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Introduction

Col. William A. Mitchell The 2nd Regiment of Engineers has a record of which any regiment may be justly proud. It was part of the 2nd Division and participated in every battle of that division during its stay in the A. E. F. It shared in the work and glory of that division during that period, and it may be remarked, in passing, that the 2nd Division lost more men, gained more ground against enemy resistance, captured more guns and prisoners, and won more medals, than any other American Division.

In addition to participating in every engagement of the 2nd Division, the 2nd Engineers was attached to the 36th Division for 18 days while the 2nd Division was recuperating, and it thus fought through a short campaign with the 36th Division.

Not only did the 2nd Engineers show unusual ability as engineers, but it was several times used in emergency as infantry and always acquitted itself with credit. At Chateau Thierry, every company fought as infantry; at Soissons, every company was on the front line, and fought as infantry; at Saint Mihiel half of the companies accompanied the tanks, or went over the top with the front line as wire cutters; at Blanc Mont, every company was thrown into the front line to hold and to advance; at Attigny, two platoons went ahead of the front line as wire cutters; and in the Argonne, half of the companies were with the infantry under direct fire for a greater or less time as was necessary.

This regiment experienced severe losses, as was to be expected. Proportionally, its loss was greater than that of any other engineer or artillery regiment, greater than that of more than half of the infantry regiments in the thirty combat divisions, and about two-fifths of that of the most severely handled infantry regiment. Actually, its loss in men was greater than the loss of three of the thirty combat divisions. Its total replacements for all purposes amounted to 191% before it reached the Rhine.

The morale of the regiment was always very high. It never failed; it never caused a serious delay because of poor roads; it never failed to have its bridges ready when needed; it never lost an inch of ground to the enemy; and, remarkable even for engineers, it never failed to have every squad arrive at the proper place, no matter how dark the night or how poor the trail.

☆ Col. W. A. Mitchell.

 
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2nd Division 2nd Division "To be able to say when this war is finished, I belonged to the SECOND DIVISION, I fought with it at the battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, will be the highest honor that can come to any man."
— JOHN A. LEJEUNE, Major General, U.S.M.C. ☆
 
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