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Acts of Congress, in 1802 and 1808, authorized 40 cadets from the Artillery, 100 from the Infantry, 16 from the Dragoons, and 20 from the Riflemen; few of these were appointed, and no provision was made for them at the Academy. In 1810, the Academy was deprived of nearly all means of instruction, and officers and cadets had difficulty in obtaining their pay. During most of the year 1811, and a part of 1812, although war was imminent, academic instruction was practically abandoned. In March, 1812, the Academy was without a single instructor. Up to and including this time, 88 cadets had been graduated; they had entered without mental or physical examination, at all ages from 12 to 34, and at various times during the year.
By Act of Congress of April 29, 1812, the Academy was reorganized. The provisions of this Act have furnished the general principles upon which the Military Academy has since been conducted and controlled; a more adequate corps of professors was authorized; a maximum of 250 cadets was fixed; and the age and the mental requisites for admission were prescribed.
In 1817, under the provisions of the Act of 1812, and the able superintendency of Major Sylvanus Thayer, Corps of Engineers, the present era in the Academy's history opened.
Until 1843, a prescribed residence was not a legal qualification for appointment, but the selection of one cadet from each Congressional district had grown to be customary. In this year the custom became the law, Congress prescribing that the Corps of Cadets should consist of one from each Congressional district, one from each Territory, one from the District of Columbia, and ten from the United States at large, to be appointed by the President.
By the Act of Congress, approved June 3, 1942, the Corps of Cadets, as now constituted, consists of four for each Senator, four for each Representative, four for the Delegate in Congress from the Territory of Alaska, four for the Delegate in Congress from the Territory of Hawaii, four for the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico, two for the Governor of the Panama Canal Zone, six for the District of Columbia, twenty for the sons of deceased officers, twenty for the sons of deceased enlisted men, forty for Honor Schools, three for the Vice-President, eighty-nine for the President, ninety for the Regular Army and ninety for the National Guard, or a total of 2,496.
In addition to the 2,496 mentioned above, the Secretary of War is authorized to permit not exceeding four Filipinos, to be designated one for each class by the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, to receive instruction at the United States Military Academy, under the provision of the Act of Congress approved May 28, 1908, as amended. These students execute an agreement to comply with all regulations for the police and discipline of the Academy, to be studious, and to give their utmost efforts to accomplish the courses in the various departments of instruction.
The Act of Congress approved July 2, 1942, making appropriations for the military establishment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1943, contains a provision which reads as follows: "That no part of any appropriation contained in this Act shall be available for the pay of any person, other than military personnel, not a citizen of the United States, unless in the employ of the Government or in a pay status on the date of approval of this Act, under appropriations for the War Department, but nothing herein shall be construed as applying ... to citizens of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, or to nationals of those countries allied with the United States in the prosecution of the war and whose employment is determined by the Secretary of War to be necessary, or to persons employed outside of the continental limits of the United States. . . . That said Filipinos undergoing instruction on graduation shall be
eligible only to commissions in the Philippine Scouts. And the provisions of Section 1321, Revised Statutes, are modified in the case of the Filipinos undergoing instruction, so as to require them to engage to serve for eight years, unless sooner discharged, in the Philippine Scouts.” (35 Stats., 441.)
The Act of Congress approved July 1, 1937, making appropriations for the military establishment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938, contains a proviso which reads as follows: "That no part of this or any appropriation contained in this Act shall be available for the pay of any person, civil or military, not a citizen of the United States, unless in the employ of the Government or in a pay status under appropriations carried in this Act on July 1, 1937."
An Act of Congress approved May 25, 1933, as amended by the Act or Congress approved July 8, 1937, provides: “That the superintendents of the United States Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy may, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, confer the degree of bachelor of science upon all living graduates of their respective academies, from and after the date of the accrediting of said academies by the Association of American Universities.” The United States Military Academy was accredited by the Association of American Universities on October 31, 1925. The degree of bachelor of science was conferred retroactively by certificate upon all qualified living graduates up to and including the class of 1925. The degree of bachelor of science was conferred retroactively by certificate upon all graduates in the classes of 1926 to 1933, inclusive. For succeeding classes this degree is regularly conferred at the time of graduation.
