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[374] There is nothing at all either repulsive or stiff in his manner to the officers and teachers under him, or to the Cadets. All the members of the Board seem to have the most thorough admiration of him. . . . .

June 10.
I delight exceedingly in the exactness with which everything is done here. The morning gun is fired exactly at sunrise, though I am free to say I sleep well enough to hear it rarely, and as there never seems to be the least noise in Thayer's house, the first thing I hear is the full band, when, precisely at six, the manoeuvring being over, the corps of Cadets begins its marching. I get up immediately, and when Thayer comes home, at half past 6, from parade, he brings me your letter. You will hardly believe how welcome his step is to me, and how perfectly I have learnt to distinguish it from that of his Adjutant, his Orderly, or his servant, none of whom ever gives me my letters. I sometimes think he takes a pleasure in doing it himself,— at any rate, he always calls me by my Christian name when he brings them. Breakfast precisely at seven; then we have all the newspapers, and, a little before eight o'clock, Thayer puts on his full-dress coat and sword, and when the bugle sounds we are always at Mr. Cozzens's, where Thayer takes off his hat and inquires if the President of the Board is ready to attend at the examination-room; if he is, the Commandant conducts him to it with great ceremony, followed by the Board. If he is not ready, Thayer goes without him; he waits for no man.

In the examination-room Thayer presides at one table, surrounded by the Academic Staff; General Houston at the other, surrounded by the Visitors. In front of the last table two enormous blackboards, eight feet by five, are placed on easels; and at each of these boards stand two Cadets, one answering questions or demonstrating, and the other three preparing the problems that are given to them. In this way, if an examination of sixteen young men lasts four hours on one subject, each of them will have had one hour's public examination on it; and the fact is, that each of the forty Cadets in the upper class will to-night have had about five hours personal examination. While the examination goes on, one person sits between the tables and asks questions, but other members of the Staff and of the Board join in the examination frequently, as their interest moves them. The young men have that composure which comes from thoroughness, and unite, to a remarkable degree, ease with respectful manners towards their teachers. . . . .

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