Ammon A. Augur, William H. Baldwin, Thomas H. Barry, George W. Baxter, John Baxter, Jr., John Bigelow, Jr., William M. Black, Francis P. Blair, Augustus P. Blocksom, Charles A. Bradley, John J. Brereton, Oscar J. Brown, William C. Brown, Ben. I. Butler, George N. Chase, Edward Chynoweth, Wallis O. Clark, Charles J. Crane, Heber M. Creel, Matthias W. Day, Millard F. Eggleston, Robert T. Emmet, Calvin Esterly, Walter L. Fisk, Henry O. Flipper, Fred. W. Foster, Daniel A. Frederick, F. Halverson French, Jacob G. Galbraith, William W. Galbraith, Charles B. Gatewood, Edwin F. Glenn, Henry J. Goldman, William B. Gordon, John F. Guilfoyle, John J. Haden, Harry T. Hammond, John F. C. Hegewald, Curtis B. Hoppin, George K. Hunter, James B. Jackson, Henry Kirby, Samuel H. Loder, James A. Maney, James D. Mann, Frederick Marsh, Medad C. Martin, Solon F. Massey, Ariosto McCrimmon, David N. McDonald, John McMartin, Stephen C. Mills, Cunliffe H. Murray, James V. S. Paddock, Theophilus Parker, Alexander M. Patch, Francis J. Patten, Thomas C. Patterson, John H. Philbrick, Edward H. Plummer, David Price, Jr., Robert D. Read, Jr., Solomon W. Roessler, Robert E. Safford, James C. Shofner, Adam Slaker, Howard A. Springett, Robert R. Stevens, Monroe P. Thorington, Albert Todd, Samuel P. Wayman, John V. White, Wilber E. Wilder, Richard H. Wilson, William T. Wood, Charles G. Woodward.
OF all privileges or sources of pleasure which tend to remove the monotony of military life, there are none to which the stripling soldier looks forward with more delight than furlough. Indeed it is hard to say which is the stronger emotion that we experience when we first receive information of our appointment to a cadetship, or that which comes upon us when we are apprised that a furlough has been granted us. Possibly the latter is the stronger feeling. It is so with some, with those, at least, who received the former announcement with indifference, as many do, accepting it solely to please a mother, or father, or other friend or relative. With whatever feeling, or for whatever reason the appointment may have been accepted, it is certain that all are equally anxious to take advantage of their furlough when the time comes. This is made evident in a multitude of ways.
A furlough is granted to those only who have been present at two annual examinations at least, and by and with the consent of a parent or guardian if a minor.
Immediately after January next preceding their second annual examination, the furloughmen, as they are called, have class meetings, or rather furlough meetings, to celebrate the "good time coming." They hold them almost weekly, and they are devoted to music, jesting, story-telling, and to general jollification. It can be well imagined with what joy a cadet looks forward to his furlough. It is the only interruption in the monotony of his Academy life, and it is to him for that very reason extremely important. During all this time, and even long before January, the furloughmen are accustomed to record the state of affairs respecting their furlough by covering every available substance that will bear a pencil or chalk mark with numerous inscriptions, giving the observer some such information as this: "100 days to furlough," "75 days to furlough," "only two months before furlough," and thus even to the day before they actually leave.
The crowning moment of all is the moment when the order granting furloughs is published.
I am sure my happiest moment at West Point, save when I grasped my "sheepskin" for the first time, was when I heard my name read in the list. It was a most joyous announcement. To get away from West Point, to get out among friends who were not ashamed nor afraid to be friends, could not be other than gratifying. It was almost like beginning a new life, a new career, and as I looked back from the deck of the little ferryboat my feelings were far different from what they were two years before.
My furlough was something more than an interruption of my ordinary mode of life for the two years previous. It was a complete change from a life of isolation to one precisely opposite. And of course I enjoyed it the more on that account.
The granting of furloughs is entirely discretionary with the Superintendent. It may be denied altogether, but usually is not, except as punishment for some grave offence.