort.
There were three basic levels of engineers ? the lowest level built houses and such mundane buildings, then the military engineer who built forts, and the top level, the castle builders. None of these engineers really had the social position we associate with engineers today. Today, an engineer holds an elevated and respected position in society. In the 18th century there was a real prejudice against men who worked with their hands rather than their minds. A Gentleman would not condescend to do that. People of the middle or lower class who labored were hired for these positions. An engineer in the 18th Century would rank somewhere around a master stone mason or a master carver.