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exhibition has been so interesting as the appearance of the youth-
ful soldiers by whom I am now surrounded. May they be ready
at all times when required to defend our beloved country; and
may the return of the next half century find many of them in
health and happiness. We shall be rejoiced on future occasions
to receive the visits of your corps, and be prepared to give them
a cordial welcome.

" The cadets reformed the line, broke into column, and marched
by invitation from the Park to the Navy Yard, Brooklyn, and from
thence to view the fortification at Governor's Island; and on their
return in the afternoon, embarked for Middletown in the steam-
boat, Oliver Ellsworth. When they marched out at the Park
Gate and were about taking leave, the citizens gave three
hearty cheers."

A gentleman in New York wrote a friend in Middletown,
under date of July 6, 1826 :

" I have no doubt that the visit of Capt. Partridge and his
cadets to New York will be productive of great advantage to
the Institution. The excellence of their appearance is still
the theme of every day's conversation and several parents that
did not expect that their^^sons would remain there another year
are determined to continue them at the Institution.' '

The corps, on July 17, 1826, through a committee of twenty-
one cadets, one from each state (eighteen) and the three foreign
countries represented in their number, sent the corporation of
New York and the various military officers who had extended
courtesies to them, resolutions of thanks for their kind entertain-

We give the letter written by Cadet George M. Totten, 27,
to his sister in New Haven.

Middletown, Conn., July 8, 1825.
Dear Sister:

I have been so busy for a long time, that I have not had an opportunity
of answering your letter before this. Before we went to New York, I was very
busy, I was obliged to attend to my regular duties as well as to prepare for
the march, but it is all over now and I sit down to give you a detailed
story of our expedition.

On Monday, the 3d, (which was the day appointed for our departure)
we left this place in the steamboat Oliver Ellsworth at 1 o'clock p. m.,
and expected to arrive in New York by seven next morning, but when we got


within about thirty miles of the city (which was at 3 o'clock a. m.) a fog came
up, and not having a skillful pilot, lost our way and did not arrive until 10 a. m.
By this delay, we lost a very important part in the proceedings such as
having a part in the salutes, which were to be fired on our arrival and answered
by us from the boat, and also the presentation of a standard to the National
Guards by Gov. DeWitt Clinton. However, when we arrived, we were received
by a great concourse of people on the dock, where we did not delay at all.
I just had time to speak to my dear brother Charles, (Totten) who looks

splendid in his regular uniform We marched directly up to the Battery

where we were immediately formed in line and were reviewed by a General,
I don't recollect his name. Afterwards we were formed in a column, the
rest also being formed in a column, and marched by the Mayor's House where
we were reviewed by him and Governor Clinton, who was standing upon the
steps, but the crowd was so great and my military collar so high, I could not
distinguish him then, though I looked verj' eagerly out of the corners of my
eyes for him. Then we marched to the park where we fired a feu de joie
of five rounds; then we marched to the Bowerj', and partook of a cold collation
and were immediately dispersed.

By this time it was 4 p. m., we had been drilling six hours in the hot sun
with a knapsack, weighing about fourteen pounds, on our backs. We had
had nothing to drink since six o'clock that morning, the water on the boat
being all used. Very few of the cadets had shut their eyes the night before,
for we were obliged to lay on the upper deck with nothing but a blanket to
cover us — being 280 in number (including the musicians) — you may think
how much noise there would be. After we were dispersed, I found Charles'
quarters — and how those Regular Army men treated me; all I wanted. There
I met our cousin. We remained until after tea, when we went out with the
intention of seeing the fireworks in the Park, but in consequence of a shower,
which we had this afternoon, they were postponed. Then we returned and
retired to bed. On Wednesday, at 9 a. m. according to orders given the day
before, we met in the Park and the parade being over, were reviewed by the
Mayor. We went through the marching and firing. It was near 12 o'clock
when we left the park amidst the hurrahs of thousands. We marched aboard
the steamer Oliver Ellsworth and went to the Governor's Island and the
Na\'y Yard.

Now, according to arrangements previously made, we were to go to West
Point, — it was 4 p. M., the time we were to start and all were in expectation
of going, but suddenly the Captain (Partridge) gave orders that every one
should arrange immediately to be prepared to set off for Middletown as soon as
possible. No one knew what to think of it, and no one knew the reason of it.

