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    [Mexican War]. George B. McClellan Autograph Manuscript Signed "Geo B McClellan." Seven pages, 7.75" x 9.75", West Point, New York, November 14, 1848, to Captain G. W. Callum, Commanding the Engineer Company. Upon graduation from West Point in 1846 and with a fresh commission in the Corps of Engineers, George McClellan, was dispatched to the Texas coast in preparation for action in the war with Mexico. The newly minted 2nd Lieutenant was quick to meet the challenges presented by a conflict plagued with transportation and supply problems. These hard-learned lessons would serve him well in his future military commands. This extraordinary document is McClellan's own record of the role of the Engineer Company in the Mexican-American War. His account begins on September 24, 1846 when he sailed from New York harbor bound for Brazos de Santiago on the Gulf Coast of Texas. McClellan describes the hardships of the march from Brazos to Victorio, and on to Tampico. He writes: "The discipline spirit & endurance of these men under these trying circumstances fully proved what a comp. of American troops can be made to do." He speaks of the superhuman effort by the Engineer Company during the Siege of Vera Cruz: "Of the services rendered by the Engr. Comp. during the siege of Vera Cruz [sic] - cutting the road for the Corps - the handsome manner in which they supported the officers, & their constant & untiring exertions in doing the work of at least 10 times their number in the trenches it would be useless here to speak - neither at the time, nor since, has the Comp. received in official dispatches or reports the credit it had every right to demand for its conduct during this siege...". McClellan writes of the Battle of Cerro Gordo: "The transportation furnished the Co. was altogether unsuited & insufficient, & nothing but the fact that the eagerness of the men to get up in line for the action made them literally push the wagons up every hill we came to, enabled them to get up in time for the Battle of Cerro Gordo. In this Battle the whole Comp. was present on different points of the field." This important document, a first-hand account of a young 2nd Lieutenant's first military experience, gives insight into the iconic commander he would become during the Civil War. The document remains bright, legible, and with the exception of a short clean, closed tear at the lower right corner of each page, is in fine condition.

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    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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