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Resaca De la Palma (search for this): chapter 1
sons, he has preserved uninterrupted good health. He could to-day discharge with ease the duties of a common soldier in any arm of the service; and in the shock of encountering steel, few men would be more formidable, whether on horseback or on foot. At the close of his student-life, a new impulse had been given to the military spirit of the country, and of the army especially, by the breaking out, a few weeks previously, of the Mexican War. The brilliant victories of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma (May 8 and 9, 1846), gained against immense odds, had shed new lustre upon American arms, and opened to the officers of the army the prospect of a more congenial and animating employment than the dreary monotony of a frontier post or a harbor fort. McClellan went at once into active service as brevet second lieutenant of engineers, and was assigned to duty as junior lieutenant of a company of sappers and miners Sappers and miners form a part of the Corps of Engineers. They are emp
s 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 of General Worth's division in one of
rigade 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. General Twiggs says, Lieutenant G. B. McClellan, after Lieutenant Callender was wounded, took charge of and managed the howitzer battery (Lieutenant Reno being detached with the rockets) with judgment and success, until it became so disabled as to require shelter. For Lieutenant McClellan's efficiency and gallantry in this affair, I present his name for the favorable consideration of the general-in-chief. And again, To Lieutenant G. W. Smith, of the engineers, who commanded the company of sappers and miners, I am under many obligations for his services on this and many other occasions. Whenever his legitimate duties with the pick and
George B. McClellan (search for this): chapter 1
Chapter 1: Birth and parentage early education West Point enters the army services in the Mexican War The name of McClellan, common in many parts of the United States, is borne by the 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,
ve victory — 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 a
dinate officers and the splendid courage of the men. The company of sappers and miners had reached the place on the day before the battle, and shared in the dangers and honors of the field. Lieutenant McClellan, with ten of his men, was with General Pillow's brigade on the left, with directions to clear away the obstacles in front of the assaulting columns. This was a service of no common danger, as the heavy and well-served Mexican batteries in front swept the space before them with a most destructive fire, under which Pillow's command, mostly composed of volunteers, reeled and fell into confusion. General Pillow, in his official report to the commander-in-chief, says, Lieutenants Tower and McClellan, of the Corps of Engineers, displayed great zeal and activity in the discharge of their duties in connection with my command. After the battle of Cerro Gordo, Lieutenant McClellan accompanied the advance corps under General Worth on the march to Puebla, passing through Jalapa and Pe
October 11th (search for this): chapter 1
r 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 somewhat later period:-- The law adding the company of sappers, miners, and pontonniers (otherwise called engineer soldiers) to the Corps of Engineers, was passed on the 15th of May, 1846. On the 11th of October following, this company, seventy-two strong, landed at Brazos Santiago; having in the interim been enlisted by great exertions on the part of several engineer officers, and been organized and drilled by Captain A. J. Swift and Lieutenants G. W. Smith and McClellan, of the Corps of Engineers. The captain being disabled by sickness at Matamoras, Lieutenant Smith led the company, as part of Major-General Patterson's division, in the march from that place to Tampico,--a march in which the
ulers who were at once honest and able. Had the Mexican officers been men and soldiers like our own, history might have had a different record to make upon the event of the Mexican War. Lieutenant McClellan's company of sappers and miners was attached to the second division of regulars, under command of General Twiggs, which formed the advance of the army. Soon after leaving Puebla, they were joined by General Scott, the commander-in-chief. Our troops entered the Valley of Mexico on the 10th, and General Scott fixed his Headquarters for the time at Ayotla, a village on the northeastern edge of the Lake of Chalco, about nine miles east of the fortified position of El Peñon, which was carefully reconnoitred on the 12th and its great strength fully discovered. On the next day, another reconnoissance was pushed upon the route by Mexicalcingo. This was pronounced by General Scott, the most daring reconnoissance of the whole war, as the small corps of observation was obliged to pass
ne 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 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 Pennsylva
emoir 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 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 Un
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