West Point in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
presents this memorial to the
United States Military Academy
on the occasion of its 40th reunion
and one hundred forty years after the graduation of the Classes of May and June 1861.
We commemorate the reconciliation between North and South and dedicate this memorial to our classmates who died in service to our nation.
Left Marker :
USMA Class of May 1861
Those who gave their lives during the Civil War
Charles E. Patterson, CSA Shiloh
Henry W. Kingsbury, USA Antietam
John Pelham, CSA Kelly’s Ford
Edmund Kirby, USA Chancellorsville
Charles E. Cross, USA Franklin’s Crossing
Charles E. Hazlett, USA Gettysburg
James F. McQuesten, USA Opequan Creek
USMA Class of June 1861
Those who gave their lives during the Civil War
Zadock T. Willet, CSA Shiloh
Benjamin King, Jr., CSA Shiloh
Julius W. Adams, Jr., USA Gaines Mill
Justin E. Dimick, USA Chancellorsville
Patrick H. O’Rorke, USA Gettysburg
George A. Woodruff, USA Gettysburg
Charles H. Brightly, USA Wilderness
William F. Niemeyer, CSA Spotsylvania
Edward S. Willis, CSA Bethesda Church
Alexander D. Moore Cold Harbor
Arthur H. Dutton, USA Bermuda Hundred
William H. Browne, CSA Piedmont
John H. Kelly, CSA Franklin
Right Marker :
USMA Class of 1961
Classmates who gave their lives in service to our Nation
Ronald D. Hines Vietnam 26 April 1964
James M. Coyle Vietnam 20 August 1964
Douglas F. Matthews Thailand 13 November 1964
Basil M. Parks, II Thailand 14 November 1964
John C. Sigg Vietnam 28 May 1965
Thomas W. Pusser Vietnam 22 October 1965
Donald R. Bonko Vietnam 26 November 1965
John A. Kemp Vietnam 8 August 1966
William T. Deuel Vietnam 30 September 1966
Monte T. Sloan Vietnam 10 December 1966
Samuel D. Freeman, III Vietnam 7 January 1967
Richard J. Davis Vietnam 10 May 1967
Norman N. Cunningham Vietnam 24 September 1968
John W. Lawrence, Jr. Vietnam 16 September 1971
Frederick D. Daniloff Fort Rucker, AL 22 February
Additional Markers located at Reconciliation Plaza are listed below:
Once Divided . . . Now United
Along this wall are displayed compelling examples of acts and events that are testimony to the reconciliation which transpired between 1861 and 1913 across the United States.
West Point, New York
Class of May 1861 Class of June 1861
45 Graduated 34 Graduated
“Faithful to Death” “Through Trials to Triumph”
. . . Class Motto . . . Class Motto
Between 1856 and 1857, 155 young men from across the United States entered the Military Academy as members of the Classes of 1861 and 1862. After the outbreak of the Civil War, the Academy petitioned and the War Department authorized the early graduation of these two classes and they became the Classes of May 1861 and June 1861.
Just months short of graduation, amidst the escalating sectional tensions of the time, members of each class were forced to decide whether to remain loyal to the Union or to support the Confederacy. Faced with this decision, most remained loyal to the Union; however, five from the May class and twenty-three from the June class left the Academy and fought for the Confederacy. In addition, six graduates from the
There was a premature and bloody reunion of the classes on July 21, 1861, when many of both classes fought on either side at the 1st Battle of Manassas.
Among these young men who began the 1861 academic year behind the Academy’s gray walls, the cost of the war was high:
twelve died fighting for the Union, nine for the Confederacy.
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
April 12, 1861
Brigadier General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, USMA Class of 1838, and a former Superintendent, led the Secessionist Forces at Charleston, South Carolina. They fired on Federal Forces at Fort Sumter, commanded by Major Robert Anderson, USMA Class of 1825.
Major Anderson was General Beauregard’s artillery instructor at West Point when Beauregard was a cadet.
September 17, 1862
On the bloodiest day of the war, Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, a future Supreme Court Justice, commanded Company A, 10th Massachusetts, in the division commanded by Major General John Sedgwick, USMA Class of 1837. Captain Holmes, although severely wounded in the neck, ran unsteadily toward the Nicodemus house.
A Rebel poked his head through a shattered window inquiring, “Yankees?” Someone groaned, “Yes.” “Wounded?” asked the Rebel, and “Yes” was the reply. “Want some water?” responded the Rebel as he whirled his canteen into the room and dashed off to join his unit on a skirmish line north of the house.
The Rebel unit remained at the Nicodemus farm about fifteen minutes before Federal gunners began firing at them and the Rebels realized they had to withdraw. The Rebel who loaned his canteen to the wounded in the house poked his head through the window again and shouted, “Hurry up there! Hand me my canteen! I am on the double quick myself now!”
