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Chapter
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
R. E. Lee: A Biography

by Douglas Southall Freeman

published by Charles Scribner's Sons,
New York and London, 1934

The text, and illustrations except as noted, are in the public domain.


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This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Vol. I
p48
Chapter III

First Impressions of West Point

By steamer and stage, Robert Lee journeyed toward West Point in June, 1825. At New York City, which was then a bewildering Babel of at least 200,000 people, Robert doubtless took the Hudson River steamboat. In a few hours he was deposited in a skiff off his landing place, for the vessel disdained to stop at the nascent academy.1 He reported to the superintendent, and then to the adjudant, who assigned him to quarters.

The institution that Robert saw at dawn the next day, as he watched the cadets muster for roll-call, has one of the loveliest sites in America. West Point is situated thirty-seven miles north of New York, on the west bank of the Hudson, at a point where the river bends from east to south. The high hills that close in on the stream are here brought down to a lofty plain, as if some giant had toppled the heights into the river, and then had smoothed out a bit of land in order to give favored mortals a vantage point from which to view the Hudson. At the tip of the point was old Fort Clinton. Above the plain the ramparts of Fort Putnam were already weathering. Beyond them were piled up the wooded hills and the unmarred mountains.

The military academy was then twenty-three years old, though its corps of cadets had been small until 1817, eight years before Robert's arrival. Its buildings, which were few and unimpressive, had been erected to the west of Fort Clinton and not far from the river. The largest structures were two stone dormitories of approximately the same graceless age, set at right angles to each other and known as the North and South Barracks. The North were of four stories, and the South of three, with a most unattractive piazza. West of the South Barracks was the two‑story p49 Academy, or academic building, which made some languid pretenses at architectural dignity. Beyond the Academy was the long mess-hall, also of two stories, a forlorn place, used as a hotel by the mess contractor, William B. Cozzens, who nightly crowded into its ten rooms most of those who came to the Point to visit friends. These buildings were all that were used at that time by the students. To all four of them stucco had been applied with generous hand and with much success in adding to their natural ugliness.

Not far off were the wooden "Long Barracks" put up during the Revolution and formerly occupied by cadets. Overlooking the north crest of the plain was one double stone building, while a solitary brick residence defaced the western side of the plain. The house that had been Washington's headquarters was to the north of the Point, about a quarter of a mile away. To the south, as steep and narrow a path as ever the righteous walked led up from the cottage where Kosciusko had lived. On the east were a howitzer, a couple of mortars and the ten cannon of the academy, two of which had been sent over with the French during the 1770's and bore the somewhat undemocratic inscription, Ultima Ratio Regum. More conspicuous than barracks or battery — a warning to all newcomers that the soldier's life was not one of ease — was the well-trampled field where the cadets did their drilling. Out of bounds were a few houses of unhappy aspect and of reputation not uniformly of the best.2 Chief among them was North's Tavern, at which, as a sorrowing board of visitors not long before had affirmed, the cadets individually were spending an average of $50 per annum. It was all unfamiliar to Robert, and doubtless most impressive, but the landscape could not have seemed altogether alien to him. There was something about it that suggested the upper stretches of the Potomac, near the falls where his luckless father had fashioned in fancy a great metropolis.3

p50 The worst thing at the academy was among the first to which the new cadets were introduced — the food. At seven o'clock they were marched to the mess-hall where they could not fail to get an unpleasant opinion of the hospitality of Mr. Cozzens. One of the boys who was received at the same time with Robert found the diet of indescribable badness. The soup was unpalatable at dinner time, the molasses was inedible, and the pudding was untouchable.4

