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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 d
September 7th (search for this): chapter 1
ir 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,
September 1st (search for this): chapter 1
ter written in the course of the summer to his brother, Dr. McClellan, with whom his relations have always been of the most affectionate and confidential nature, he says, I am kept busy from eight in the morning till dinner-time. After dinner, I have to study sapping and mining until the afternoon drill, after which I go to parade. After tea, we (Captains Swift, Smith, and myself) generally have a consultation. Then I go to tattoo. The amount of it is that we have to organize by the 1st of September the first corps of engineer troops that have ever been in the country. The men are perfectly raw, so that we have to drill them; and we are now (to-day) commencing the practical operations to prepare us for the field. Smith and I have been in the woods nearly all the morning, with the men, cutting wood for fascines, gabions, &c. We have now fifty men, and fine men they are too. I am perfectly delighted with my duties. Lieutenant McClellan sailed with his company, seventy-one strong
ia 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 mieutenant 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-ias made of the defences of San 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 Contrerathe 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 bat
Stonewall (search for this): chapter 1
as. 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 round shot. Still later, while 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
August 7th (search for this): chapter 1
ow only that 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 service have been profited of, by the sergeants and rank and file, as well as by the commissioned officers, to display the highest qualities as soldiers, demonstrating, at the same time, the great advantage to armies, however engaged in the field, of possessing troops well grounded in the peculiar exercises of engineer soldiers. On the 7th of August the American army, numbering not quite eleven thousand men, began their march from Puebla, starting upon an enterprise which would have been pronounced extremely rash had it not been crowned with success, but which, having been successful, ranks among the most daring and brilliant in the annals of war. A mere handful of men, volunteers and regulars, undertook to capture a city of nearly two hundred thousand inhabitants, strong in its natural defences, and protected by numerous works, con
Winfield Scott (search for this): chapter 1
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 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'ulloa were surrendered to the American forces on the 29th day of March, 1847, the articles of capitulation having been signed two days before. On the 8th of April, the army, with the exception of a regiment of infantry left behind to serve as a garrison, began its march into the interior, numbering in all about eight thousand five hundred men. They were soon made to feel that their
August 19th (search for this): chapter 1
orth'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 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 round shot. Still later, while 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
August 20th (search for this): chapter 1
ar 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 the bayonet by the left wing of the American army, under the command of General P. F. Smith. This was the battle of Contreras, of which General Scott 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 til
March 9th (search for this): chapter 1
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 the first troops which were disembarked, and immediately began to take an active part in all the operations 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 company of sappers and miners, encountered great difficul
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