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warlike operations then in progress, to examine the military systems of the great Powers of Europe, and to report such plans and suggestions for improving the organization and discipline of our own army as they might derive from such observation.
The officers selected for this trust were Major — now Colonel — Delafield, of the Engineers, Major Mordecai, of the Ordnance, and Captain McClellan.
The last was by some years the youngest of the three, Colonel Delafield having been graduated at West Point in 1818, and Major Mordecai in 1823.
The selection of so young a man for such a trust is a proof of the high reputation he had made for himself in the judgment of those by whom the choice was made; and it may be here mentioned that he was in the first instance designated for the commission by President Pierce himself, who had had an opportunity in the Mexican War to observe what manner of soldier and man ho was. Of the three officers, he, too, was the only one who had seen actual service