No one wished to go for they were all fatigued But submit every one

must, we asked the Captain to stay — the instructors who were with us implored
him to stay — he would give no reason.

He said there was every appearance of a storm (as there was) and that
there was not enough to cover us. This was the first time I ever knew a storm
to stop Capt. Partridge.

But it was impossible for all to be ready at the time the boat started
so she had to wait — some of us were obliged to go one or two miles for our
luggage — about two-thirds got ready and started two hours after the regular
time, the others arrived here in yesterday's boat.


Many reasons have been given for the Captain's abrupt departure —
"whether they are right or not, no one can tell. The New York people say it
was because he was not invited to dine with the corporation, as the officers
of all the other corps on duty were. They also say that we were not treated
with the attention we deserved. Our corps they say drew thousands around
us, while the others attracted no attention at all and to show the respect the
rabble had for us, they refrained from pelting our corps with squibs and crack-
ers as they did the other corps, we passed unmolested — and were cheered.

Your affectionate brother,


A detachment of 100 of the younger members of the corps
left Middletown, Tuesday, September 26, 1826, for Hartford,
Conn., reaching that city in the early p. m. They were hospitably
entertained by the citizens. They were met by the 1st regiment
of Connecticut Militia, who escorted them to the city. The
detachment paraded in East Hartford.

The Hartford Times states: ''They were the youngest
part of the cadets but displayed the correct and precise behaviour
of veterans."

The detachment left Hartford Wednesday morning and stayed
in Thompsonville that night. They reached Springfield Thursday
A. M., and after inspecting, the U. S. Armory were given a public
dinner at Russell's Coffee House by the citizens.

The Springfield Republican oi October 11, 1826, states: ''The
little soldiers, some of whom appeared too small for their
muskets and knapsacks did, nevertheless, display fine military
discipline and gentlemanly conduct.' ' The cadets gave several
exhibition drills. It was intended to have continued the
march to Northampton, but owing to the heavy rains the trip
to that city was given up.

The detachment left Springfield Friday morning in two
boats. They were entertained in Hartford that night and the
next morning gave exhibition drills, and 'visited Washington
College (Trinity College). The detachment was escorted to the
boat by the students of that institution under command of Cap-
tain Crarey. On their reaching the boat, Captain Partridge
gave an address to the students of the college. They then em-
barked on the steamboat Macdonough for Middletown. We
quote from the Hartford Times: "During the stay of 1he
cadets in this place, their whole deportment and gentlemanly
conduct added to their already acquired reputation and the fame
of their distinguished instructor.' '


A detachment of forty-one cadets, under command of Cap-
tain Partridge, left Middlctown at 10 a. m., November 1, 1826,
for West Point, N. Y. The march led through Berlin, and at
2 p. M. they crossed the southern portion of Talcott's mountain
and reached Farmington, eighteen miles from Middletown,
Saturday at 3 p. m. It rained most of the time. The historian
of the trip states: "We continued our course as if too proud of
the appellation of soldiers to be conquered by adverse winds
and rain. The cadets were entertained at the homes of George
Cowles, Col. Gad Cowles and Maj. William L. Cowles. On No-
vember 2 the detachment left Farmington at an early hour,
passed through Burlington, Harwinton, over Chestnut Hill,
reaching Litchfield at 3 p. m., having marched that day twenty-
two miles. Several cadets were entertained by ]\I. S. Deming
and the remainder of the detachment was entertained by the in-
habitants. November 3 the detachment left Litchfield at 12
o'clock, passing through Warren to the Housatonic River, reaching
Sharon at 5 p. m., having marched a distance of twenty miles
that day.

