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John B. Hood (search for this): chapter 1
e West Point training importance of learning how to obey a trip to New York on a wager the West Point Bible class dismissed from the Academy without trial intercession of Stephen A. Douglas restoration to Cadet duty James B. McPherson John B. Hood Robert E. Lee. I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York, September 29, 1831. My father was the Rev. James Schofield, who was then pastor of the Baptist Church in Sinclairville, and who was from 1843 to 1881 a home missaccumulating with alarming rapidity, I applied for and obtained a transfer to Company C, where I would be under Lieutenant Cogswell and Cadet Captain Vincent, my beloved classmate, who had cordially invited me to share his room in barracks. John B. Hood was a jolly good fellow, a little discouraged at first by unexpected hard work; but he fought his way manfully to the end. He was not quite so talented as some of his great associates in the Confederate army, but he was a tremendous fighter w
Stephen A. Douglas (search for this): chapter 1
g importance of learning how to obey a trip to New York on a wager the West Point Bible class dismissed from the Academy without trial intercession of Stephen A. Douglas restoration to Cadet duty James B. McPherson John B. Hood Robert E. Lee. I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York, September 29, sult was the impossible suggestion that if I would give the names of my guilty classmates I might be let off. I had made an early call upon the Little Giant, Senator Douglas, to whom I had no letter, and whom I had never met; had introduced myself as a citizen of Illinois in trouble; and had told my story. He said he was not on g be avoided, but if it proved necessary to let him know. Hence, after all else failed, including my personal appeal, which I had waited so long to make, I told Mr. Douglas all that had occurred, and suggested that there was nothing left but to put in the reserve, as the tacticians call it. He replied: Come up in the morning, and w
haracter of the West Point training importance of learning how to obey a trip to New York on a wager the West Point Bible class dismissed from the Academy without trial intercession of Stephen A. Douglas restoration to Cadet duty James B. McPherson John B. Hood Robert E. Lee. I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York, September 29, 1831. My father was the Rev. James Schofield, who was then pastor of the Baptist Church in Sinclairville, and who was from 1843 to 1881 a home missionary engaged in organizing new churches, and building meeting-houses, in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. My mother was Caroline McAllister, daughter of John McAllister of Gerry. We removed to Illinois in June, 1843, and, after a short stay in Bristol, my father made a new home for his family in Freeport, where he began his missionary work by founding the First Baptist Church of that place. In all my childhood and youth I had what I regard as the best possible opportunities for
James Buchanan (search for this): chapter 1
I walked across the plain in full view of the crowd of officers and ladies, and appeared in ranks at roll-call, as innocent as anybody. It is true my up-train did not stop at Garrison's or Cold Spring, but the conductor, upon a hint as to the necessity of the case, kindly slacked the speed of the express so that I could jump off from the rear platform. In due time I repaid Bonaparte the borrowed five dollars, but the wager was never paid. The only other bet I made at West Point was on Buchanan's election; but that was in the interest of a Yankee who was not on speaking terms with the Southerner who offered the wager. I have never had any disposition to wager anything on chance, but have always had an irresistible inclination to back my own skill whenever it has been challenged. The one thing most to be condemned in war is the leaving to chance anything which by due diligence might be foreseen. In the preparations for defense, especially, there is no longer any need that anythi
Robert S. Garnett (search for this): chapter 1
y good fellow, a little discouraged at first by unexpected hard work; but he fought his way manfully to the end. He was not quite so talented as some of his great associates in the Confederate army, but he was a tremendous fighter when occasion offered. During that last period of our cadet life, Colonel Robert E. Lee was superintendent of the academy; he was the personification of dignity, justice, and kindness, and was respected and admired as the ideal of a commanding officer. Colonel Robert S. Garnett was commandant of cadets; he was a thorough soldier who meted out impartial justice with both hands. At our last parade I received honorable mention twice, both the personal judgment of the commandant himself. The one was for standing at the head of the class in tactics; the other, for not carrying musket properly in ranks. Who can ever forget that last parade, when the entire class, officers and privates together, marched up in line and made their salute to the gallant commanda