Excerpted from Antietam: The Soldiers’ Battle by John M. Priest
July 3, 1863
Tell Hancock I have done him and my country a great injustice which I shall never cease to regret . . .
gasped Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead, CSA, ex-USMA Class of 1837, as he lay dying before the guns of Battery A, 4th US Artillery, commanded by First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing, USMA Class of June 1861, who fell there also. Armistead’s brigade was stopped
This message, along with other personal items, was relayed to Armistead’s close friend, Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, USMA Class of 1844, Commander of the Second Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac, by General Hancock’s aide.
Belle Grove, Virginia
October 21, 1864
Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, CSA, USMA Class of 1860, mortally wounded during the Battle of Cedar Creek, was carried from the field to Belle Grove, a nearby country home. His Union friends, whom he had met at West Point, Major General George Armstrong Custer, USMA Class of June 1861, Colonel Wesley Merritt, USMA Class of 1860, and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander C. Pennington, USMA Class of 1860, joined him and sat through the night comforting him as he lay dying.
March 4, 1865
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, his orphans – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
. . . Second Inaugural Address
Appomattox Court House, Virginia
April 9, 1865
General Robert E. Lee, USMA Class 1829, surrendered The Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant, USMA Class of 1843, commanding the Union Army.
“ . . . each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes not to be disturbed by the United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside . . . let all men who claim to own a horse or mule take the animals home with then to work their little farms.”
“This will have the best possible effect upon the men . . . It will be very gratifying and will do much towards concillating our people.”
New York City
May 22, 1869
Association of Graduates Established
With memories of the Civil War still fresh across the Nation, a group of West Point graduates met in New York City to establish the Association of Graduates. The founders envisioned two goals for the new organization: “to perpetuate the friendships formed” at the Military Academy and “to promote its best interests.”
The first of these goals stood uppermost in their minds – they saw the new association as a way to help heal the old wounds
Charles C. Parsons, USMA Class of June 1861, became the Association’s first secretary.
West Point, New York
June 13, 1884
Annual Meeting, Association of Graduates
Major General Isaac R. Trimble, CSA, USMA Class of 1822, delivered the opening address, calling for renewed friendships between Northern and Southern graduates. He urged both to create:
“What no others can do so well as the men of the Army . . . Sentiments of good will and kindness toward each other; sentiments which shall, in time, pervade the whole.”
Mount McGregor, Adirondacks, New York
July 16, 1885
General Ulysses S. Grant, USMA Class of 1843, though critically ill, completed his memoirs July 16, 1885, stating,
“dedicated to the American Soldier and Sailor.”
“I feel we are on the eve of a new era when there is to be harmony between the Federal and the Confederate. I cannot stay to be
Ulysses S. Grant died one week later on July 23, 1885.
West Point, New York
June 9, 1902 USMA Centennial Alumni Day, Cullum Hall
Many graduates believed that the Academy’s Centennial in 1902 was both a magnet to draw attendance and the moment to effect final reconciliation. They invited Brigadier General Edward P. Alexander, CSA, USMA Class of 1857, to give a major address from the standpoint of the Confederate veteran. He accepted, and a large contingent of Southerners decided to attend.
Union Major General Thomas H. Ruger, USMA Class of 1854, spoke first:
“When the end came there was found in their hearts an echo to the words ‘Let us have peace.’ ”
General Alexander spoke next:
“ . . . it was best for the South that the cause was lost . . . The firm bonds which today hold together this great nation could never have been wrought by debates in Congress . . .”
July 1-7, 1913
President Woodrow Wilson welcomed the 42,000 Civil War veterans gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg:
“I need not tell you what the Battle of Gettysburg meant. These gallant men
Governor James B. McCreary of Kentucky addressed the veterans:
“ . . . While those of us who were soldiers when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought will always remember the glory and gloom of that period, we may well thank God today that the benediction of peace and reconciliation spreads over our great republic, and we realize that the immortal words now most conspicuous are:
One great country, one constitution, one flag,
and one destiny.”
Governor John K. Tener of Pennsylvania added:
“We meet on this occasion to participate in a ceremony that stands unmatched in all recorded time, for nowhere in history have men who opposed each other in mighty battle come together in peaceful reunion fifty years after that memorable struggle . . . Today soldiers of both armies gather as American citizens, the Union soldiers in some instances journeying from southern states and Confederate soldiers from northern states.”
Erected 2001 by USMA Class of 1961.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic War, US Civil • War, Vietnam. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #28 Woodrow Wilson series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 7, 1967.
Location. 41° 23.359′ N, 73° 57.368′ W. Marker is in West Point, New York, in Orange County. Memorial is on Thayer Road, on the right when traveling north. The marker is on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Point NY 10996, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 150th Anniversary of the USMA (within shouting distance of this marker); 150th Birthday of the USMA (within shouting distance of this marker); National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark (within shouting distance of this marker); West Point Bicentennial (within shouting distance of this marker); Taylor Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Twentieth Century Wars (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thayer Walk (approx. 0.2 miles away); General George S. Patton, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Point.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,453 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on February 16, 2013, by Samuel N Weiss, CPT (Ret) USAR x-'61 USMA of Portland, Oregon. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3, 4. submitted on December 4, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 5, 6. submitted on September 6, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. submitted on September 7, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.