The detachment was hospitably entertained by the inhabi-
tants. November 4, the detachment left Sharon at 7 a. m. The
weather was very disagreeable, the mud had frozen in the roads,
making the walking very laborious, yet the historian states, " The
cadets averaged five miles per hour on the march.' ' They passed
through Ansonia, Washington, Pleasant Valley, reaching Pough-
keepsie at 1:15 o'clock p. m., having been six hours and fifteen
minutes walking thirty miles. At 5 p. m. they took the steam-
boat Saratoga for West Point, reaching their destination at
8 o'clock p. M. Sunday, November 5, the cadets inspected the
grounds and buildings of the U. S. Military Academy and attended
chapel. The number of cadets at the U. S. Military Academy
at this time numbered 250, while the attendance at the " A. L. S.
& M." was 287. At 3 o'clock p. m., the detachment took the
steamboat New Philadelphia for New York, reaching their
destination at 7:30 p. m. The cadets were entertained at
Tammany Hall and Washington Hall.

Monday, November 6, the cadets visited various places of
interest in the city and at this time, Mr. Browere, the American
artist, finished the bust, en militaire of Captain Partridge,
which was to be placed in his National Gallery. At 4 p. m,
they took the steamboat Macdonough, for Middletown. Owing
to a dense fog the boat was detained several hours in one of the


inlets of Long Island Sound. The "Academy " was reached at
10 o'clock A. M., November 7. Six of the cadets, A. C. Antill,
H. L. Barnum, W. J. Bennett, L. J. Gourdin, B. F. Patten, and
E. A. Phelps, walked from West Point to New York. They
reached Poughkeepsie, eighteen miles below West Point at 7 p. m.
The next morning, November 6, they crossed the Hudson in a
row boat, visited Stony Point, passed down the Hudson
through Tappan, and at 5 p. m. they reached Herrington, Bergen
County, N. J., where they stayed that night. At 9 a. m., Novem-
ber 7, they left Herrington, reached Hoboken at 4 p. m., and New
York City at 4:30. They took the steamboat for New Haven
on the morning of the eighth of November, and from New Haven
proceeded by stage to Middletown, reaching the "Academy"
at 10 p. M.

On December 4, 1826, si detachment of cadets numbering
eighty-two men left Middletown at 1 o'clock p. m., on the steam-
boat Oliver Ellsworth, for New York, where they arrived early
the next morning. The detachment was escorted to Washing-
ton Hall by the Tompkins Blues, under command of Captain
Tompkins. The cadets remained in the city until December 7,
the time being spent in visiting the various places of interest.
At noon on the 7th, the cadets were escorted to dock by the
Tompkins Blues and embarked on one of the Union Line
steamers for New Brunswick where they arrived in the early
evening. The forenoon of the 8th was spent in visiting the town
and at noon they took stages for Trenton, where they arrived in
the early evening. They were hospitably entertained by the
citizens. The next morning they took stages for a point down
the line six miles distant from Trenton, where they embarked on
the boat that was to convey them to Philadelphia. They landed
at the Northern Liberties, and were escorted to the United
States' Hotel, situated near the center of the city, by the Washing-
ton Greys, under command of Captain Childs.

On Sunday, the 10th, they attended divine worship, in the
morning, afternoon and evening. On the 11th, they visited by
invitation the U. S. Mint, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Navy
Yard, and in the evening the Museum. On the 12th, the detach-
ment was marched under arms to the Fairmount Water Works,
where an examination was made of the engineering works. Other
places of interest were visited, and in the evening a ball was given
in their honor by the Washington Greys at the Masonic Institu-
tion. At 11 A. M. on the morning of the 13th the cadets were


escorted from their quarters by a detachment from Colonel
Smith's regiment of volunteers, and by Captain Childs' company
of Washington Greys, to the steamboat landing, where they
embarked for Frenchtown. At this place they took a steamboat
for Baltimore, where they arrived in the early morning. They
marched to the Indian Queen Hotel. At 9 a. m. they marched
to Fort McHenry, where an inspection was made of the fortifi-
cations. Then they marched to the residence of the Hon. Charles
Carroll, the only surviving signer of the Declaration of Independ-
ence. Captain Partridge, in introducing the cadets said, " These,
Sir, are my pupils.' ' Mr. Carroll gave the cadets a hearty welcome
and in his speech stated: "In you I see the future defenders of
my countiy.' '

