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of peace presented no duties but that of the garrison, and no glory to the profession of arms, it was natural and proper for active and ambi. tious young men to seek honor and usefulness in other pursuits. Nor did the government discourage this, for it foresaw what has happened, that these young men, so highly educated in science, would diffuse this knowledge throughout the country; elevate the standard of education, and be ready when their country needed their services. This has happened. A better knowledge of the exact sciences has been carried into the colleges; the railroads and canals have been built by engineers ready furnished by the government; and now when half a million of men have been suddenly called to war, they have been largely officered by the graduates of West Point. Here we may briefly allude to the most grave fact which has been urged against the Military Academy. The best officers of the rebel army were educated there. Why is this? Is there a want of sound morals ? or, is loyalty no virtue there? Neither. A part, and a part only* of the graduates born and grown up in the south, have gone with their friends, families, and connections, into the rebel service. This was on account of social ties, and had no more to do with West Point, than had other rebels from Harvard, or Yale, with those institutions. The noticeable fact is that they were educated at the government expense, and therefore under peculiar obligations to the country. But we find a parallel in the numerous officers of the state, as well as of the army and navy, who had been honored and rewarded at the public expense, but who thonght it no shame to betray their country, and conspire against its life. We in vain attempt to account for such crimes, except upon the principle of common depravity, of which history has furnished similar examples in all ages of the world.
We have come to the end of the work we proposed. The rise, progress, and fruits of the Military Academy, we have briefly, and, we trust, justly delineated. Certainly, we have no end to serve, no prejudice to gratify. We knew the Academy in its early and iromature period. We have seen it grow up to usefulness and honor. We see its graduates taking their places among those who have well served their country, and well deserved its laurels. In this we are glad. But our memory is filled with other images. We see West Point, in the now lengthening shadows of time. We seem to see those with whom we studied freshly present, as they
*We should not forget that a large number of West Point grattester from her worth, Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, and Tennessee,) have remained loyal, in spite of an pun uno ences of social and political ties,
walk the green plain, or sit before the class, or strive to teach our dull and inattentive minds. They were men worth remembering, and when, in after times, we became their friends, rather than their pupils, still more pleasant memories gathered around them. We seem to see the venerable ELLICOTT, like Goldsmith's schoolmaster, alike full of learning, and of kindly humor; the placid and intellectual expression of MANSFIELD, whose abstracted looks seemed to be searching the higher philosophy; the courtly and dignified Thayer, whose graceful manners and attractive conversation can not be forgotten by any who knew him; and the amiable CourtNAY, who though of later date, will long be remembered. He left the world in doubt, whether he was the better scholar or the better man.*
Of these, and of those like them, do we think, when we think of West Point. Nor of those alone; the place itself, where nature delights in the sublime and beautiful, rises before us. No imagination is necessary to clothe it with the hues of poetry; no books to recall the lost passages of history; no labored eulogy to bring up the memories of the dead. You can no more forget them, than you can the Pilgrims, when standing by the rock of Plymouth. Yon gray and moss-covered ruin was once the fortress of the Revolution. Yon scarcely perceptible pile of stones marks the spot where its soldiers were hutted in the winter. Yon slightly raised turf, beneath the dark shades of the cedar, was his grave, and soon, perhaps even now, that slight memorial will be gone forever. Yon little valley under the shadows of the mountain, recalls the illustrious name of Washington. Yon blue mountain-top tells of the beacon fires he lit. All around are memories; all around are sacred spots. If the Greek remembers Marathon ; if the Jew lingers at Jerusalem, or the Christian pilgrim grows warm at Bethlehem, so should the American remember West Point; linger round the ruins of Fort Put, and gaze with delight on the blue summit of Beacon Hill.
• Mr. Courtnay was afterwards Professor of Philosophy and Mechanics in the University af Virginia. There he died, lamented by all who knew him.
DEVELOPMENT OF INSTRUCTION AT WEST POINT. 1. Down to 1802, the instruction of the Cadets attached to the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers stationed at West Point, according to Act of Congress (May 7th, which was all that repeated recommendations of Washington and other experienced officers could obtain), was confined to military drill and practical exercises in common with other members of the Corps; but as that Corps was made up of the scientific officers of the army, and as military works were in construction under their plans and superintendence, these exercises were of great practical value, and the appointment of these Cadets in 1794, and their gathering at West Point, may be regarded as the nucleus of the Military Academy.
