By Ralph Kirshner
George Armstrong Custer wrote approximately his buddy Pierce Manning Butler younger, who left West element to develop into a accomplice basic: "I take into account a talk held on the desk at which I sat in the course of the wintry weather of '60–'61. i used to be seated subsequent to Cadet P. M. B. younger, a gallant younger fellow, a classmate of mine, then and because the warfare an intimate and valued friend—a major-general within the accomplice forces throughout the conflict and a member of Congress from his local country [Georgia] at a later date. the impending warfare was once as traditional the topic of dialog within which all participated, and within the freest and such a lot pleasant demeanour. . . . eventually, in a part jocular, part earnest demeanour, younger grew to become to me and introduced himself as follows: 'Custer, my boy, we'll have battle. it is little need conversing: I see it coming. the entire Crittenden compromises that may be patched up will not keep away from it. Now permit me prophesy what is going to take place to you and me. you are going to pass domestic, and your abolition Governor will most likely make you colonel of a cavalry regiment. i'm going to move all the way down to Georgia, and ask Governor Brown to offer me a cavalry regiment. And who understands yet we could stream opposed to one another through the warfare. . . .' frivolously as we either seemed this boyish prediction, it was once destined to be fulfilled in a notable degree."
Ralph Kirshner has supplied a richly illustrated discussion board to let the West aspect category of 1861 to put in writing its personal autobiography. via letters, journals, and released money owed, George Armstrong Custer, Adelbert Ames, and their classmates inform of their personal phrases in their Civil warfare battles and in their assorted careers after the war.
Two sessions graduated from West aspect in 1861 as a result of Lincoln's desire of lieutenants, forty-five cadets in Ames's classification in may possibly and thirty-four in Custer's category in June. The cadets diversity from Henry Algernon du Pont, first within the type of may possibly, whose ancestral house is now Winterthur backyard, to Custer, final within the type of June. "Only thirty-four graduated," remarked Custer, "and of those thirty-three graduated above me." West Point's arithmetic professor and librarian Oliver Otis Howard, after whom Howard college is called, can be portrayed.
Other recognized names from the category of 1861 are John Pelham, Emory Upton, Thomas L. Rosser, John Herbert Kelly (the youngest basic within the Confederacy while appointed), Patrick O'Rorke (head of the category of June), Alonzo Cushing, Peter Hains, Edmund Kirby, John Adair (the simply deserter within the class), and Judson Kilpatrick (great-grandfather of Gloria Vanderbilt). They describe West element sooner than the Civil conflict, the battle years, together with the Vicksburg crusade and the conflict of Gettysburg, the braveness and personality of classmates, and the finishing of the war.
Kirshner additionally highlights postwar lives, together with Custer at Little Bighorn; Custer's insurgent pal Rosser; John Whitney Barlow, who explored Yellowstone; du Pont, senator and writer; Kilpatrick, playwright and diplomat; Orville E. Babcock, Grant's secretary till his indictment within the "Whiskey Ring"; Pierce M. B. younger, a accomplice basic who turned a diplomat; Hains, the one member of the category to serve on lively responsibility in international struggle I; and Upton, "the classification genius."
The ebook good points eighty-three photos of all yet one of many graduates and a few of the nongraduates. Kirshner comprises an appendix entitled "Roll Call," which discusses their contributions and lists them based on rank within the class.
George A. Plimpton offers a foreword approximately his great-grandfather, Adelbert Ames-Reconstruction governor of Mississippi and the final surviving Civil battle general-and President Kennedy.
Quick preview of The Class of 1861: Custer, Ames, and Their Classmates after West Point PDF
Then, when high in rank"—and this is the most important disadvantage of age in a commander— "some of them are so afraid of losing their reputation that they won't take the risks necessary in war, and avoid a battle they are not certain of winning, when the chances are still in their favor. "6 Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, whose father taught at West Point, observes, "the average man wants to be much too sure of success before venturing to move. "7 According to Mahan, "only men of the temper of Farragut or Grant—men with a natural genius for war or enlightened by their knowledge of the past—can fully commit themselves to the hazard of a great adventure.
After hearing what I had to say, Gen. Nichols asked me if I would introduce a bill for the relief of the institute and mentioned that there was a precedent for such action in the case of the William and Mary College. five Page 129 Du Pont's legislation passed, and he was asked to give out the JacksonHope medals at VMI's 1915 commencement, which he did, along with remarks on the joys of pageant. Du Pont expressed "deep appreciation of the very warm welcome . . . in striking contrast . . . to the reception upon my previous visit to Lexington during the Civil War.
ZADOCK T. WILLETT (Tennessee), captain, Company B, Nineteenth Tennessee, killed at Shiloh. EDWARD S. WILLIS (Georgia) became adjutant of the Twelfth Georgia on July 5, 1861. He served on Stonewall Jackson's staff in 1862. Willis became lieutenant colonel of the Twelfth Georgia on December 13, 1862, and colonel on January 22, 1863. That regiment had great admiration and affection for him. He was wounded at the Wilderness and mortally wounded at Bethesda Church, dying on May 31, 1864. PIERCE MANNING BUTLER YOUNG (born South Carolina, appointed Georgia) quickly became adjutant of Cobb's Legion and then commander of its cavalry with the rank of major.
Page 1 PART ONE— WAR YEARS Page 3 1— Introduction: Buglers' Assembly George Armstrong Custer (#34, June) was last in his class, or, as he put it, "only thirtyfour graduated, and of these thirtythree graduated above me. " 1 In his unfinished "War Memoirs"—on which he was still working while riding to Little Bighorn—Custer says, "The first official notification received by me of my appointment to the Military Academy bore the signature of Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War in the cabinet of President James Buchanan.
On April 10, 1858, Henry A. du Pont took out Motley's Dutch Republic; Tom Rosser, Prescott's Philip II; Custer, Cooper's Novels; Emory Upton, Creasy's 15 Decisive Battles; and Adelbert Ames, Aristotle's Rhetoric. On the same day, John Lea checked out Knickerbocker; and John Kelly, Simms's Charlemont. weeks later on April 24, 1858, Alonzo Cushing borrowed Harper's Magazine; Alfred Mordecai, Hazlitt's Life of Napoleon; and Justin Dimick, Lady Lee's Widowhood. 14 Page 7 According to the Register of Cadet Delinquencies, John Whitney Barlow received four demerits for "introducing strangers into the Library" (July 27, 1859).