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September 14th, 1847 AD (search for this): chapter 1
re was continuous fighting until the Americans drove out the occupants. It was Lieutenant McClellan's duty — or at least he considered it to be so — to pass first into the opening. In one instance, where it was necessary to cross a vacant space between two houses which did not join, he nearly lost his life by falling into a ditch of stagnant water. The party at length forced their way through the houses till they reached those which overlooked the battery, and where they could fire upon the Mexicans who manned the guns. These having been shot or driven away, the Americans descended from the houses, took the guns, and turned them on the gate, which was forced, and the city entered. On the 14th day of September, 1847, General Scott, with six thousand five hundred men, the whole of his effective army remaining in the field, entered and took possession of the city of Mexico. With the exception of a few slight skirmishes, this was the close of the war in that part of the country
, attached to the staff of General Wright. The first school to which George was sent was kept by Mr. Sears Cook Walker, a graduate of Harvard College in 1825, and a man of distinguished scientific merit, who died in January, 1853. He remained four years under Mr. Walker's charge, and from him was transferred to a German teacher, named Schipper, under whom he began the study of Greek and Latin. He next went to the preparatory school of the University of Pennsylvania, which was kept by Dr. Crawford, and in 1840 entered the University itself, where he remained two years. He was a good scholar, and held a high rank in his class, both at school and in college; but he was not a brilliant or precocious lad. His taste was for solid studies: he made steady but not very rapid progress in every thing he undertook, but he had not the qualities of mind that make the show-boy of a school. In June, 1842, he entered the Military Academy at West Point, being then fifteen years and six months ol
George McClellan (search for this): chapter 1
e descendants of a Scotch family, the head of which was Lord Kirkcudbright. The last nobleman of this name died April 19, 1832, when the title became extinct. Three brothers of the name emigrated to America about the middle of the last century. One went to Maine, one to Pennsylvania, and one to Connecticut: from the last of these the subject of this memoir is descended. George Brinton McClellan was born in Philadelphia, December 3, 1826. He was the third child and second son of Dr. George McClellan, a distinguished physician, a graduate of Yale College, and the founder of Jefferson College, who died in May, 1846. His mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Brinton, is still living. The eldest son, Dr. J. H. B. McClellan, is a physician in Philadelphia; and the youngest, Arthur, is a captain in the army, attached to the staff of General Wright. The first school to which George was sent was kept by Mr. Sears Cook Walker, a graduate of Harvard College in 1825, and a man of dis
rk, early in September, 1846, for Brazos Santiago, and arrived there immediately after the battle of Monterey. They then moved to Camargo, where they remained for some time. Thence they were transferred to Matamoras in November, and from this point started on their march to Victoria, under the orders of General Patterson. Before leaving Matamoras, Captain Swift was taken ill, and the company was left under command of Lieutenant Smith. At Victoria the company joined the forces under General Taylor, and were assigned to the division of regulars under command of General Twiggs, with whom, in January, 1847, they marched to Tampico. The distance from Matamoras to Tampico is about two hundred miles. The intervening country is unfavorable for the march of an army; and every thing necessary for the support of the troops had to be carried with them. The sappers and miners found frequent occasion for the exercise of their skill in making and repairing roads and bridges. They did excelle
Joseph G. Totten (search for this): chapter 1
of the siege. The officers and men did a large part of the reconnoitring necessary to determine the plan of the siege, the officers reporting immediately to Colonel Totten, the chief of engineers, and executing in detail the works subsequently prescribed by orders from Headquarters. The corps of engineers, including the companyoubt the labors of the army would have been materially lessened and the result expedited. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Jos. G. Totten, Colonel and Chief Engineers. Major-General W. Scott, Commanding the Army of the United States, Mexico, The city of Vera Cruz and Castle of San Juan d'ulldue preparations might be made for a march upon the city of Mexico. And here seems a fitting place to introduce that portion of the official annual report of Colonel Totten to the Secretary of War in which he speaks of the services of the company of sappers and miners and their officers, though it was not drawn up until a somewha
J. G. Foster (search for this): chapter 1