Not long after his arrival, Robert was summoned before the academic board for his preliminary examination. There at the head of a table, where a number of officers and professors sat in inquisition, he saw at closer range the gentleman to whom he had reported when he reached West Point, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sylvanus Thayer, brevet lieutenant-colonel of engineers and superintendent of the military academy. Then forty years of age, with clean-cut features and the bearing of an aristocrat, Thayer was flawlessly apparelled in uniform, with the white drilling trousers that he never put aside till frost. He was an austere man in his official relations and steadfastly repelled any appeal to sentiment or emotion. An instructor at West Point prior to the War of 1812, he had been an engineer during that struggle. In 1815 he had been sent to Europe to study the allied operations in front of Paris and to report on military schools and works. After two years, he was called to the weak academy at West Point. As superintendent there, he had greatly raised the standards of instruction and had placed the school under a stern and exacting discipline. Robert Lee was to find that while thoughtful people recognized Thayer's service to his country in training young soldiers, the cadets disliked him and accused him of constant espionage. No matter how venal or disreputable the source, Thayer would always give ear to every accusation against any member of the corps.5

Robert's examination was oral and easy,6 and after it had been completed, he and his fellow-newcomers were assigned tents on the plain, Camp Adams, as it was styled in honor of the new p51 President, John Quincy Adams.7 No announcement of the board's decision as to which of the applicants would be admitted to the academy was made until June 28. At 8 P.M. that day, the applicants were ordered to form in front of the barracks. When they were in line and at attention, they were told that an alphabetical list of those who had passed the examination would be read, and that as each man's name was called he was to advance four paces.

Down the roll, through an interminable list of H's" the adjutant went — "Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles W. Hackley, Archibald Hall, James W. Hamilton, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.William Hoffman, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Theophilus H. Holmes, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Chileab S. Howe, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Franklin E. Hunt, Hampton Hunter." Next into the "J's": "Peter Johnson, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Joseph E. Johnston, Fayette Jones."

The "K's" followed:

"John L. Keffer, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Miner Knowlton"

Then — "Robert E. Lee —"

The boy stepped forward four paces, and became Cadet Lee.8

Together with his future room-mates, Lee now proceeded to purchase the Spartan requirements for their joint toilet — a looking-glass, a wash-stand and basin, a pitcher, a tin pail, a broom, and a scrubbing brush.9 He bought, also, a regulation gray uniform, four pair of white trousers, a blue fatigue jacket and trousers, two silk stocks, and that crowning adornment of the cadet, a cap. This was of black leather, bell crowned, seven inches high, with a polished leather visor, a diamond-shaped yellow plate, an eight-inch black plume for dress parade, and, for less formal use, p52 a leather cockade, to say nothing of the eagle and the yellow scales that could be fastened in front or under the chin.10 In procuring this equipment young Lee had his first acquaintance with his account-book, on which all purchases were entered, to be charged against his pay of $16 a month or against his subsistence allowance of $12 a month.11 He needed all his shining new array almost as soon as he got it, for on July 2 there was much pomp and a formal review in honor of Lafayette, who paid the academy a visit.12 Robert doubtless saw the marquis again, but hardly at so close range as when the old veteran had visited Mrs. Lee in Alexandria.

Lee's duties while the corps was under canvas consisted of four hours' drill each day, much of it, at the outset, directed by an upperclassman. In addition, he probably had instruction in the mysteries of the dance, which had become compulsory at West Point for third and fourth classmen.13 There were, however, no classes during July and August, and many of the men who had just completed their second year at the academy were away on leave. It was a period of extreme heat, followed by a long succession of rainy days.14

