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casus belli, and an encounter followed on the Dartmouth side of the Connecticut, which tradition calls "the battle of torn coats," wherein the cadets, although greatly outnumbered, gained a decisive victory.
For many years commencements were held in the old Congregational Church, but in 1853 difficulties between town and gown culminated. The faculty were of the Episcopal faith in an orthodox community, and the church was refused. In a delightful dell in the woods just back from the town a platform erected, draped with flags, and flanked by the two shining cannon then just allotted the institution, and here a most pleasant commencement was
held. "A spirit
rail to Winooski, just out of Burlington, marching up the hill, topping its crest to look down upon the city and beautiful Lake Champlain; forming around Ethan Allen's grave in the cemetery on the hill, and marching to quarters in town, the observed of all; the trip down the lake on the Francis Saltus, the occupancy of Ticonderoga, and our reception along the line, were things to evoke pleasant memories after the lapse of many
days contains many names which have since been written high up on the scroll of fame, seeming to bear out the truth of the above statement.
Conspicuous in this list is the name of Grenville M. Dodge, who, as commander of the Sixteenth Army Corps in the Civil War, was a most distinguished leader, brave, full of resources and persevering, of whom General Howard said: "No officer suited General Grant or General Sherman better than Dodge. His engineering knowledge made him doubly useful to General Sherman, particularly where so much bridge building across streams of every size was demanded. I doubt if any officer in the service during the campaign of Sherman could at all compete in usefulness with General Grenville M. Dodge." In the Spanish-American War General Dodge was urged to take a commission as major general with the command of the First Army Corps, which he was obliged to decline on account of the state of his health. He has since, however, made himself particularly useful as chair
man of the Board of Investigation of the War Department. And there are other honored names: Charles C. Carpenter, who, as rear admiral, commanded the Asiatic squadron during the war between China and Japan; Thomas E. G. Ransom (son of General Truman B. Ransom, '25), whom General Grant called a "most gallant and intelligent volunteer officer, capable of commanding an army corps, and who met an untimely death with these words: "Patriotism and inclination have led me to do all in my power for my country" (his brother, Dunbar R. Ransom, distinguished himself as colonel in several battles in the Civil War); George Dewey, who was commended for his "nerve" by Admiral Farragut in the Civil War, and whose fame has since become world-wide, from his heroic services at Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War; William H. Greenwood, who distinguished himself both as a soldier and as a civil engineer in the Civil War; Frederick W. Lander, who as brigadier general commanded on the upper Potomac, to the great satisfaction of General McClellan; James E. Ainsworth, the eminent civil engineer; George E. Bryant, gallant major general in the Civil War, and Wisconsin jurist; Henry O. Kent, colonel of the 17th New Hampshire Volunteers, lawyer and statesman; William H. Ensign, George Dewey's chum and special associate, captain and surgeon, United States Army; Charles H. Lewis, gallant colonel in the Civil War, and acting president of the university from 1880 to 1890; George P. Buell, brigadier general in the Civil War and the hero of many battlefields; Edward B. Williston, brigadier general in both the Civil and Spanish-American wars; Jedediah H. Baxter, surgeon general, United States Army; Arba N. Waterman, colonel in the Civil War, and judge Appellate Court, Illinois; Luther L. Baxter, colonel, and Minnesota judge; Edmund Rice, colonel,
United States Army, brave and gallant in the Civil War, on the frontier as an Indian fighter, and in the Spanish-American War, and who, General Miles has said, "had the best drilled regiment in the Army of the Potomac."
In the War of the Rebellion, Norwich University's record was most brilliant, its only rivals being the National Academies at West Point and Annapolis. A well-known government official has recently said: "Norwich University fully paid for her right to an honorable existence, in the production of the Ransoms and General Alonzo Jackman alone. But to these honored names are to be added over five hundred more, able and gallant officers, who fought for their country in the Mexican and Civil wars, and those names constitute the university's roll of honor. This list contains six major generals, eight brigadier generals, fifty colonels, seventy lieutenant colonels and majors, and one hundred and fifty captains (in the army), and three rear admirals, six commodores, three captains, and three commanders (in the naval service). Conspicuous in this list, aside from those already mentioned, are the names of the gallant General William S. Harney, '29; Major-General Thomas H. Seymour, '28, who succeeded General Ransom in command, and was first to enter the fortress of Chapultepec at the head of the "Gallant Old Ninth," in the Mexican War; the brave and energetic Major-General Robert H. Milroy, '43, who served with distinction in both the Mexican and Civil wars; Generals N. B. Gleason, '49. George W. Balloch, '47, and scores of others, who bore most distinguished parts.
Admiral Dewey is the third Norwich cadet who has commanded a fleet in the Pacific. The first was Commodore Josiah Tatnall, '23, who aided the English in their encounter with the Chinese at Pei-Ho, and explained his action later by the famous saying, "Blood is thicker than water."
The second was Rear Admiral Carpenter, 50, heretofore mentioned. Rear Admiral Paulding was a graduate of the class of 1823; and Captain James H. Ward, of the same class, distinguished for his knowledge of naval affairs, was instrumental in the organization of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, being one of its first professors, and the first naval officer killed in the War of the Rebellion.
