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