The boy had ample time to prepare for the work of the coming winter and to learn the "Thou-shalt‑nots" that constituted a large part of life at West Point. No cadet could drink or play cards, or use tobacco, or bring the weed on the grounds or keep it on his person. He might not have in his room any cooking utensils, any games, any novel, any romance or any play. With the consent of the superintendent, he might subscribe to one periodical, but to only one. Too much reading was accounted bad for a soldier: the library was open only two hours a week — on Saturday afternoons. If the cadet possessed any musical instrument, he might not perform on it except during the hour of recreation. Societies and meetings were forbidden without the consent of the superintendent. No visitors might call on Sunday, in study hours, or p53 in the evenings. A cadet was forbidden to go beyond designated limits, or to drop in at North's, or to loiter a bit around the public wharf, or even to bathe in the river without the permission of constituted authority. As for the favorite pranks of academicians, woe to him who slyly dropped a bucket of waste-water on a fellow cadet passing under the window. And a double woe to him who answered for another at roll-call or reviled a sentinel. Any compact on the part of old cadets to haze the "plebes" by refusing to speak to them carried with it the threat of instant dismissal. Fist fights and their far more foolish counterpart, the duello, were forbidden in all forms and in all circumstances. A cadet might not sign any statement regarding any fellow-cadet's behavior or grievance in an affair of honor, and if he heard of any challenge in the making or of any rendezvous with pistols at dawn, he was supposed to report it. And so for a still longer list of things that a gentleman and soldier should not do — if Colonel Thayer knew it.15 If a student were aggrieved, he had an appeal to the superintendent, who was required to investigate forthwith, and if the verdict of the superintendent did not satisfy the complainant, he could formally address the Secretary of War.16 Such were the regulations; the practice fell far short of this stern assumption of the perfectibility of youth. There was drunkenness and fighting and abstention from parade and occasional visits after taps to North's, where supper and strong drink were to be had. Cadets were caught often and not infrequently were court-martialled but were rarely dismissed.17

While in camp that first summer, Robert was directly under the charge of the commandant of cadets, whose rule only Colonel Thayer himself could dispute during the two months when classes were not held.18 The commandant was Major William J. Worth, whom Lee was to know better in the years that lay ahead. Although only thirty-one at that time, Worth had behind him already a record of service in the War of 1812. Tall, handsome, and a splendid horseman, he was physically the ideal soldier. To the irreverent cadets, who admired him but saw his weaknesses p54 with the clear eye of youth, he was known as "Old Hant,"19 perhaps because he "haunted" the barracks at hours when the boys thought he might well have been in his own quarters.

The first-classmen stood only a little lower than the officers themselves in the estimation of a new "plebe" like Lee. The outstanding cadet among the boys who had just become first-classmen was a youth of twenty-two, of superb physique and magnificent head. All his fellow-cadets looked up to him and expected him to become a leader of men. His name was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Albert Sidney Johnston.20 At the head of that class stood Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.William H. C. Bartlett, a mathematician of high promise, already designated as acting assistant professor of mathematics. Midway this new first class stood a lad who was writing a diary every night and was occasionally playing a flute, unaware that he was to make a far louder noise in the world — Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Samuel P. Heintzelman. And near the bottom of the class, was a youngster fated to be remembered whenever the battle of Seven Pines was mentioned — Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Silas Casey.

Of these lordlings of the institution, "Plebe" Lee saw little that first summer. Somewhat less awesome, but still of a dignity not to be presumed upon, were the new second-classmen, most of whom were then absent on summer leave, after two years of hard work. When they returned, Lee discovered that some of them were brilliant students, but that few of them had outstanding soldierly qualities. Among them was a versatile young Virginian named Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Philip Saint George Cooke. He was to become the father of a girl who afterwards married a gay young soldier, then unborn, whose triple initials prompted every one to call him Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class."Jeb" Stuart. Then there was a lad with a great head and luminous eyes, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Leonidas Polk of Louisiana. Close to Polk in the standing of the class was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gabriel J. Rains, who was to develop inventive ability. High on the roll was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Napoleon B. Buford.