George Washington (search for this): chapter 1
righted when the truth was known. I proposed to go straight to Washington and lay the facts before the government. Then I realized for the first time what it meant to have friends. All my classmates and many other cadets came forward with letters to their congressmen, and many of them to senators whom they happened to know, and other influential men in Washington. So I carried with me a great bundle of letters setting forth my virtues in terms which might have filled the breast of George Washington with pride. There was no public man in Washington whom I had ever seen, and probably no one who had ever heard of me, except the few in the War Department who knew of my alleged bad conduct. The Secretary of War would not even see me until I was at last presented to him by an officer of the army. Then he offered me his forefinger to shake, but he could give me no encouragement whatever. This was after I had been in Washington several weeks. My congressman, Mr. Campbell, who had
James B. McPherson (search for this): chapter 1
out trial intercession of Stephen A. Douglas restoration to Cadet duty James B. McPherson John B. Hood Robert E. Lee. I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauest guns. During all that time I continued to live with my old room-mate, James B. McPherson, in a tower room and an adjoining bedroom, which La Rhett L. Livingstoo get off with 196 demerits in a possible 200 that last year. In a mild way, McPherson was also a little under a cloud at that time. He had been first captain of toffice of quartermaster of the battalion. I still think, as I did then, that McPherson's punishment was the more appropriate. Livingston was one of those charming, need the aid of tobacco in his studies. William P. Craighill, who succeeded McPherson as first captain, had no fault whatever, that I ever heard of, except oneā€”thao use afterward was the only study in which I graduated at the head. Perhaps McPherson and Craighill thought, as I did, that it made no difference where I stood in
John M. Jones (search for this): chapter 1
Perhaps McPherson and Craighill thought, as I did, that it made no difference where I stood in tactics. Among all the tactical officers of our time, Lieutenant John M. Jones was esteemed the most accomplished soldier and tactician, and the most rigid but just and impartial disciplinarian. It had been my good fortune to enjoyore the court of inquiry in the summer of 1852, the professors who had been called to testify gave me a high character as a faithful, diligent student. When Lieutenant Jones was called to testify as to my character as a soldier, he replied that, in his opinion, it was very bad! While I was not a little surprised and disappointedoment his better judgment, I could not be unmindful of the fact that the other tactical officers did not know me so well, and had not so high a reputation as Lieutenant Jones in respect to discipline; and I felt at liberty to avail myself, in my own interest, of the opportunity suggested by this reflection. Hence, when, after my
Thomas J. Turner (search for this): chapter 1
wo before had failed to continue his course in the Military Academy. Thus a vacancy occurred just at the close of Mr. Thomas J. Turner's term in Congress. There was no time for applications or for consultation. He must select another candidate to enter the following June, or leave the place to be filled by his successor. Fortunately for me, Mr. Turner, as one of the public-school directors, had been present at an examination where the subject with which I had to deal was mathematical; if he had caught me at Latin, the result must have been fatal to all my prospects. Besides, Mr. Turner had heard from his brother James of the stamina I had shown in the public land-surveying expedition; and also from my father of my determination to get ment whatever. This was after I had been in Washington several weeks. My congressman, Mr. Campbell, who had succeeded Mr. Turner, and several others received me kindly, read my letters, and promised to see the Secretary of War, which no doubt they
Von Moltke (search for this): chapter 1
desires that his own better judgment shall control military policy, he must take care not to let it become known that the judgment is his. If he can contrive to let that wise policy be invented by the more responsible head, it will surely be adopted. It should never be suspected by anybody that there is any difference of opinion between the soldier and his civil chief; and nobody, not even the chief, will ever find it out if the soldier does not tell it. The highest quality attributed to Von Moltke was his ability to make it clearly understood by the Emperor and by all the world that the Emperor himself commanded the German army. My constitutional habit once led me into a very foolish exploit at West Point. A discussion arose as to the possibility of going to New York and back without danger of being caught, and I explained the plan I had worked out by which it could be done. (I will not explain what the plan was, lest some other foolish boy should try it.) I was promptly challe
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