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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

McClellans Crimean Report II

From The Mexican War Diary of General George B. McClellan
 George Brinton McClellan and his father Dr. George McClellan in 1846 shortly before leaving for Texas. The "girl" is his brother Arthur McClellan (1839-1904).

A little background on the young George McClellan before we go to the meat of his report . . .

"Before George B. McClellan enrolled at West Point, he was fluent in French and Latin. He was 15 when he arrived at the USMA. He graduated second in the class of 1846 and became a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He joined a newly formed company of sappers and miners at West Point that soon deployed to Brazos Santiago, Texas near the mouth of the Rio Grande. In January 1847, his company led a column on a 400 mile march from Matamoras to Tampico where they joined General winfield Scott's invasion force.

. . .

"Brevet Second Lieutenant McClellan was with one of the first groups ashore at Vera Cruz, Mexico. Although he was the most junior engineer officer at the siege of Vera Cruz, he soon earned a reputation as a fire eater and would frequently be found in the thick of the action.

 . . .

"After eight month‘s occupation duty in Mexico City, McClellan and his company returned to West Point. He continued to serve with his company while performing additional duties as Assistant Professor of Engineering. While at West Point, McClellan translated a French manual on bayonet combat and taught it to his company. The US Army adopted his translation as a manual in 1852.
In 1851, McClellan became the assistant engineer in the construction of Fort Delaware. During this time, he also taught himself German. In 1852, he joined an expedition to explore the Red River and Palo Duro Canyon in Texas. He became the chief engineer in the Department of Texas and surveyed the rivers and harbors of the Texas coastline. In 1853, he conducted an independent survey of the Washington Territory coastal area through the Cascade Mountains. In 1854, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis hand picked now Regular Army First Lieutenant McClellan for a secret mission that surveyed the Dominican Republic‘s harbors for a suitable American naval port. After successful completion of this mission, McClellan did a survey of the nation‘s railroads for Davis. Davis had convinced Congress to create two new infantry and cavalry regiments. McClellan applied for a captaincy in the cavalry and was accepted. A few days after his selection, he was summoned to Washington to serve on the Delafield Commission.

-The Delafield Commission: Forerunner of the FAO Program
By LTC Lester W. Grau, Army, 48E (Retired)

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