In the evening the cadets visited on invitation, the two

At 11 A. M. on the 15th they were invited by Mr. Barnum,
proprietor of the Cit}' Hotel, to a sumptuous dinner at his hotel,
where the cadets met many of the leading citizens of the city.
In the afternoon the cadets were escorted to the city limits by
a detachment of the 5th regiment under command of Major Finley,
where they took coaches to Washington. They stayed that night
at Rossburg and at an early hour began their march for the city.
Just before they reached the city, they were met by a corps of
cadets from the Georgetown Gymnasium, under the command
of Capt. Cobb, and were escorted to Williamson's Hotel,
where they made their headquarters while in Washington. On
December 18th, the corps called on Maj. Gen. Brown at his
residence and were hospitably received and there met many
of the officers of the United States Army. Then they marched
to the National Capitol, where some time was spent in inspecting
the various departments. On the 19th they marched to the White
House and were cordially received by President Adams. On
the 20th the cadets attended the annual commencement of the
Columbian College and in the evening attended the President's
levee. On the 21st the corps paid their respects to Mr. Barbour,
Secretaiy of War, who received them in an eloquent address.
He spoke at some length on the importance of militaiy training
and complimented Capt. Partridge on the work he was doing.
He stated: "Your superintendent, gentlemen, has consulted the
best good of his countiy in establishing his system on a permanent
footing, and I mean no flattery when I say he is deserving the
gratitude of his countiy for his persevering labors for its benefit."


On December 22d they waited on Vice-President Calhoun
who received them very cordially, and expressed his gratification
in witnessing a corps of citizen-soldiers in preparation for the
varied duties of life. They then inspected the United States
Navy Yard and other places of interest. On December 23, they
visited Mount Vernon on the invitation of Judge Washington,
nephew of Gen. George Washington, and proprietor of the estate.
They left Washington at 9 a. m. on a steamboat generously
provided for the occasion by the citizens of Georgetown. They
were accompanied by Capt. Cobb and his corps of cadets, several
U. S. Senators and Representatives, army officers and prominent
citizens of Washington. The corps was then formed in double
ranks and to the solemn beat of the death march, with arms
reversed, proceeded to the tomb where Judge Washington
delivered them a brief address on the life and character of Gen.
Washington. He exhorted the cadets to live good and useful lives.
He was rejoiced to find that the cadets were residents of sections
of the Union so widely distant, as it gave him the opportunity of
impressing upon their minds the necessity of sacrificing local feel-
ings, and uniting in all measures, where the general interest of the
nation was at stake. After his address the corps fired three volleys
over the last resting place of the " Father of our Country.' ' Capt.
Partridge responded and gave a brief outline of the political
situation of the country in Washington's time. The vault was
opened, and each one was allowed to view the place that contained
the mouldering remains of the greatest and best of men.

At 3 p. M. they returned to Washington. December 25
was spent in visiting the Typographical Office, Patent Office
and other places of interest, and in the evening they attended a
ball in Georgetown, given by the '' Citizen-Soldiers,' ' in their
honor. December 26, the corps was disbanded to return to their
respective homes, before the opening of the Academic term,
January 15, 1827.

In July, 1827, an extended march was made to the Niagara
Falls, N. Y. We give the account of the march from the pen of
Luther R. Marsh, written in 1897, seventy years after the event
he describes took place:

"While I was at the "Academy," the cadets as a body made
several excursions, the most extensive being a visit to Niagara Falls.
We went by steamboat, by canal boat, and by the ' foot ' line. I
recall distinctly the fifteen miles ' march from Schenectady to