The total number of graduates, including foreigners receiving instruction under Acts of Congress, from 1802 to May 29, 1942, inclusive, is 13,036.
COMMENDATORY REFERENCES TO THE ACADEMY
“I have duly received your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclosing a copy of what you had written to the Secretary of War, on the subject of a Military Academy.
“The establishment of an Institution of this kind, upon a respectable and extensive basis, has ever been considered by me as an object of primary importance to this country; and while I was in the Chair of Government, I omitted no proper opportunity of recommending it, in my public speeches and other ways, to the attention of the Legislature. But I never undertook to go into a detail of the organization of such an academy; leaving this task to others whose pursuits in the paths of science, and attention to the arrangements of such institutions, had better qualified them for the execution of it. For the same reason I must now decline making any observations on the details of your plan; and as it has already been submitted to the Secretary of War, through whom it would naturally be laid before Congress, it might be too late for alterations if any should be suggested."
"I sincerely hope that the subject will meet with due attention, and that the reasons for its establishment which you have so clearly pointed out in your letter to the Secretary, will prevail upon the Legislature to place it upon a permanent and respectable footing.”—George Washington. (Letter to Alexander Hamilton dated Mount Vernon, 12 December, 1799, two days before General Washington died.)
COMMENDATORY REFERENCES TO THE ACADEMY (Continued) “I recommend to your fostering care, as one of our safest means of national defense, the Military Academy. This institution has already exercised the happiest influence upon the moral and intellectual character of our Army; and such of the graduates as from various causes may not pursue the profession of arms will be scarcely less useful as citizens. Their knowledge of the military art will be advantageously employed in the militia service, and in a measure secure to that class of troops the advantages which in this respect belong to standing armies."-Andrew Jackson. (Extract from his First Message to Congress, December, 1829.)
"I give it as my fixed opinion, that but for our graduated cadets, the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would, have lasted some four or five years, with, in its first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share; whereas, in less than two campaigns, we conquered a great country and a peace, without the loss of a single battle or skirmish."-Winfield Scott. (Extract from a letter written by him July 25, 1860, to Lieutenant Ives, Secretary to the U. S. Military Academy Commission.)
"The foregoing considerations naturally bring to mind the Military Academy at West Point. I believe that the great service which it has rendered the country was never more conspicuous than it has been during the past two years. The faithful and efficient services of its graduates since the declaration of war with Spain have more than repaid the cost of the institution since its foundation. They have been too few in number and most heavily burdened.”Elihu Root. (Extract from his report as Secretary of War, June 30, 1899.)
“This institution has completed its first hundred years of life. During that century no other educational institution in the land has contributed so many names as West Point has contributed to the honor roll of the nation's greatest citizens.”—Theodore Roosevelt. (Extract from his address at the Centennial Exercises U. S. Military Academy, June 11, 1902.)
"In the World War, West Point again demonstrated its supreme value to the country in the hour of need. Our great overseas army was made and led by West Point men and the incredible swiftness with which it was trained for its great task is a tribute to the fineness of the raw material and also to the leadership generated by West Point. In all walks of life character is the indispensable basis of enduring success. West Point does many things for its men, but the highest quality it gives them is character and in the emergency of the World War, our success rested upon the character of our leaders. It, therefore, finally rested upon West Point.”—Newton D. Baker. (Extract from a letter written by him March 27, 1928, to Major General William R. Smith, Superintendent, U. S. Military Academy.)
“What the Academy stands for has always been my guide throughout my military career, and to have approached the high ideals of duty, honor and service to the country that are the real spirit of West Point, has to me a meaning that nothing else has. The longer I live, and the further I have gone on in the service, the more I reverence the things that inspire the heart and soul of young men at West Point.
I can only add that West Point has again, in this war, demonstrated its usefulness and justified itself a hundred times over in furnishing to this great American Army in Europe the splendid men who have served here in the old West Point spirit.”——Extracts from a letter from General John J. Pershing, January 11, 1929.
SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY.
