To the Point: The United States Military Academy, 1802-1902

By George S. Pappas | Go to book overview

5
Deliver Your Sword to the Bearer

Shortly after Christmas 1814, Partridge went to Washington, theoretically to discuss new regulations for the Academy with Secretary of War Monroe. The regulations he presented did not concern internal operations of the Academy but instead incorporated changes in its basic organization, administration, and relationship of the Superintendent with the Chief of Engineers, the Secretary of War, and the President.

Both Williams and Swift had complained of the requirement for the Superintendent to be many places at one time: West Point as Superintendent, supervising engineering construction throughout the United States, and Washington to advise the Secretary of War. They had often discussed this problem informally with Partridge, a normal procedure involving the Superintendent and the senior Engineer officer at West Point. Partridge, believing he had the answer to this dilemma, persuaded Monroe to accept his solution. Regulations approved by Monroe on January 3, 1815, provided for a permanent Superintendent responsible to the Secretary of War. The Chief of Engineers was to be Inspector of the Academy and responsible for examining the operation and management of the institution and reporting his findings to the Secretary of War. No officer other than the Superintendent would exercise command at West Point unless so ordered by the Secretary of War. Qualified cadets were to be commissioned in "such Corps as the Superintendent may think him best qualified for." The same day, Monroe sent Partridge a letter informing him that he was "hereby appointed Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, agreeable to the provisions of the regulations for that institution, which I have this day approved and transmit to you."

There were only two things wrong with these regulations. First, the Acts of

-75-

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To the Point: The United States Military Academy, 1802-1902
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • 1775-1802 1
  • 1 - The Foundation is Laid 3
  • 1802-1817 23
  • 2 - Struggle for Survival 25
  • 3 - Existence in Name Only 45
  • 4 - Right Man at the Right Time? 61
  • 5 - Deliver Your Sword to the Bearer 75
  • 1817-1828 97
  • 6 - The Rebuilding Begins 99
  • 7 - Governed by the Rules and Articles of War 119
  • 8 - Still in a State of Progressive Development 129
  • 9 - Members of One Brotherhood 149
  • 1829-1833 183
  • II - I Have the Honor to Tender My Resignation 185
  • 12 - I Believe It the Best School in the World 205
  • 1833-1852 219
  • 13 - A Firm Hand is Needed 221
  • 14 - Preparing for the Ultimate Test 239
  • 15 - We Follow, Close Order, Behind You 261
  • 1852-1865 279
  • 16 - The Ante-Bellum Army 281
  • 17 - When Shall We Meet Again? 287
  • 18 - Adhere to Your Purpose 323
  • 1865-1902 351
  • 19 - All Institutions Are Imperfect and Subject to the Law of Change 353
  • 20 - Guard Well Your Heritage 387
  • 1902 417
  • 21 - The Corps and the Corps and the Corps 419
  • Appendix A Superintendents, U.S. Military Academy 423
  • Appendix B Commandants of Cadets 427
  • Appendix C Deans of the Academic Board 431
  • Appendix D The 1780 Map of West Point: An Unintentional Historical Hoax 433
  • Appendix E Comments on Sources 437
  • Bibliography 447
  • Index 467
  • About the Author *
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