By Ralph Kirshner
George Armstrong Custer wrote approximately his good friend Pierce Manning Butler younger, who left West element to develop into a accomplice common: "I take into accout a talk held on the desk at which I sat through the iciness of '60–'61. i used to be seated subsequent to Cadet P. M. B. younger, a gallant younger fellow, a classmate of mine, then and because the battle an intimate and valued friend—a major-general within the accomplice forces in the course of the battle and a member of Congress from his local country [Georgia] at a later date. the upcoming struggle was once as traditional the topic of dialog during which all participated, and within the freest and so much pleasant demeanour. . . . eventually, in a part jocular, part earnest demeanour, younger grew to become to me and introduced himself as follows: 'Custer, my boy, we'll have struggle. it is little need conversing: I see it coming. the entire Crittenden compromises that may be patched up will not stay clear of it. Now enable me prophesy what is going to occur to you and me. you'll pass domestic, and your abolition Governor will most likely make you colonel of a cavalry regiment. i'm going to pass all the way down to Georgia, and ask Governor Brown to provide me a cavalry regiment. And who is aware yet we may perhaps movement opposed to one another through the conflict. . . .' evenly as we either appeared this boyish prediction, it used to be destined to be fulfilled in a amazing degree."
Ralph Kirshner has supplied a richly illustrated discussion board to let the West aspect category of 1861 to write down its personal autobiography. via letters, journals, and released money owed, George Armstrong Custer, Adelbert Ames, and their classmates inform of their personal phrases in their Civil conflict battles and in their different careers after the war.
Two periods graduated from West aspect in 1861 due to Lincoln's want of lieutenants, forty-five cadets in Ames's classification in may possibly and thirty-four in Custer's classification in June. The cadets diversity from Henry Algernon du Pont, first within the category of may perhaps, whose ancestral house is now Winterthur backyard, to Custer, final within the type of June. "Only thirty-four graduated," remarked Custer, "and of those thirty-three graduated above me." West Point's arithmetic professor and librarian Oliver Otis Howard, after whom Howard college is called, is additionally portrayed.
Other recognized names from the category of 1861 are John Pelham, Emory Upton, Thomas L. Rosser, John Herbert Kelly (the youngest normal within the Confederacy whilst appointed), Patrick O'Rorke (head of the category of June), Alonzo Cushing, Peter Hains, Edmund Kirby, John Adair (the purely deserter within the class), and Judson Kilpatrick (great-grandfather of Gloria Vanderbilt). They describe West element earlier than the Civil conflict, the warfare years, together with the Vicksburg crusade and the conflict of Gettysburg, the braveness and personality of classmates, and the finishing of the war.
Kirshner additionally highlights postwar lives, together with Custer at Little Bighorn; Custer's insurgent buddy Rosser; John Whitney Barlow, who explored Yellowstone; du Pont, senator and writer; Kilpatrick, playwright and diplomat; Orville E. Babcock, Grant's secretary till his indictment within the "Whiskey Ring"; Pierce M. B. younger, a accomplice basic who grew to become a diplomat; Hains, the one member of the category to serve on energetic responsibility in global conflict I; and Upton, "the category genius."
The e-book gains eighty-three photos of all yet one of many graduates and a few of the nongraduates. Kirshner comprises an appendix entitled "Roll Call," which discusses their contributions and lists them in response to rank within the class.
George A. Plimpton offers a foreword approximately his great-grandfather, Adelbert Ames-Reconstruction governor of Mississippi and the final surviving Civil warfare general-and President Kennedy.
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Additional info for The Class of 1861: Custer, Ames, and Their Classmates after West Point
17. HUGH JUDSON KILPATRICK (New Jersey) joined the First U. S. Artillery and was wounded at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861. He became lieutenant colonel, Second New York Cavalry (September 25, 1861), colonel (December 6, 1862), brigadier general, U. S. Volunteers (June 13, 1863). Kilpatrick commanded the Third Cavalry Division at Gettysburg and Sherman's cavalry on the March to the Sea. Kilpatrick became major general, U. S. Volunteers on June 18, 1865. His play about West Point cadets in the Civil War, Allatoona, was revised by Christopher Morley. Kilpatrick was U. S. Minister to Chile from 1865 to 1868 and again in 1881, when he died there of Bright's disease. His granddaughter Lady Thelma Furness introduced the Prince of Wales to Wallis Warfield Simpson. His greatgranddaughter is Gloria Vanderbilt. 18. FRANKLIN HARWOOD (born in Rhode Island, appointed at large) served in the Third United States Artillery in California and took a battery to New Mexico in the summer of 1862. He transferred to the engineers, served as an aide to General Meade, and died in 1883. 19. GEORGE WARREN DRESSER (born in Connecticut, appointed from Massachusetts), who attended Phillips Academy at Andover before West Point, served with artillery, engineers, ordnance, and the inspector general's office. After resigning in 1865, he worked on railroads as a civil engineer before becoming editor of The American Gas Light Journal in 1875. Dresser was also a consulting engineer with an office in the Trinity Building in New York. He died in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1883. 20. CHARLES MCKNIGHT LEOSER (Pennsylvania) was acting adjutant of the Eleventh New York, Ellsworth's Zouaves, from May to July of 1861 and colonel from August 1861 to April 1862. He resigned a volunteer colonelcy and became a junior officer in the Second U. S. Cavalry, was captured at Trevilian Station (June 11, 1864), and went to Libby Prison. After the war, Page 157 Leoser became publisher of Bonfort's Wine and Spirit Circular and a member of the New York Yacht Club. In 1893, Leoser wrote a provocative piece entitled ''The Grand Army as a Pension Agency. " 3 He was also commander of a Grand Army of the Republic post that said pensions should only go to those incapacitated by wounds. The veterans organization kicked Leoser's post out. He died in 1896. 21. HENRY CORNELIUS HASBROUCK (New York) went into the artillery. From 1863 to 1865, he was assistant professor of philosophy at the Military Academy. He fought the Modoc Indians in California (1873) and was commandant of cadets (1882–1888). He became a general in the SpanishAmerican War and governor of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Hasbrouck retired in 1903 and died in 1910. 22. WILLIAM ANTHONY ELDERKIN (New York) became an artillerist and a husband, marrying Fannie Gurley, daughter of Dr. Phineas Gurley, minister of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where Abraham Lincoln rented a pew. Elderkin returned to West Point (1862–1864) to teach mathematics and artillery tactics. From 1867 to 1869, Elderkin was sheriff of Richmond.