Question of the Week: 1/24-1/30/22

For the year 1861 or earlier, which West Point Class is most interesting to you? Why?

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10 Responses to Question of the Week: 1/24-1/30/22

  1. Joseph Geml says:

    Undoubtably the Class of 1846! Stonewall Jackson, Geo McClellan, Geo. Pickett, AP Hill, & Gordon among others. Both Great and Not So Great!

  2. John+Foskett says:

    The combined May/June 1861 classes (including those who withdrew because of the secession). They produced a lot of “rookies” who walked right from the Plains into a full-on war. Several achieved much and/or gave their lives.

    • billhenck says:

      For a similar account of what the class of 1861 must have faced, “The Long Gray Line” by Rick Atkinson follows the West Point class of 1966 into the meat grinder of Vietnam and then beyond. The ’66 class had a very high casualty rate and I bet that the class of 1861 had a similar, if not higher, casualty rate.

  3. Lyle Smith says:

    They are all interesting antebellum, but I’ll throw out the class of 1854. That class might by the only Confederate heavy class there was. All were students under the eye of R.E. Lee while there.

    Custis Lee 1st in Class, James Deshler, John Pegram, J.E.B. Stuart, Archibald Gracie, Stephen D. Lee, Dorsey Pender, John Villepigue, and a number of minor staff and Regimental officers. Oliver O. Howard also graduated in this class. Oliver D. Greene was awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions at Antietam.

  4. nygiant1952 says:

    Those are pretty good responses….and I have books, hardcover and soft cover on both classes.
    I have an interest in the 1842 class because of Abner Doubleday.

  5. Mike Maxwell says:

    The Class of 1828 graduated Jefferson Davis. And it included George Chase. And this class was in attendance at West Point when William Rawle’s “A View of the Constitution of the United States (1825)” was available as part of the Law Curriculum. And as with most other Classes at West Point, this USMA Class of 1828 was familiar with cadets up to three years ahead, and three years behind… which helps explain how Cadet Davis became familiar with Albert Sidney Johnston (Class of 1826), Leonidas Polk (Class of 1827), Robert E. Lee (Class of 1829), Joseph E. Johnston (1829), and Lucius B. Northrop (1831). For complete rosters of 19th Century USMA graduating classes online: https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/Classes/1828.html

  6. Chris Kolakowski says:

    An underappreciated class is 1837 with Bragg, Hooker, Sedgwick, Early, and many others. Some of the more interesting and flawed characters of the war, like “Blinky” French, are also in the class.

    https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/Classes/1837.html

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