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[34] he had gained at West Point, and which was still fresh in his mind. The corps of engineers attached to the army was so small that much work was of necessity exacted from each officer, and higher responsibilities were devolved upon the younger men than would have been the case in any European army. Lieutenant McClellan had an unusually large experience both of field-work and in the investment of fortified places. And it is no more than just to him to add that he proved himself equal to every trust laid upon him. His knowledge of his profession was shown to be thorough, exact, and ready, and his coolness and self-possession on “the perilous edge of battle” was like that of the bronzed veteran of a hundred fights. The number of men in our country-indeed, in any country — competent to pass a correct judgment upon military measures and military men, is not large; but upon this select body Lieutenant McClellan had made his mark during the Mexican War, and he was recognized by them as a soldier upon whose courage, ability, and devotion his country might confidently repose in her hour of need.

Lieutenant McClellan remained with his company in the city of Mexico, in the discharge of garrison-duty, till May 28, 1848, when they were marched down to Vera Cruz and embarked for home, arriving at West Point on the 22d of June. After his return he was brevetted first lieutenant for conduct at Contreras, and afterwards captain for conduct at Molino del Rey, which latter honor he declined, as he had not been present in the battle.

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