West Point in the Making of America

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Graduates of West Point



Class of 1805–1835 | Class of 1836–1852 | Class of 1852–1981 | Class of 1884–1936






Thomas Lincoln Casey
Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831–1896)
CLASS OF 1852
HIGHLIGHT: Washington Monument under construction

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Engineering: Career engineer officer | Redesigned and completed the Washington Monument | Oversaw such major building projects as the State, War, and Navy Building (now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building), and the Library of Congress.



Oliver Otis Howard
Oliver Otis Howard (1830–1909)
CLASS OF 1854

HIGHLIGHT: Freemen voting

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Well connected politically, he rose rapidly to corps command, despite losing his right arm in an 1862 battle. Other: After graduation returned to West Point to teach math, a tour of duty cut short by war | Strong religious, civil rights, and temperance views led to his choice as head of the new Freedmen’s Bureau in 1865 | Real concern for Negro education made him active in founding Howard University | Spending the 1870s in several western Indian campaigns, Howard became West Point superintendent in 1881. Family: Married Elizabeth Ann Waite in 1856. The couple had two children.



George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876)
CLASS OF 1861
HIGHLIGHT: Custer’s Last Fight

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Aggressive soldier with distinguished Civil War service | Led himself and many of his troops to death at the battle of the Little Big Horn. Family: Married Elizabeth (“Libbie”) Bacon. As his widow, Libbie Custer devoted herself to embellishing the legend of Custer as a great military hero.



Ranald Slidell Mackenzie
Ranald Slidell Mackenzie (1802–1871)
CLASS OF 1862

HIGHLIGHT: Black troops

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Considered “most promising young officer” by Grant | Led the 41st (later 24th) Infantry, a black regiment, to solid record of accomplishment.



Thomas Murray Tolman
Thomas Murray Tolman (1841–1883)
CLASS OF 1865
HIGHLIGHT: Army post at Sulphur Springs, Texas

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Assigned to frontier duty with the 6th Cavalry in Texas, he rose to the rank of captain before reaching Sulphur Springs in April 1869 | Formed a special thirty-man unit, “Tolman’s Thirty,” to enforce federal law and suppress disorder within the small town of Sulphur Springs and surrounding Hopkins County | Tolman’s Thirty provoked complaints and may have skirted the law. Before the end of the year, Tolman was suspended from command, charged with mistreating a prisoner | After a year’s confinement within Fort Jefferson, he returned to active duty and left Texas.



Fayette Washington Roe
Fayette Washington Roe (1850–1916)
CLASS OF 1871

HIGHLIGHT: Frances M. A. Roe

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Unremarkable military career, clerical and administrative posts. Family: Married Frances Mack. Frances Roe wrote Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife (1909) a detailed description of life in the frontier army.



Hugh Lenox Scott
Hugh Lenox Scott (1853–1934)
CLASS OF 1876
HIGHLIGHT: Hugh Lenox Scott portrait

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Served in frontier cavalry | Military governor of the Philippines | US Army chief of staff in 1914. Other: Wrote definitive treatise on sign language of the Plains Indians.



William Crozier
William Crozier (1855–1942)
CLASS OF 1876
HIGHLIGHT: 75-mm shell

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Worked to improve coast artillery and became chief of ordnance | Vital role in conversion of factories for ordnance production in World War I. Other: Taught mathematics at West Point | Elected to prestigious National Academy of Sciences.



Henry Ossian Flipper
Henry Ossian Flipper (1856–1940)
CLASS OF 1877

HIGHLIGHT: Portrait, Henry O. Flipper

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Exploration: Prospered through surveying and land speculation in Texas and Mexican land. Other: First black graduate of West Point, dismissed from the army for “conduct unbecoming an officer” | Exonerated by presidential pardon.



George Washington Goethals
George Washington Goethals (1858–1928)
CLASS OF 1880
HIGHLIGHT: Culebra Cut

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Engineering: Chief engineer of the Panama Canal project | Built the Canal ahead of schedule | Returned from retirement to become acting quartermaster general during World War I | Successful engineering consultant after second retirement.



Henry Granville Sharpe
Henry Granville Sharpe (1858–1947)
CLASS OF 1880

HIGHLIGHT: Quartermaster items

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Supported establishment of modern Quartermaster Corps | Appointed quartermaster general of the army, supervised buildup for World War I. Other: Efficient organizer of Commissary Corps efforts in Spanish-American War and after | Improved soldier’s rations.



Andrew Summers Rowan
Andrew Summers Rowan (1857–1943)
CLASS OF 1881
HIGHLIGHT: Two pamphlets, Message to Garcia

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Other: Dispatched on a secret mission to Cuba in 1898 to obtain information on rebel forces | Returned in eleven days with the information | 40 million copies of pamphlet Message to Garcia became a guide on getting the job done.



Enoch Herbert Crowder
Enoch Herbert Crowder (1859–1932)
CLASS OF 1881

HIGHLIGHT: The Draft

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
War: Helped draft and implement 1917 Selective Service Act. Other: Studied for law degree after West Point, later army gudge advocate general.



Class of 1805–1835 | Class of 1836–1852 | Class of 1852–1981 | Class of 1884–1936



Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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