No paper on Norwich University could even approach completeness, at this time, without some particular mention of Admiral Dewey's cadetship there. It was in the fall of 1851, after having received some special preparation at Johnson (Vermont) Academy, that George Dewey became a cadet at Norwich University and he remained as such over three years. His father, Dr. Julius Y. Dewey, being a self-made man, with scant educational advantages, was anxious to give his children the best educational opportunities possible, and his attention was called to Norwich University as an institution giving a thorough mental and physical training. Soon after his son entered Dr. Dewey became an active trustee, and was succeeded in 1868 by his son, Hon. Charles Dewey, Admiral Dewey's oldest brother.
A member of the class of 1855 has recently said of young Dewey: "We always called him 'Doc.' Dewey. I suppose it was because his father was a physician. He was the first to drill me in squad drill after I entered the old South Barracks. He became proficient in drill and was captain of my company when we went to Burlington and Ticonderoga. He was as full of fun as an egg is full of meat, and he and 'Bill Emost popular cadets. His room was a popular resort for us, when off duty. Doc. Dewey had no bad qualities about him. He was a manly fellow, and fond of music. Many a time have we congregated in Dewey's room and sung 'Old South Barracks, Oh!' He was the 'pink of neatness' in his dress.
His father, Dr. Julius Dewey, then an active trustee, frequently called at the barracks. He once asked me if George was studying and if I thought he would graduate, and I was able to inform him that he would surely graduate. He took a conspicuous part in the 'Battle of Torn Coats.' We always felt safe when Doc. Dewey was with us. Well do I remember the day he was notified of his appointment at Annapolis, and our regret at his leaving us."
In the summer of 1853 the faculty succeeded in procuring from the state two six-pound field pieces, with limbers, to replace the cumbrous and antiquated iron cannon in use at that time. The story of how they were taken from the railway station to the parade ground is told in Cadet K―'s diary as follows: "Thursday, July 21, 1853. We have had an exciting time this afternoon. The new guns arrived by the morning train, and we took the old pieces down and drew the new ones to quarters. They are United States brass six-pounders, fully equipped for service, and as they rest in position in front of the South Barracks, covered with their tarpaulins, present quite an imposing aspect. It was a tedious job removing them from the car. . . .Unloaded and limbered up, Ainsworth and Munson chose squads to draw them to the parade. I chanced to be in Ainsworth's squad. We lined up, the men at their places, with bricoles attached, and started quietly enough for the long, hard pull. long, hard pull. Ainsworth's squad at this time conceived the idea of taking the lead, but as Munson's squad had the road ahead and we were at the side and in sandy gutters, it was doubtful how we were to do it. They started off with a fine spurt, getting a big lead; going up the hill where the road was broader we steadily gained until only the length of the trail in the rear; then we gathered and started on a run, passing and keeping the lead, with cheers and great glee. Climbing the hill we proceeded more slowly,
Munson quietly in the rear, on our way round the North Barracks and then through the usual gateway to position.
"As we entered the village, near the southeast corner of the parade we noticed Munson's squad, apparently under the lead of Dewey, making for a short cut across the grounds, first breaking down the fence for passage. Now our efforts were redoubled, and the boys of the other squad declare that they never saw fellows run as we ran, or expect to see a gun jump as that six-pounder bounded along the main street and around the corner. But we led; round the North Barracks at double quick went gun and gun squad, entered the barrack yard and placed the gun in position before the west front of the South Barracks, giving three cheers for No. 1, to the chagrin of No. 2, just approaching position. . . . It was a great race and pleased the faculty exceedingly." . . . It is plainly to be seen that Dewey retains his old predilection for a straight cut without regard to obstacles, caring no more for Corregidor and the mines in the harbor of Manila than for the fence guarding the university parade, or the sacred turf of the enclosure, in the race for position with the guns at Norwich University in 1853.
Admiral Dewey's heroic services have certainly honored Norwich University, as well as the American people and the Anglo-Saxon race. "No honor the nation has power to confer is large enough to measure his achievement." This institution, which has properly enough been styled "the nursery of heroes," has always been rich in renown but poor in purse. Soon after the close of the great civil struggle, in which so many of her sons gave their life's blood to the cause of human liberty, and after good old Dr. Bourns and General Jackman had sacrificed so much to free the university property from a debt which had long clung to it, the main building, the old South Barracks,
became a total loss by fire. It then became necessary to remove the institution to Northfield, where the patriotic citizens furnished grounds and commodious buildings. Dr. Bourns and General Jackman, ever loyal, went with it to its new home and remained there in active service as long as they lived, the former dying at midnight of commencement day in 1871, the latter in February, 1879.
The institution is beautifully situated on a plateau overlooking the town of Northfield, which is, as demonstrated by General Jackman, the geographical centre of the state and ten miles from the capital city, Montpelier. The town is enterprising, its scenery most picturesque, its climate healthful, and "its daughters the fairest in the land,"-all of which has aided much to further the interests of the institution. Here, through the generous aid of some members of its alumni,-notably the gift of Dodge Hall by General G. M. Dodge, '50, -by the gradual recognition of the United States government and the state of Vermont, in the way of equipment, details of regular army officers as commandants, and state scholarships, she has gradually regained her past prestige and prosperity. It took many years to reconcile the old Norwich cadets to the change of location, but they have finally recognized it to be for the best.
The true Norwich University spirit, as manifested in recent years, is well put in the following language of one of her most loyal sons: "It was an unavoidable error, the removal from Norwich, dear to the old alumni, where
The moon in her path o'er the eastern hill
but 'where MacGregor sits is the head. of the table,'-it is ours to honor Alma Mater in her later home. In honoring her we honor ourselves, ad