of Duckport Plantation, Madison Parish, Louisiana



1st Classman

©2000 Richard P. Sevier ( This material is intended for informational use only and may not be reproduced by ANY means whatsoever without written permission from the author.





Tuesday, January 1st, 1878

It is cold; but not so much so as yesterday. The New Year dawns upon us with a fine day. It certainly is a comfort to know that with the old year ended all my guard duty after taps. Usual suspension took place today. Keirn, W. took me to breakfast. Spent most of the day reading Calhoun’s Disquisition in Government. Received a letter from mother.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 1878

A slight snow, just after the drum, prevented D. P. I was examined in Surveying this afternoon. I was given the last subject in the book, Mining Surveying, which I had studied least. I am suffering from a cold which I caught while on guard Monday night; the first cold I have had in some time.

Thursday, January 3rd, 1878

A fine day; but bitter cold. Hereafter the 1st relief is not to be posted until study drum. Spent the morning in reading Calhoun. This evening and tonight I have been reviewing Geology.

Friday, January 4th, 1878

We arose this morning to find the earth covered with snow, which continued to fall until about 9 o’clock A.M. Bitter cold tonight. No D. P. Examined on Geology.

Saturday, January 5th, 1878

Bitter cold; tonight is the coldest of the winter. Went up town for a short while this afternoon. Some skating.

Sunday, January 6th, 1878

Extremely cold; the river is frozen over. The roads being muddy we were not required to attend church in ranks. Williamson and myself called on Crenshaw, Stedman, Dryden & Tyson. No Bible. Wrote to father.

Monday, January 7th, 1878

Exceedingly cold. Examined on Logic this morning. Spent the evening in studying German. Skaters have been in their glory today. Until further notice rev will be sounded at 6:30 o’clock.

Tuesday, January 8th, 1878

Bitterly cold; thermometer stood 13º below zero this morning. Although I am suffering from a cold I worked on my debate today. Rev. Mr. Eager conducted prayer meeting tonight. W. W. Briggs shipped.

Wednesday, January 9th, 1878

Not so cold as yesterday; a slow rain accompanied by sleet has continued since noon. Examined in German. Had 20th stand by marks.

Thursday, January 10th, 1878

Not so cold; but a slow rain all day. Working on my debate. Received a letter from Paxton.

Friday, January 11th, 1878

The rain stopped early this morn; but it continued damp and miserable. Wrote to Paxton. Received letter No. 51 from father.

Saturday, January 12th, 1878

More pleasant than for some time. Called on A. R. Cocke for a short while this afternoon. Peek and myself called on the Misses Nelson tonight. Miss Bessie has just finished me a beautiful scarf; the proceeds of which will go to the Missionary Society. The stands as resulting from the recent examinations were published tonight. The following are my stands: Geology, Surveying and Logic 14th and German 19th.

Sunday, January 13th, 1878

Mild; a rain set in about 2 o’clock for the day. We were not required to attend church in ranks. F’Bush and myself called on Crenshaw, Stedman and Dryden. Gen. Smith being absent we had no Bible. Wrote to father.

Monday, January 14th, 1878

Foggy and dismal, and unpleasantly cold. Lessons were assigned us in Civil Engineering and German for tomorrow and in Ordnance and Gunnery for Wednesday. The latter we recite on alternate days. Dr. Mullalie on the character of Carafur[1] tonight.

Tuesday, January 15th, 1878

Clear and cold. In the absence of Gen. Smith and Col. McDonald we have no recitations on Moral and Mineralogy. Bush and myself studied Civil tonight; Prof. Rankins is pretty hard.

Wednesday, January 16th, 1878

Pretty cold. I am unable to comprehend our lesson in time for tomorrow. D. P. for the first time since the 3rd inst.

Thursday, January 17th, 1878

Cool. Col. Patton being sick, did not have Civil this morn, -- quite agreeable to most of us.

Friday, January 18th, 1878

Cool. Col. Patton is still sick, no Civil. W. W. Briggs reinstated by order of the Board of Visitors.

