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[27]

General P. F. Smith, in his report, says, “Lieutenant G. W. Smith, in command of the engineer company, and Lieutenant McClellan, his subaltern, distinguished themselves throughout the whole of the three actions. Nothing seemed to them too bold to be undertaken, or too difficult to be executed; and their services as engineers were as valuable as those they rendered in battle at the head of their gallant men.”

General Smith, it will be noticed, speaks of “three actions” in which the officers of the company of sappers and miners distinguished themselves. These include the battle of Churubusco, which was fought on the same day (August 20) with the battle of Contreras, and in which the company took part, both in the preliminary reconnoissances and in the conflict itself.

After the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, hostilities were suspended by an armistice which lasted till September 7. On the 8th the severe and bloody battle of Molino del Rey was fought, at which Lieutenant McClellan was not present. On the 13th the Castle of Chapultepec was taken by assault, in which also he did not take part, but during the night of the 11th, and on the 12th, he built and armed, mostly in open daylight and under a heavy fire, one of the batteries whose well-directed and shattering fire contributed essentially to the success of the day.

Immediately after the fall of Chapultepec, and on the same day, the company of sappers and miners was ordered to the front, and took the lead

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