The third class, that summer of 1825, consisted of the boys who had just been promoted from the lowly rank of the "plebes" and who, in consequence, like most new gentry, were exceedingly jealous of their prerogatives and scornfully superior to the lads who had come to the academy only the week before. Intellectually, p55 the leader of this class was a lovable, genial youth, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Albert E. Church, by name, who shone in mathematics. The boy who cut the largest and the most tragic figure in life, among all the class of 1828, was a tall youngster of sharp, clean-cut features. It is not known when Lee first saw him, or how he came to hear his name, but it is certain the newcomer learned on August 29 that a military court had been appointed to try Cadet Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jefferson Davis, who was in an exceedingly embarrassed plight. He had gone out of bounds to a place where liquor had been sold — both acts strictly forbidden by the regulations. Not only so, but he had imbibed personally. The evidence was conclusive, and on September 3 the court-martial found him guilty, with a sentence of dismissal. Clemency was recommended, however, in view of Davis's previous good record, and he was allowed to remain at the academy.21

Of Lee's own classmates, the boy destined to be his chief rival for honors was a New Yorker of studious habits and uncommon ability, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles Mason. Another who was to contest academic leadership was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.William H. Harford, a Georgian, keen-minded and diligent. A third boy who displayed promise from the outset was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ormsby MacK. Mitchel, later a famed astronomer. The lad to whom Lee was to be most drawn was Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jack Mackay of Georgia. Next to him, perhaps, was to come Joseph E. Johnston, a Virginian whose father had fought with "Light-Horse Harry" Lee in the Carolinas.22

By the time Lee had become acquainted with the corps and had learned the rudiments of drill, August 27 arrived, the encampment ended and the corps went back to barracks. The cadets had formed four companies while in camp; now they were only two, one in the North Barracks, four men to a room, the other in the South, with three men bunked together.23 Every boy in turn was room-orderly for a week, and if he failed to keep the quarters in condition to pass daily inspection, he served an additional week. Saturday afternoon, he had the pleasure of scrubbing p56 the room-floors, preparatory to turning over his duties to his successor on Sunday morning.24

It was a full and instant routine on which Robert entered when recitations were resumed on September 1. At dawn of day, reveille was sounded, and the cadets had to dress immediately and answer roll-call. Quarters had then to be put in order and arms and accoutrements had to be cleaned. Half an hour after reveille, the cadet officers made their rounds of the barracks. From the firing of the sunrise gun until seven o'clock, the first-classmen studied mathematics. Then they formed squads in front of the South Barracks and marched to the commons. Each squad was composed of the men who sat at the same table, and each was in charge of the "carver," a gentleman-cadet who had little meat to cut, but that of the toughest. Within the mess-hall, all had their regular places and might neither indulge in promiscuous conversation nor summon the slow-footed serving-man. Only the "carver" could enjoy that measure of intimacy with the waiter.25

Thirty minutes for breakfast, then came guard-mount at 7:30, and at eight class parade. Following this each section of the class in mathematics formed on the parade-ground, or, if the weather was bad, in the lower hall of the North Barracks. There was another roll-call, and a brisk march to the academy, for Colonel Thayer fulfilled to the letter the army regulation that the cadets spend not less than nine, nor more than ten hours a day, at their studies.26

The academic building to which Lee and his classmates tramped at eight o'clock each week-day morning had the chapel in the centre on the ground level, with the library above. To the west of the chapel was the chemical laboratory, over which was the "philosophical room," or physics laboratory. East of the chapel was the engineering department and, on the second story, the adjutant's office.27 In the room where mathematics was taught, blackboards covered the walls. All the "academies," as the separate classrooms were styled, had sand on the floor.28

p57 Robert found very exact regulations in force for reporting the absentees from class, with a strict record of those who stayed away, and stiff penalties for those who shirked.29 Once the class in mathematics was in place, instruction began. Three men were called to the blackboards and were given problems to demonstrate. Questions were answered. Difficulties were eased. Till the minute-hand went thrice around the clock the work went on, as the teacher sought to make sure that every student knew the assignment for the day.

At eleven o'clock the class was dismissed, and the cadets went back to their rooms, where they spent an hour, presumably reviewing the lesson in mathematics and preparing for the next day. When noon came, the boys forsook Euclid for Gil Blas and kept the company of that delectable until dinner, which was at one o'clock. From the time they finished the meal until two o'clock the cadets were free, and might even indulge in music, within the limits laid down by Colonel Thayer. At two, there was formation, and then two hours of study and recitation of French.