2. The Military Academy, established with that name, by Act of March 16, 1802, in pursuance of a Bill reported in 1800, by the Committee of Defense in the House of Representatives, of which Harrison Gray Otis was chairman, and to which an elaborate report of the Secretary of War (James McHenry, of Maryland), had been referred—consisted of the Corps of Engineers, which by the Act was organized distinct from that of Artillery, and could not exceed in officers and cadets, twenty members. The Corps was stationed at West Point, and its officers and cadets were subject to duty in such places as the President should direct. The principal engineer was made superintendent, and down to 1808 he was instructor in fortifications, field-works, and the use of instruments. Two officers of the rank of captain, appointed without previous military experience, but with special reference to their knowledge of mathematics, gave instruction in that branch,“one in the line of geometrical, and the other of algebraic demonstration.”
In 1803, two teacherships-one of the French language and the other of Drawing, was attached to the Corps of Engineers, and in 1804, F. De Masson was appointed to discharge the duties of both.
In 1808, the basis of the Military Academy, so far as related to the number of Cadets, was enlarged by the addition of two for each new company of Infantry, Riflemen, and Artillery, added to the military force; and the number in the Act of 1812, is limited to 250, which with the ten originally attached to the Corps of Engineers, fixed the strength of the Cadets at 260.
By the Act of April 29, 1812, the Corps of Engineers was enlarged, and was again constituted the Military Academy, and in addition to the teacher of the French language, and Drawing, provided in Act of Feb. 28, 1803, one Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy; one Professor of Mathematics; one Professor of Engineering in all its branches; and for each an Assistant Professor taken from the most prominent characters of the officers or cadets, are provided for; and for the purposes of military instruction, it is ordered that the students shall be arranged into companies and officered from their own members, to be taught all the duties of a private, non-commissioned officer, and officer; and for instruction in all matters incident to a regular camp, shall go into camp for at least three months of cach year, and erecting buildings and providing apparatus, library, and all necessary implements, the sum of $25,000 is appropriated. By this act the minimum of age is fixed at 14, and the literary qualifications of candidates on entering are to be well versed in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
ALDEN PARTRIDGE, Captain in the United States Corps of Engineers, Professor and Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, and the Founder of a class of institutions in which the military element is recognized and provided for as an essential part of the training of the American citizen, was born at Norwich in Vermont, on the 12th of January, 1785. His father was a farmer, in independent circumstances, served in the war of the Revolution, and took part in the capture of Burgoyne and his army at Saratoga. He brought up his son in the New England fashion, at such district school as the times and the country afforded in the winter, and at all sorts of work about the house and on the farm at other seasons, until he was sixteen years of age, when, being of studious turn, and fond of reading, he was allowed to fit for college, and entered Dartmouth in August, 1802. We have no knowledge of his studies in college, but it is presumed that his predilections were for the mathematics, and from the lateness with which he commenced his Latin and his subsequent declarations, his aversion was for the languages. Before completing his collegiate course he received the appointment of cadet* in the regiment of artillerists in the United States service, with orders to repair to West Point, and report himself to the commanding officer of the Military Academy at that place.
The Military Academy at the time Cadet Partridge arrived at West Point was very. inadequately equipped with the men and material aids of instruction, although the two teachers appointed
* A Cadet in the military organization of the Army denoted a junior officer between the grade of lieutenant and sergeant, and was introduced from the French service. An Act of Congress, passed May 71h, 1794. provided for a Corps of Artillerists and Engineers, to consist of four battalions, to each of which eight cadets were to be attached, and authorized the Sec. retary of War to procure at the public expense the necessary books, instruments and apparatus for the use and benefit of said corps. (u 1798, an additional regiment of Artillerists and Engineers was raised, increasing the number of Cadets to fifty-six. In 1798, the President was authorized to appoint four teachers of the Arts and Sciences necessary to Artillerists and Engineers. No appointment was made till 1801, and in 1902, the Military Academy was established at West Point, where the corps of Engineers was directed to repair with fifty Cadets, and the Senior Officer of the Corps was constituted Superintendent. Col. Williams was then Senior Officer of Engineers, and became, es-officio, Superiotendent, and continued such until 1812.