Summary Of US History: The Formative Period

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US History: The Formative Period 2 December 2008 On May 13, 1846, President James K. Polk declared war with our neighbors to the south, Mexico. To help with this war a bill was passed that created an engineer company with 100 men to become part of the army. These men would be trained at West Point. While at West Point, they would be taught how to build roads, bridges, batteries, and camps among other things. Alexander Swift, Gustavas Smith, and George McClellan led this company, known as Company A. Swift was made captain while Smith and McClellan were made lieutenant and junior lieutenant. On September 26, 1846, the company departed for Mexico to meet with General Zachary Taylor. Whilst in Mexico, Captain Swift became ill and had to stay behind. Due to Swifts illness, Lieutenant Smith took over the company, and led them from Matamoros to Victoria. Along the way Company A supervised the building of roads and bridges that would help baggage trains reach Victoria. The company reached Victoria in January 1847 with less then half of its original number of soldiers. General Taylor then assigned the company to General David Twigg’s division in Tampico. After arriving in Tampico they traveled to Vera Cruz where the company met up with Captain Swift, who was still very sick. Captain Swift passed away in New…show more content…
This battle was different for Company A then others were. In this battle the engineers had to fight along side the others. Under the command of Colonel Harney, the men forced the Mexicans to retreat. After Cerro Gordo the men marched on to Puebla. From Puebla they continued on to the valley of Mexico. On the way to the valley of Mexico the army ran into considerable amounts of trouble with the roads. The engineer company, with the assistance of 500 men, was instructed to make the roads more passable for wagons and artillery. Within hours the wagons and artillery were able to get
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