From four o'clock to sunset or later was the time given over to military exercises, which for fourth-classmen consisted only of the school of the soldier, and of the evolutions of the line. At sunset came dress parade and roll-call, with supper immediately thereafter. When the meal was done, the signal was given to retire to quarters, where the cadet was to wrestle once more and until 9:30 with mathematics. Tattoo and roll-call ended the day — ended it, that is, except for a precautionary inspection of quarters just before ten o'clock, when lights were extinguished.30

It was a long day, regulated overmuch, and with too little time for recreation. In winter, the cold, the bad food, and the lack of exercise — for drill had virtually to be suspended — made it too hard a schedule for boys who were not of the most robust.31 Robert was equal to it physically, and he found it academically p58 easy. He had gone further in mathematics before he came to West Point than the curriculum carried him during the whole of the first year. Probably he found nothing to balk him in Farrar's translation of the Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, and on the Application of Algebra to Geometry, by Lacroix and Bezout. Legendre's Geometry may have been the very text he had used at home. Lacroix's Elements of Algebra and his Complement were not unduly difficult.32 Lee accordingly found himself very soon enrolled in the first of the several sections into which the fourth-year class in mathematics was divided.33 This placed him under the tutelage of Professor Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles none, the good-natured and capable head of the department, then a young man of only twenty-five, but already preparing to publish a book on descriptive geometry. Davies illustrated his lectures with many apposite anecdotes, and had unfailing patience and good humor in clearing away his students' misconceptions, but he had no mercy on the cadet who failed to prepare himself. His familiar name, in Who's Who of irreverent youth, was "Old Tush."34 The first assistant professor, Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Edward C. Ross, was an oddity. When he first put an exercise on the blackboard, and tried to explain it to the section, he would twist and wriggle, pulling at his long whiskers and spitting much tobacco-juice. He often ended for the day in making the problem more confusing than at the start. But at the next session of the class, when a cadet started the demonstration, Ross would begin a series of questions so searching and so logical that they brought out everything in the problem. One of his students, who subsequently became an educator of distinction, declared Ross the best teacher he had ever seen.35 Ross's orderly approach probably had larger influence on some of his pupils' methods of reasoning than they realized.

Lee's only other academic study that winter was French, to which two hours of study and one hour of recitation were given daily, with the class divided into sections of not more than twenty p59 men each.36 In theory, the course was designed to cover translating French into English, and English into French, and "pronouncing the language tolerably."37 As a matter of academic fact, the instruction did not carry the boys much beyond the point where they could read their French texts with reasonable ease. Conversational French was not taught,38 which probably accounts for the fact that in all Lee's recorded conversation there are few French words not solely related to military affairs. The reason for this shortcoming was the institution's emphasis on mathematics, rather than any lack of equipment on the part of the professor of French. Claudius Bérard, the "first teacher" of French, was a fine scholar of good taste, with an excellent knowledge of English, much diligence, and some sense of humor. It seems not to have been held against him that he, an instructor in a stern academy of military art, had employed a substitute in Napoleon's army and had subsequently fled from France, lest he be again called to the colors, after his substitute had been killed in the Spanish campaign.39 The books with which the cadets began their study of French were Bérard's own — his French Grammar and his Lecteur Français. The survey of French literature during the first year did not progress beyond "le tome premier" of Gil Blas.40

