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[486] A colored man unknown to me, who was driving the carriage from the station to the hotel, seized a buffalo coat and put it over my shoulders, but my son John, who was then a lad of fourteen, was not sufficiently covered and took a severe cold which in the end resulted in an attack of pneumonia that nearly cost him his life.

Cold like that seemed to be a positive quantity and not simply the absence of heat, and when it does take hold even of a healthy child, it is apt to make its mark upon him for life.

I went to Washington before I entered upon my duties at West Point. The President laid the case of Whittaker, the colored cadet, before me, and asked me what I would advise. I said at once that I should advise taking the case away from West Point, where the social prejudice was strong against a negro cadet. I suggested the yielding to his desire to have a regular court-martial and to locate the court in New York.

Whittaker had an able lawyer, a young colored man by the name of Greener, who was defending him and who was very strongly of the opinion that Whittaker was innocent of any attempt at fraud or deceit. The case was tried in New York as I recommended, and the young man was pronounced guilty of doing himself the injuries in view of putting his cadet comrades in a bad light. He was convicted and sentenced to be discharged the service. On review the President, permitting the young man to tender his resignation, remitted the sentence. After a few weeks the ugly excitement that grew out of this event disappeared altogether.

I went to the Military Academy and assumed command,

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