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
Two generals, not engineers, have stated that the 2nd Engineers was the best regiment they ever saw. Other unprejudiced officers have said the same thing.
A history of the regiment shows practically all uses of engineers which are possible in a modern army.
☆ —W. A. Mitchell.