Military instruction was limited in Robert's first year to what a private soldier would have received at an active army post under a good company-officer. Drill, however, ate up the little time that French and mathematics left. When the weather was good, there were few hours for outside study.41 Fortunately for the larger culture of the cadets, there came to the academy that year a man who taught the boys some things not set down in Colonel Thayer's tables of instruction and some they might not have sought out for themselves. This man was Reverend Charles P. McIlvaine, chaplain and professor of geography, history, and ethics. He was then twenty-six, tall and majestic in bearing, with a voice of much richness, and a moving eloquence. Cadets who came to hear him, p60 in the expectation of nodding or reading during his sermon, were entranced by his oratory and enthralled by his earnestness, even though his sermons sometimes consumed two hours.42 The spiritual life of the school was improved somewhat by McIlvaine's coming, and Cadet Leonidas Polk was inspired by the chaplain to decide on the ministry as a life-calling.43 It was perhaps well for Lee, as for many another young man at West Point, that the zealous ministry of McIlvaine entered so soon after he left home.

The first six months at the school were probationary. The instructors made daily notes of individual proficiency and filed weekly reports, in all classes supplemented by examinations in January. Not until these tests had been passed by a cadet did he receive his warrant and become a regular member of the corps.44 After November 1, when bad weather forced even Colonel Thayer to suspend most of the field exercises,45 Robert had longer hours in which to prepare for the coming test. French he found somewhat difficult because he was unfamiliar with its idioms, but through the stern, early winter he applied himself to it.

On January 2, 1826, the semi-annual examinations began. The confident and the fearful alike were subjected to an hour's quizzing. Robert Lee came out well, though he discovered that some of his classmates had been working as hard as he had, and were possessed of keen minds. Charles Mason, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Catharinus P. Buckingham,º and William H. Harford were tied with him in mathematics, and as his patronymic was alphabetically the third of the quartet, he got that rating. In French, he was fifth. On conduct he was third, but had no offenses recorded against him. He received his warrant, and settled down to a hard battle to improve his showing in the June examination.46


The Author's Notes:

1 This was the experience of F. H. Smith who went to the Academy in 1829, and it probably was the usual method of landing. See F. H. Smith: West Point Fifty Years Ago (cited hereafter as F. H. Smith), p2.

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2 Cent. U. S. M. A., 1, 243; 2, 83; Reminiscences of West Point in the Olden Time (Anonymous, East Saginaw, Mich., 1886), p28; H. D. Gilpin: A Northern Tour; Being a Guide to Saratoga (cited hereafter as Northern Tour), 31; Boynton, 254, 255, 256, 264. Boynton printed pictures of the barracks and of the academy.

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3 A view of West Point, as of 1824, appears in Wall's Hudson River Portfolio. Reference to various other contemporary pictures of the school will be found in Cent. U. S. M. A., 2, 31.

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4 F. A. Mitchel: Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel (cited hereafter as F. A. Mitchel), 20.

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5 For Thayer's rank, etc., see American State Papers, Military Affairs, 4, 833. See also F. H. Smith, 4; Leonidas Polk to his father, undated, in W. M. Polk: Leonidas Polk (cited hereafter as Polk), 1, 61.

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6 The entrance examinations are described briefly in Cent. U. S. M. A., 1, 229.

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7 The old cadets had gone into camp on June 24 (Heintzelman's MS. Diary).

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8 F. A. Mitchel, 21. Twenty of the youths who had reported for admission failed to pass the entrance examination. It was not until Sept. 25 that Lee and his classmates signed the oath, which then read as follows: "I, Robert E. Lee, a cadet born in the state of Virginia, aged 18 years and nine months, do hereby acknowledge to have this day voluntarily engaged with the consent of my mother to serve in Army of the United States for the period of five years, unless sooner discharged by proper authority. And I do promise upon honor that I will observe and obey the orders of the officers appointed over me, the rules and articles of war, and the regulations which have been or may hereafter be established for the government of the Military Academy" (Heintzelman's MS. Diary; statement of Major James C. R. Schwenck, U. S. A., Department of Law, U. S. Military Academy, prepared April 1, 1921, at the instance of A. R. Lawton of Savannah, Ga., who has kindly placed the paper at the writer's disposal). When registering, Lee gave Westmoreland County, Virginia, as his place of residence, and Colonel Henry Lee, his half-brother, as his guardian.

