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General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 1: the Ante-bellum life of the author. (search)
and the discovery passed into the possession of certain New Yorkers, who found the means for practicable application, and now steam is the goddess that enlightens the world. My father was a planter. From my early boyhood he conceived that he would send me to West Point for army service, but in my twelfth year he passed away during the cholera epidemic at Augusta. Mother moved to North Alabama with her children, whence in my sixteenth year I made application through a kinsman, Congressman Reuben Chapman, for appointment as cadet, received the coveted favor, and entered with the class that was admitted in 1838. As cadet I had more interest in the school of the soldier, horsemanship, sword exercise, and the outside game of foot-ball than in the academic courses. The studies were successfully passed, however, until the third year, when I failed in mechanics. When I came to the problem of the pulleys, it seemed to my mind that a soldier could not find use for such appliances, an