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Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ly, 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 ph 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
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ation 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 tnt, under charge of Captain A. J. Swift. The first lieutenant was G. W. Smith, now a general in the service of the Confederate States. Captain Swift had studied the subject in Europe; and he instructed his lieutenants, and the latter drilled and exe Vera Cruz, March 28, 1847. Sir:--Before leaving camp with the despatches in which you inform the President of the United States of the brilliant success which has attended your attack upon this city and the Castle of San Juan d'ulloa, I seize a
Palo Alto (California, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
and at sickly seasons, 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 Engin
San Antonio (Texas, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
artillery, from El Peñon and Mexicalcingo, where he had been expecting the first shock of battle, and, establishing his Headquarters at the hacienda (hamlet) of San Antonio, began to labor upon the lines of defence in that vicinity. On the morning of the 18th, General Worth's division was moved forward a couple of miles on the causeway leading from San Augustin to San Antonio, and took up its position in front of the latter place, the men encamping on both sides of the road. Here a careful reconnoissance was made of the defences of San Antonio, in which Lieutenant McClellan took part. His company was then transferred to General Twiggs's division, and moSan Antonio, in which Lieutenant McClellan took part. His company was then transferred to General Twiggs's division, and moved at its head, across the Pedregal, to Contreras. During the first day of the battle of Contreras (August 19), Lieutenant McClellan, while reconnoitring, ran into a Mexican regiment, and had his horse shot under him by a musket-ball. On the same day, while posting Magruder's battery, he had another horse killed under him by a r
San Geronimo (New Mexico, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
in temporary command of a section of the same battery whose officer had been mortally wounded, he was knocked down by a grape-shot which struck plump upon the hilt of his sword. Stonewall Jackson, who belonged to Magruder's battery, relieved Lieutenant McClellan from command of the section, and the latter then took charge for some time of a battery of mountain-howitzers whose officer had been wounded, and, after a day of severe toil and great exposure, rejoined his company, which was at San Geronimo, a small village on the western edge of the Pedregal, The Pedregal is a field of broken lava, about nine miles south of Mexico, nearly circular in form, and about two miles in diameter, entirely impracticable for cavalry or artillery except by a single mule-path, and only practicable for infantry at a few points. a little north of Contreras. At a very early hour the next morning (August 20) the intrenched camp of General Valencia at Padierna was stormed and carried at the point of
San Augustin (New Mexico, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
determined to march round the southern shore of Lake Chalco and attack the city on the south and west, the company of sappers and miners was transferred to General Worth's division, which now took the lead, and the company moved at its head to San Augustin, occasionally repairing the roads as far as was practicable. As soon as General Santa Anna learned this movement of the American forces, he withdrew the greater portion of his troops, with several pieces of artillery, from El Peñon and Mexicashing his Headquarters at the hacienda (hamlet) of San Antonio, began to labor upon the lines of defence in that vicinity. On the morning of the 18th, General Worth's division was moved forward a couple of miles on the causeway leading from San Augustin to San Antonio, and took up its position in front of the latter place, the men encamping on both sides of the road. Here a careful reconnoissance was made of the defences of San Antonio, in which Lieutenant McClellan took part. His company w
eens against an enemy's fire; that fascines are bundles of twigs, fagots, and branches of trees which are used to fill up ditches, form parapets, &c.; and that pontoons are a kind of flat-bottomed boat carried along with an army for the purpose of making temporary bridges. then in the course of organization at West Point, under charge of Captain A. J. Swift. The first lieutenant was G. W. Smith, now a general in the service of the Confederate States. Captain Swift had studied the subject in Europe; and he instructed his lieutenants, and the latter drilled and exercised the men. The summer was spent in training the company, and in preparing their equipments and implements. It was a branch of service till that time unknown in our country, as since the peace of 1815 our army had had no practical taste of war, except in an occasional brush with the Indians, where the resources of scientific warfare were not called into play. The duties in which Lieutenant McClellan now found himself e
Mexico (Mexico, Mexico) (search for this): chapter 1
. Major-General W. Scott, Commanding the Army of the United States, Mexico, The city of Vera Cruz and Castle of San Juan d'ulloa were surrnd that due preparations might be made for a march upon the city of Mexico. And here seems a fitting place to introduce that portion of the ot it has been on the march with General Scott's army to the city of Mexico. I will venture to say, however, that the opportunities of that sestrength of the defences at El Peñon, the project of advancing upon Mexico by the great road from Puebla, and assaulting it upon the eastern s The Pedregal is a field of broken lava, about nine miles south of Mexico, nearly circular in form, and about two miles in diameter, entirelyt difficult and dangerous movements of the assault upon the city of Mexico,--the attack of the San Cosme garita, or gate. Of the nature of th 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
Tampico (Tamaulipas, Mexico) (search for this): chapter 1
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 marcTampico 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 excellent service, and were assisted by men detailed from other corps, for that purpose, from time to time. The company arrived at Tampico in the latter part of January, and remained there about a month, and then sailed for Vera Cruz. They landed, March 9, with amoras, 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 services of the company, constantly in advance and engaged in removing impediments and making the
Chapultepec (Baja Caifornia Norte, Mexico) (search for this): chapter 1
l 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 the most difficult and dangerous movements of the assault upon the city of Mexico,--the attack of the San Cosme garita, or gate. Of the nature of the important services performed by the company and its officers at this point, and also after the capture of the city, a correct notion may be formed from the statement contained in the report of Major J. L.
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