ers thus engaged are Major John L. Smith, Captains R. E. Lee and John Sanders, First Lieutenants J. L. Mason, P. G. T. Beauregard, and I. I. Stevens, Second Lieutenants Z. B. Tower and G. W. Smith, Brevet Second Lieutenants G. B. McClellan and J. G. Foster. The obligation lies upon me also to speak of the highly meritorious deportment and valuable services of the sappers and miners attached to the expedition. Strenuous as were their exertions, their number proved to be too few, in comparisond have been of the greatest value. During the siege of Vera Cruz, I was a witness to the great exertions and services of this company, animated by, and emulating, the zeal and devotion of its excellent officers, Lieutenants Smith, McClellan, and Foster. Since the surrender of that place, we have no official accounts giving the particular employments or engagements of the company. We know only that it has been on the march with General Scott's army to the city of Mexico. I will venture to say
Isaac I. Stevens (search for this): chapter 1
ation, it is due to the ability, devotion, and unremitting zeal of these officers. By extraordinary and unsparing efforts, they were enabled, few as they were, to accomplish the work of many; and, so far as the success of your operations before this city depended on labors peculiar to their corps, no words of mine can overrate their services. The officers thus engaged are Major John L. Smith, Captains R. E. Lee and John Sanders, First Lieutenants J. L. Mason, P. G. T. Beauregard, and I. I. Stevens, Second Lieutenants Z. B. Tower and G. W. Smith, Brevet Second Lieutenants G. B. McClellan and J. G. Foster. The obligation lies upon me also to speak of the highly meritorious deportment and valuable services of the sappers and miners attached to the expedition. Strenuous as were their exertions, their number proved to be too few, in comparison with our need of such aid. Had their number been fourfold greater, there is no doubt the labors of the army would have been materially lesse
Thomas Jonathan Jackson (search for this): chapter 1
as well as pleasure to him to find, at the examination in January, 1843, that he was coming out one of the best scholars in the class. The Academy was at that time under the charge of Colonel De Russey. Among his classmates were several persons who have served with distinction in the army of the United States, as well as some whose mistaken sense of duty led them at the breaking out of the civil war into the ranks of the Confederates. Among these latter was that remarkable man, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known by his far-renowned name of Stonewall Jackson, who in his brief military career seems to have combined all the dash and brilliancy of one of Prince Rupert's Cavaliers, with the religious enthusiasm of one of Cromwell's Ironsides. Young McClellan was a little under the prescribed age when he entered the Academy; but his manly character and sound moral instincts were a sufficient protection against the dangers incident to all places of education away from the pupil's
P. G. T. Beauregard (search for this): chapter 1
operations before this city depended on labors peculiar to their corps, no words of mine can overrate their services. The officers thus engaged are Major John L. Smith, Captains R. E. Lee and John Sanders, First Lieutenants J. L. Mason, P. G. T. Beauregard, and I. I. Stevens, Second Lieutenants Z. B. Tower and G. W. Smith, Brevet Second Lieutenants G. B. McClellan and J. G. Foster. The obligation lies upon me also to speak of the highly meritorious deportment and valuable services of the eñon and to leave it for a considerable space in the rear. In both of these reconnoissances Lieutenant McClellan took part; and in one of them he was saved from probable death or captivity at the hands of about a dozen Mexican lancers by Lieutenant Beauregard and three dragoons. When, in consequence of the great strength of the defences at El Peñon, the project of advancing upon Mexico by the great road from Puebla, and assaulting it upon the eastern side, was abandoned, and it was determin
Cadwallader (search for this): chapter 1
taking into view ground, artificial defences, batteries, and the extreme disparity of numbers, without cavalry or artillery on our side — is to be found on record. In this battle Lieutenant McClellan's company of sappers and miners led General Smith's brigade of regulars in its attack on the flank of the enemy, and is thus mentioned in the report already quoted from:--In the mean time, Smith's own brigade, under the temporary command of Major Dimmick, following the movements of Riley and Cadwallader, discovered opposite to and outside of the works a long line of Mexican cavalry, drawn up as a support. Dimmick, having at the head of the brigade the company of sappers and miners under Lieutenant Smith, engineer, who had conducted the march, was ordered by Brigadier-General Smith to form line faced to the enemy, and, in a charge against a flank, routed the cavalry. In the reports of the officers immediately commanding, honorable mention is made of Lieutenant McClellan and his corps.
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