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[490] by the cases I have given, affected the character of the corps. I found young men who happened to be seen off limits running to cover, skulking, and hiding behind logs. It seemed to be just the thing to do to avoid an officer and deceive him, and break the regulations without scruple.

On February 22d, after I took command, I gave an address to the corps of cadets upon the character of Washington, and showed them plainly what I thought of the conduct described, and I told them how much ashamed their friends were of this evident want of manliness.

I said further, that I proposed to relieve them of the stringency that had been put upon them. The guards would be as they formerly were, and-taken off at ten o'clock at night; the instructors should take up their quarters elsewhere, and no officer be allowed to report them from behind windows and sheltered places. I wished them to respond to this leniency by their courage and manliness, and I was going to trust them, as cadets had always been trusted. The response was immediate, and I never had cause to regret this method of effecting the change.

I studied very hard while superintendent to relieve the overpressure of “the West Point system,” particularly of the demerit part, but was never able myself to bring about any considerable change. There is no relief from its severity except in the kindness of the officers who are in charge.

I cannot help thinking that better results would be obtained at West Point and Annapolis by any system that leans strongly to trusting the young men. This is found to be the case in colleges and universities

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