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evidences of an approaching collision on a large scale were multiplying. The story of Twiggs's surrender of United States troops to Texas, followed by details of imprisonment and paroling, reached us in the latter part of February. Twiggs's promises to allow the troops to go North were mostly broken. Six companies of the United States Infantry, including a few officers and men of other regiments, Lieutenant Colonel Reeve commanding, were obliged to give up to a Confederate commander, Earl Van Dorn, by May 9th. The organizers of the secession movement soon succeeded in firing the Southern heart. As we men from the North and South, at our post on the Hudson, looked anxiously into each other's faces, such indeed was the situation that we knew that civil war with its unknown horrors was at hand. One morning, as officers and professors gathered near the lofty pillars under the stone archway of the old academy, there was rehearsed, one after another adding his own paper's version
g, overtook us and said that the baby (Grace) was sick, very sick. We were near the cadets' garden. Mrs. Howard and I ran as fast as possible; I reached the house first, and found Mrs. Robert Weir holding the child; she stretched her hands toward me, holding the baby, and said, Your dear little lamb! Grace was as white as a sheet, with a little blood around her mouth. I instantly caught the child and turned her head downward, put my finger into her mouth and removed from her throat one of Guy's marbles that had remained there choking her for more than half an hour. The nurse had first run in the other direction to the cadets' hospital for the doctor, whom she did not find, before going for us. On December 20th a court of inquiry brought together Colonel Robert E. Lee, Major Robert Anderson, Captain R. B. Marcy (McClellan's father-in-law), and Captain Samuel Jones. Colonel Lee had been very kind to me when a cadet. I had known Major Anderson before — noticing then how tender
S. B. Holabird (search for this): chapter 1.8
the Union, clearly in contrast with the sentiments expressed by Hardee, and his ardor in hastening forward from the academy the higher classes for junior officers, then in great demand at Washington, were ever remembered in his favor. Lieutenant S. B. Holabird, of the First Infantry, relieved Lieutenant Fry, the adjutant, and remained till May 1, 1861, when on promotion as captain and assistant quartermaster in the staff of the army, he left us to bear his part in coming events. Before his retirement Holabird reached the head of his corps. Lieutenants John Gibbon and S. S. Carroll, both names now high on the roll of fame, filled one after the other the office of quartermaster at West Point. For a time Carroll and I, with our two families, lived under one roof, dividing a pleasant cottage between us. For the last two months, however, of my stay I had, by a small accession of rank, attained a separate domicile. Just before that, Carroll had a visit from Lieutenant Fitzhugh Lee,
Fitzhugh Lee (search for this): chapter 1.8
Before his retirement Holabird reached the head of his corps. Lieutenants John Gibbon and S. S. Carroll, both names now high on the roll of fame, filled one after the other the office of quartermaster at West Point. For a time Carroll and I, with our two families, lived under one roof, dividing a pleasant cottage between us. For the last two months, however, of my stay I had, by a small accession of rank, attained a separate domicile. Just before that, Carroll had a visit from Lieutenant Fitzhugh Lee, the nephew of Robert E. Lee. How sprightly, energetic, and full of fun he was Secession to him was fun — it would open up glorious possibilitiesl He gave Carroll and myself lively accounts of events in the South. Once, after speaking jocosely, as was his habit, of the perturbed condition of the cotton States, he stopped suddenly for a moment, and then half seriously said: Sprigg, those people of the South are alive and in earnest, and Virginia (his State) will soon follow their l
I have met Alexander since the Civil War and found him the same kind-hearted, good man that he was when on duty at West Point. Two days after that conversation with Alexander I addressed the Sapper and Miner Company. The little soldiers' church was filled, and the men, some of whom had families to leave, appeared deeply interested in my lecture. I presented to them the idea that a Christian soldier was the highest type. In him the sense of duty and contentment were combined. On April 21st an incident occurred in our family that made quite a sensation. Mrs. Howard and I had taken a walk toward the mountain Crow-Nest. We had been away about half an hour when the nurse, completely out of breath from running, overtook us and said that the baby (Grace) was sick, very sick. We were near the cadets' garden. Mrs. Howard and I ran as fast as possible; I reached the house first, and found Mrs. Robert Weir holding the child; she stretched her hands toward me, holding the baby, an
September 23rd, 1857 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