Term of Service
To į 1 Jonathan Williams. Major, Corps of Engineers..... April 15, 1802 | "June 20, 1803 Resigned 2 Jonathan Williams. Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers. April 19, 1805 July 31, 1812 Resigned 3 Joseph G. Swift.. Colonel, Corps of Engineers.... | July 31, 1812 Mar. 24, 1814 Relieved. 4 Alden Partridge.. Captain, Corps of Engineers.. Jan. 3, 1815 July 28, 1817 Relieved. 5 Sylvanus Thayer.. Captain, Corps of Engineers.. July 28, 1817 July 1, 1833 Relieved. 6 René E. DeRussy. Major, Corps of Engineers.. July 1, 1833 Sept. 1, 1838 Relieved. 7 Richard Delafield. Major, Corps of Engineers.. Sept. 1, 1838 Aug. 15, 1845 Relieved. 8 Henry Brewerton. Captain, Corps of Engineers. Aug. 15, 1845 Sept. 1, 1852 Relieved. 9 Robert E. Lee.
Captain, Corps of Engineers.. Sept. 1, 1852 Mar. 31, 1855 Relieved. 10 John G. Barnard.. Captain, Corps of Engineers.. Mar. 31, 1855 Sept. 8, 1856 Relieved. 11 Richard Delafield, Major, Corps of Engineers... Sept. 8, 1856 Jan. 23, 1861 Relieved. 12 Peter G. T. Beauregard.. Captain, Corps of Engineers... | Jan. 23, 1861 Jan. 28, 1861 Relieved. 13 Richard Delafield.. Major, Corps of Engineers.. Jan. 28, 1861 Mar. 1, 1861 Relieved. 14 Alexander H. Bowman... Major, Corps of Engineers.. Mar. 1, 1861 July 8, 1864 Relieved. 15 Zealous B. Tower.. Major, Corps of Engineers.... July 8, 1864 Sept. 8, 1864 Relieved. 16 George W. Cullum, Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers. Sept. 8, 1864 Aug. 28, 1866 Relieved. 17 Thomas G. Pitcher.. Colonel, 44th Infantry. Aug. 28, 1866 Sept. 1, 1871 Relieved. 18
Thomas H. Ruger.. Colonel, 18th Infantry. Sept. 1, 1871 Sept. 1, 1876 Relieved. 19 John M. Schofield. Major General, U. S. Army. Sept. 1, 1876 Jan. 21, 1881 Relieved. 20 Oliver 0. Howard.. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. Jan. 21, 1881 Sept. 1, 1882 Relieved. 21 Wesley Merritt. Colonel, 5th Cavalry..
Sept. 1, 1882 July 1, 1887 Reħeved. 22 John G. Parke.
Colonel, Corps of Engineers.... Aug. 28, 1887 | June 24, 1889 Relieved. 23 John M. Wilson
Lieut. Col., Corps of Engineers. Aug. 26, 1889 Mar. 31, 1893 Relieved. 24 Oswald H. Ernst. Major, Corps of Engineers..... Mar. 31, 1893 Aug. 21, 1898 Relieved. 25 Albert L. Mills,
1st Lieutenant, 1st Cavalry. Aug. 22, 1898 Aug. 31, 1906 Relieved. 26 | Hugh L. Scott.
Major, 14th Cavalry... Aug. 31, 1906 Aug. 31, 1910 Relieved. 27 Thomas H. Barry. Major General, U. S. Army.. Aug. 31, 1910 Aug. 31, 1912 Relieved. 28 Clarence P. Townsley. Colonel, Coast Artillery Corps.. Aug. 31, 1912 June 30, 1916 Relieved. 29 John Biddle..
Colonel, Corps of Engineers... July 1, 1916 May 31, 1917 Relieved. 30 Samuel E. Tillman. Colonel, U. S. Army.
