It was then the custom for candidates to report on June 1, or within the next few days.
They were organized into sections, and placed under the instruction of cadets selected from the second class to prepare them, as far as possible, for examination about the middle of the month.
I was given charge of a section in arithmetic, and have never in all my life discharged my duty with more conscientious fidelity than I drilled those boys in the subject with which I was familiar, and in teaching which I had had some experience.
We had gone over the entire course upon which they were to be examined, and all were well prepared except two who seemed hopelessly deficient upon a few subjects which they had been unable to comprehend.
Not willing to omit the last possible effort in behalf of those two boys, I took them to the blackboard and devoted the last fifteen or twenty minutes before the bugle-call to a final effort to prepare them for the ordeal they must face the next morning.
While I was thus employed several of my classmates came into the room, and began talking to the other candidates.
Though their presence annoyed me, it did not interfere with my work; so I kept on intently with the two young boys until the bugle sounded.
I then went to my quarters without paying any attention to the interruption, or knowing anything of the character of what had occurred.
But one of the candidates, perhaps by way of excuse for his failure, wrote to his parents some account of the ‘deviltry’ in which my classmates had indulged that day. That report found its way to the War Department, and was soon followed by an order to the commandant of cadets to investigate.
The facts were found fully to exonerate me from any participation in or countenance of the deviltry, except that I did not stop it; and showed that I had faithfully done my duty in teaching the candidates.
After this investigation was over, I was called upon to answer for