Adhere to Your Purpose
New Year's Day 1861 at West Point was marked in the traditional Army manner. Virginia Cadet Thomas Rowland called it a gala day. "The officers families," he wrote to his mother, "all kept open houses, well filled tables, and a plenty of toddy. Ramsay [ George W. Ramsay, Jr.] and I made about twelve calls and enjoyed the day very much." That evening, Rowland joined a group making a "hash" in barracks, using the gas lamps as a stove. "About 11 o'clk," he wrote, "I just got to bed ahead in time for the inspecting officer who came around with a dark lantern, caught a great many fellows out of bed."
Resignations continued in January but at a much reduced pace with only two cadets, John T. Wofford of South Carolina and Felix H. Robertson of Tennessee leaving the Academy. Even the secession of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi by the end of January had little impact on the southern cadets. Only four resigned after Texas seceded on February 1.
Another, very brief change came when Major Pierre G. T. Beauregard became the twelfth superintendent on January 23. Three days after his arrival, his native state, Louisiana, seceded from the Union. Two days later, the Secretary of War relieved Beauregard and ordered Delafield to resume the superintendency. In his history of the Academy, Thomas Fleming asserts that the primary reason Beauregard agreed to accept the appointment was to assist in blocking a congressional attempt to enable officers of all branches of the Army to be appointed superintendent. At the time, Beauregard was supervising the construction of the New Orleans Customs House for which he received a percentage of funds expended, about $5,000 a year. En route to West Point, he stopped in Washington and made it known that he would resign his commission should Louisiana secede. Nevertheless, Beauregard objected to his relief, stating that he would