Albany. One day Captain Partridge had business at some
place which held him over, while we went on, so that the next
morning we started with one day's march between us. About
noon, the cry was raised along our straggling ranks, 'Old Pewt
is coming.' The nickname had been given him because his
signature looked as much like ' Pewter' as anything else. Sure
enough, as we looked back, we saw him coming. I remember
it as forcibly as if I had not recovered from the fatigue of the march.
With his scabbarded sword under his arm and a plume in hand,
he passed me as a steam car would go by a canal boat. At night,
we found him on arrival, at the place of rendezvous. At New
York we were received as the guests of the 'Tompkins Blues'
and treated with the highest consideration. That regiment still
survives in its successor, into which it was merged, — the Old
Guard, so long commanded by the late George W. McLean.
"At Rochester, m}^ uncle, Josiah Marsh, a resident there and
noted for his wit, inquired of some cadets for me, and being told
'He looks like you,' replied jokingl}^ 'Yes, he is very bright.'
We formed a hollow square in some public grounds and Congress-
man Barnard, a brother of my room-mate, gave this toast:
'Captain Partridge and his corps of cadets, the best substitute
for a standing army in time of peace. ' At Black Rock we were
most royally entertained, as we paused on our march from the
Falls to Lewiston, at the mansion of General Peter B. Porter.
He was eminent for militaiy services in 1813, at Chippewa and
at Lundy's Lane; had received a sword from the Legislature at
New York for his valor at Fort Erie, and a gold medal from Con-
gress; had been appointed l^y President Madison as commander-
in-chief of our army; was one of the projectors of the Erie canal,
and an explorer of its route. He was really the owner of Niagara
Falls. He was also a commissioner for settling our northwestern
boundar}% and was secretary of war under President Adams.
How little could I have then imagined that fifty-seven years there-
after I was to spend a summer at the Falls as chairman of a
commission to estimate the value of the lands to be taken by the
state for a reservation, opening the majestic cataract to the view
of visitors from all parts of the world, whereas before, there was
not a spot where an American could put his foot and see the plunge
unless on payment for the privilege. Of course, the noble monu-
ment erected by the British on the heights of Queenstown, in
honor of General Brock, who was killed in the battle there in 1813,
was an objective point of great interest to military students.


We had an experience, not easily forgotten, with seasickness for
two days and nights, as our steamboat in a gale dragged her
anchor two miles an hour among the spiteful waves of Lake
Ontario. Our debilitated corps would then have been in a poor
condition to invade Canada."

Captain Partridge states in the catalogue published August,
1827: — "On the recent excursion of the corps to Buffalo and the
Falls of Niagara, they travelled a distance of thirteen hundred
miles, being absent about four weeks, and the expense of each,
twenty-nine dollars and fifty cents, or about twenty-one dollars
more than would have been incurred for board, washing, etc.,
had they remained at Middletown during the same time.

" Such cadets only will be required to go on these excursions
as have the consent of their parents or guardians. I am, however,
convinced from many years' experience, as well as from the nature
of the case, that there is no equal portion of time, during the whole
year, in which members of the Institution derive more real advan-
tage and are more improved, than while on these excursions.
They then have an opportunity of seeing interesting parts of our
country, of becoming acquainted with the people, and of acquir-
ing a species of practical and every-day knowledge of the world,
which can never be derived from books or in the closet. They
also have an opportunity of visiting and examining under the most
favorable circumstances, our principal public establishments,
such as navy yards, arsenals, fortifications, manufactories,
also the great works of internal improvement, canals, railroads,
bridges, etc., etc. All the foregoing objects, and many others
of lesser importance, have passed under the instruction and exam-
ination of the members of the Institution within the space of
three years. The mind, which is accustomed in early youth to
contemplate and examine objects of such magnitude and im-
portance, must be enlarged, informed and elevated. On these
excursions youths become accustomed to endure fatigue and
privation, and also to take care of themselves, which I consider
a very important part of education.' '

During 1821-27 there was only one vacation each year, which
began the first Monday in December and lasted four weeks.
Beginning with 1828 there were two vacations each year. The
first began immediately after the examinations in May and lasted
three weeks. The second began immediately after the August
examination and continued for five weeks.

The expenses per year during 1821-25 were as follows: Board


cost from $78 to $90 per year; tuition in all the regular branches
excepting the Hebrew, French and Spanish languages, Fencing and
Music, was $10 per quarter or $40 per year, the charge for extra-
branches was $5 per quarter for each; room rent, including
use of arms and accoutrements, $10 per year. Each cadet was
required to furnish his bedding; the cost of the reading room was
37h cents per quarter or 81.50 per year. Students who remained
for one or more years were received for two hundred and fifty dol-
lars per year which included all the above expenses, and also the ex-
penses for fuel, washing and mending, uniforms, the use of books,
instruments and bedding, every expense except for the Hebrew
and French languages, Fencing and Music. These branches were
not considered as comprised in the regular course of education,
and those who took these subjects were charged separately. Each

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 6 of 61)