June 13, 1917 June 11, 1919 Relieved. 31 Douglas MacArthur. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. June 12, 1919 June 30, 1922 Relieved. 32 Fred W. Sladen.. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. July 1, 1922 Mar. 23, 1926 Relieved. 33 Merch B. Stewart.. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. Mar. 24, 1926 Oct. 5, 1927 Retired. 34 Edwin B. Winans. Major General, U. S. Army. Oct. 23, 1927 Feb, 25, 1928 Relieved. 35 William R. Smith. Major General, U. S. Army. Feb. 26, 1928 April 30, 1932 Retired. 36 William D. Connor. Major General, U. S. Army. May 1, 1932 Jan. 17, 1938 Relieved. 37 Jay L. Benedict.. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. Feb. 5, 1938 Nov. 17, 1940 Relieved. 38 Robert L. Eichelberger.. Brigadier General, U. S. Army. Nov. 18, 1940 | Jan. 12, 1942 Relieved. 39 | Francis B. Wilby. Major General, U. S. Army. Jan. 13, 1942
Note.—The selection of the Superintendents of the Military Academy was confined to the Corps of Engineers
from the establishment of the Institution, March 16, 1802, till the passage of the law of July 13, 1866, which opened it to the entire Army. By the Act of June 12, 1856, the local rank of Colonel was conferred
upon the Superintendent. 1 Major Williams resigned June 20, 1803, on a point of command, and pending its settlement until April
19, 1805, when he again returned to service as Chief Engineer, no permanent Superintendent of the Military Academy was appointed, the command devolving upon the senior officer of the Corps of Eng.
ineers present for duty. 2 Bvt. Major P. G. T. Beauregard, Corps of Engineers, by order of John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, relieved
Colonel Delafield, Jan. 23, 1861, from the superintendency of the Military Academy, but was himself displaced five days later Jan. 28, 1861, by direction of the succeeding Secretary of War Joseph Holt, the command again devolving upon Colonel Delafield.
Note.—Date in parentheses is the date of reporting at West Point.
Date in brackets is the date of relief.
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
WEST POINT, NEW YORK
JUNE 30, 1942.
SUPERINTENDENT AND COMMANDANT.
Colonel Robert C. F. Goetz, Field Artillery, Executive Officer for the Post;
Commanding Officer, all troops except Band and Field Music (12-13-40). Colonel Arthur C. Purvis, (Infantry), Adjutant General's Department, Adju
tant General of the Military Academy and of the Post, Secretary to the
Academic Board (7-1-39). Colonel James H. Laubach, Quartermaster Corps, Quartermaster. *Fire Mar
shal and Police Officer (1-17-42). Colonel William B. Meister, Medical Corps, Surgeon (5-3-42). Colonel Freeman W. Bowley, Field Artillery, Post Property Inspector. *War
Plans Officer; Post Intelligence Officer; Surveying Officer; Assistant to Zone
Constructing Quartermaster, Zone 2, New York, N. Y. (2-16-41). Colonel Earl North, Corps of Engineers, Treasurer of the Military Academy
and Quartermaster and Commissary for the Corps of Cadets (5-15-42). Lieutenant Colonel Hayden W. Wagner, Quartermaster Corps Reserve, Assis
tant Treasurer of the Military Academy (3-10-42). Major Paul L. Weitfle, Army of the United States, Assistant to the Treasurer
(2-17-42). First Lieutenant Donald F. Carroll, Field Artillery Retired, Assistant to the
Treasurer (1-12-42). Colonel William M. Connor, Judge Advocate General's Department, Professor.
*Staff Judge Advocate (1-19-42). Lieutenant Colonel Meade Wildrick, Coast Artillery Corps, Public Relations
Officer (3-15-41). Captain Donald B. Thurman, Infantry Reserve, Assistant Public Relations
Officer (12-2-41). Colonel Emmett J. Bean, Finance Department, Finance and Disbursing Officer.
Fiscal Officer. Civilian Personnel Officer (6-20-39). Lieutenant Colonel James G. Renno, Coast Artillery Corps, Post Signal Officer.
*Commanding Officer, Signal Corps Detachment (4-13-41). Lieutenant lonel W iam N. Leaf, Corps of Engineers, Commanding Officer,
Engineer Detachment. *Post Engineer Officer (8-4-40). Captain William A. Hunt, Corps of Military Police, Provost Marshal; Prison
Officer; Parole Officer; *Commanding Officer, Military Police Detachment (3-6-42).