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Chapter II

  • On graduating leave
  • -- Brevet second lieutenant in the 2d artillery at Fort Moultrie -- an officer's credit before the War -- second lieutenant in the 1st artillery -- journey to Fort Capron, Florida -- a reservation as to whisky -- a trip to Charleston and a troublesome money -- Bag -- an ‘affair of honor’ -- a few law -- books -- an extemporized ‘map and itinerary’ -- yellow fever -- at A. P. Hill's home in Virginia -- assigned to duty in the Department of philosophy at West Point -- interest in astronomy -- marriage -- a hint from Jefferson Davis -- leave of absence -- Professor of physics in Washington University.

an old army colonel many years ago described a West

Point graduate, when he first reported for duty after graduating leave, as a very young officer with a full supply of self-esteem, a four-story leather trunk filled with good clothes, and an empty pocket. To that must be added, in my case, a debt equal to the full value of trunk and clothes and a hundred dollars borrowed money. My ‘equipment fund’ and much more had been expended in Washington and in journeys to and fro during the period of administrative uncertainty in respect to the demands of discipline at West Point. Still I had as good a time, that graduating leave, as any millionaire in the United States. My good father was evidently disturbed, and began to fear—for the first time, I think—that I was really going to the bad! His worst fears as to

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