Chapter 7: at West Point as instructor, 1857-61; the outbreak of the Civil War With my little family I left New York for West Point, September 23, 1857. We ascended the Hudson on the steamer Thomas Powell, and immediately after landing went to Roe's Hotel, the only public house upon the military reservation. Here we took a suite of rooms and were rather crowded. for about a month. At first, there being no quarters vacant, I could get none assigned to me on account of my low rank. According to the orders from Washington I joined the corps of instructors; and Lieutenant J. B. Fry, of the First Artillery, the adjutant, issued the following necessary orders: First Lieutenant Oliver O. Howard, Ordnance Corps, having reported to the superintendent . . . is assigned to duty in the Department of Mathematics and will report to Professor Church for instructions. Immediately I entered upon my duties, and for a time had under my charge the first and second sections of the fourth cl
ficent scenery. At last we reached my mother's home in Leeds about June 30th. Before this, though my suffering diminished the pleasure of my trip, I recovered from my rheumatism. The remainder of the vacation we passed in visiting friends. It was during this vacation that I began to be invited to give addresses and lectures in Maine: one at Farmington on July 4th; one at the city schoolhouse in Leeds; another at North Leeds on a Sabbath, and at a church in Auburn the following Sunday, July 24th. A little later I undertook to give an extempore lecture, the first time I had tried one of any length, at an old schoolhouse in Livermore. My classmate in college, P. S. Perley, was present; which caused me some embarrassment. He, however, encouraged me to keep on trying. After the outing we returned slowly by the way of Boston and New York to the Military Academy. The work of the ensuing years, 1859 and 1860, was much like that of the preceding. It was after we had returned
March, 1858 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
and diligently showed this disposition to all under his command, won good will and affection above all other commanders. My article, published in a New York monthly, caused quite a commotion at West Point, at the time, among the thirty or forty officers stationed there. Even the superintendent was annoyed because he thought that I reflected upon his management of affairs. Some agreed with my sentiments, but the majority said that they were contrary to a proper military spirit. In March, 1858, the War Department sent our Sapper and Miner Company, about one hundred strong, to Utah Territory, where some difficulty between the Mormons, the Indians, and the emigrants had already begun. Lieutenant E. P. Alexander was at that time in command of that company. He became an officer in the Confederate Army and was Chief of Artillery under Longstreet, planting his numerous batteries along our front at Gettysburg. One day at West Point he overtook me on the sidewalk and we conversed to
May 1st, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
vania, almost the first to fall at Gettysburg, succeeding Hardee at the academy, commanded the cadets till after my departure. His eminent loyalty to the Union, clearly in contrast with the sentiments expressed by Hardee, and his ardor in hastening forward from the academy the higher classes for junior officers, then in great demand at Washington, were ever remembered in his favor. Lieutenant S. B. Holabird, of the First Infantry, relieved Lieutenant Fry, the adjutant, and remained till May 1, 1861, when on promotion as captain and assistant quartermaster in the staff of the army, he left us to bear his part in coming events. Before his retirement Holabird reached the head of his corps. Lieutenants John Gibbon and S. S. Carroll, both names now high on the roll of fame, filled one after the other the office of quartermaster at West Point. For a time Carroll and I, with our two families, lived under one roof, dividing a pleasant cottage between us. For the last two months, howev
March 1st, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1.8
and the impress of his rugged nature. Delafield was the embodiment of able administration; very exacting in his requirements, and, like the just judge, precise and severe in his awards of punishment-so much so that he appeared to us subordinates at times to have eliminated all feeling from his action; but this was his view of discipline. How much, in the retrospect, we admire a just ruler! And how completely, after the teachings of experience, we forgive the apparent severities I On March 1, 1861, Colonel Delafield gave place to Colonel A. H. Bowman, who held the superintendency from that time till near the close of the war. Bowman was from Pennsylvania. He was a dignified officer and had been put in charge of the original construction of Fort Sumter as early as 1838. With a high character and long, complete record of service, he was a good man to succeed Delafield and to manage the academy during the war period. Colonel Hardee's academy service as commandant of cadets expi
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