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9 M. A. Regs., § 1396.

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10 For a description of the uniform, see Condition of the Military Academy, 1824, American State Papers, Military Affairs, 2, 653‑64 (cited hereafter as Cond. M. A.).

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11 M. A. Regs., §§ 1328‑32, 1399‑1403; for the pay regulations, see American State Papers, Military Affairs, 2, 66.

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12 Heintzelman's MS. Diary.

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13 American State Papers, Military Affairs, 3, 381; Cent. U. S. M. A., 1, 908. The dancing master arrived on July 25 (Heintzelman's MS. Diary).

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14 Heintzelman's MS. Diary.

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15 M. A. Regs., §§ 1408‑13; Cond. M. A., 655, 657.

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16 M. A. Regs., § 1431.

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17 Heintzelman's diary set all this forth with naïveté.

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18 M. A. Regs., § 1316 and p13.

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19 F. H. Smith, 13.

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20 W. P. Johnston's Albert Sidney Johnston, 11.

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21 Cent. U. S. M. A., 2, 86; MS. Court Martial Proceedings, U. S. Military Academy; Heintzelman's MS. Diary.

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22 See supra, p3. For the maturity of Mason, see Jefferson Davis in 150 North American Review, 55.

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23 Boynton, 223; Cond. M. A., 654; Northern Tour, 26. Some of the bedchambers had a study adjoining in which the cadets worked and kept their arms.

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24 Cond. M. A., 656.

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25 Hallard's George Ticknor, 1, 374; Cond. M. A., 655, 656; M. A. Regs., § 1356.

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26 M. A. Regs., § 1355; Cond. M. A., 655.

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27 Reminiscences of West Point, 27.

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28 American State Papers, Military Affairs, 3, 812.

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29 M. A. Regs., §§ 1434, 1438.

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30 M. A. Regs., § 1356; for the military instruction, see Ibid., §§ 1350, 1357; American State Papers, Military Affairs, 3, 381.

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31 For comments on the appearance of the corps in 1832, with special reference to the lack of exercise in winter, see J. E. Alexander: Transatlantic Sketches (London, 1833), 2, 277. Heintzelman noted in his Diary on Feb. 5, 1826, that 163 of the cadets had to be excused from duty because of illness.

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32 For the list of textbooks, see M. A. Regs., Form D.

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33 For the division of the classes into sections, see M. A. Regs., §§ 1370‑71, 1375; for the scope of the course, see Ibid., § 1347.

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34 F. H. Smith, 7; G. W. Cullum, Biographical Register . . . of the U. S. Mil. Acad., third edition, Boston, 1891 (cited hereafter as Cullum), 3, 151.

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35 F. H. Smith, 9. In addition to Ross, Professor Davies had three young assistants — Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Alexander Bache, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.George S. Greene, and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Alexander Bowman — who were later to win high reputation. Lee, however, probably had no classes under any of these.

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36 M. A. Regs., §§ 1342, 1351, 1372.

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37 M. A. Regs., § 1342.

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38 1 Polk, 55.

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39 1 Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 243; F. H. Smith, 12.

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40 M. A. Regs., Form D.

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41 Cf. Leonidas Polk, Nov. 16, 1823: "Our time is so wholly engrossed in our academic duties that it is impossible to devote any to literary attainments privately." 1 Polk, 55.

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42 Heintzelman's MS. Diary, Sept. 18, 1825.

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43Cullum, 45; 1 Polk, 71.

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44 M. A. Regs., p2, and §§ 1361‑65, 1383‑84; Cent. U. S. M. A., 1, 230.

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45 American State Papers, Military Affairs, 4, 24.

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46 Heintzelman's MS. Diary; M. A. Regs., § 1340; MS. U. S. Military Academy Records, made available through the kindness of Captain R. R. Neyland, former acting adjutant, and Major E. E. Farman, U. S. A., Librarian of West Point.


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