Saturday, January 19th, 1878

Right cool. Col. Patton was down today. Gen. Smith returned from Richmond and is reported quite unwell. Up town for a short while this eve. Escorted Miss Jeanie to the Celebration at W.&L.U. tonight. I enjoyed myself very much – the speeches were good. My friend, Cocke, orator for the occasion, made a splendid speech.

Sunday, January 20th, 1878

Rain this morn prevented our going to church.

Monday, January 21st, 1878

Warm and raining during the forenoon. We have a lesson assigned in Mineralogy for tomorrow. Dr. Mullalie came up and sat for a while with me after the prayer meeting tonight. He is very pleasant and, I think, a good man. No D. P.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 1878

Damp and cool. The members of our class were very agreeably surprised by a visit from our old companion, R. E. Scott[2] this evening who will remain with us a few days and will return to his home in Richmond. He is attending school at Richmond College, but says he would like very much to be back with us.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 1878

Colder than it has been for several days.


Program from Cadet & Dialectic Joint Celebration where R. K. Boney was Orator, 1/25/1878

Thursday, January 24th, 1878

Pretty cold. No Ordnance today; it is reported that the death of his mother was the cause of Col. Ship’s absence. Those of us who are to participate in the Celebration tomorrow night were excused from Mineralogy this eve that we might have a rehearsal.

Friday, January 25th, 1878

Splendid weather. Our Intermediate Celebration came off tonight and from all reports it was a success.

Saturday, January 26th, 1878

Cool. We were excused from recitations this morning. Took dinner up town with Williams and Jenkins. Called on Stedman and Dryden. Visited Miss Jeanie at Prof. Nelson’s.

Sunday, January 27th, 1878

It commenced raining while we were at church today and continued off and on all day; we got quite wet returning from church. Attended Meth. Ch. Text “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”. Dr. Kirkpatrick preached a splendid sermon. Wrote to father.

Monday, January 28th, 1878

Pretty cold. Gen. Smith having recovered we resumed the study of Moral Philosophy alternating daily with Mineralogy. Dr. Mullallie gave us a very interesting talk on the “Resurrection of Christ”.

Tuesday, January 29th, 1878

A fine day; but real cold tonight. Blair, Cameron and myself have been on quarter today; Murdaugh[3] Sergeant of the Guard; Faison ‘O.D.’ Cadet Pettit dismissed. Keirn, A. D. reinstated.

Wednesday, January 30th, 1878

Bitter cold; some snow tonight; but it was too windy for it. No Mineralogy. Wrote a note and sent my picture to Miss Charlie Gibbs.

Thursday, January 31st, 1878

A very disagreeable day; we arose to find the ground covered with snow, and it (is) still falling. A heavy wind blew it in drifts. No D.P.

Friday, February 1st, 1878

Real cold; but more pleasant than yesterday. Called on Miss Freeland this eve; she was out. Bush and myself worked hard at Civil tonight.

Saturday, February 2nd, 1878

Real cold. Spent the afternoon in studying Poe’s Raven, which I read before the Cadet Society tonight. This is my first attempt at reading. Kennon and myself called on Miss Maggie Freeland after the Society tonight. Rec’d letter No. 52 from father.

Sunday, February 3rd, 1878

Very pleasant overhead; the mud prevented our attending church in ranks. I evaded the inspector by getting in the wardrobe. Wrote to father.

Monday, February 4th, 1878

Not unpleasantly cold. Holloway and myself called on the Misses Johnston this afternoon; enjoyed our visit very much.

Tuesday, February 5th, 1878

Considerable cooler. My room-mate, who has for some time suffered with his eyes, departed for Baltimore today where he will consult an oculist. Quite lonely tonight. Rec’d letter from Paxton, and a copy of the Madison Journal[4] from Miss Georgie Nicols, upon the margin of which she wrote quite extensively.

Wednesday, February 6th, 1878

Not unpleasantly cold. W. B. Pettit reinstated by order of Board of Visitors. I certainly do miss Bush.

Thursday, February 7th, 1878

Very pleasant. Peek and myself called on the Misses Nelson this eve and had a pleasant chat.

Friday, February 8th, 1878

Raining off and on all day. I have been poring over the Howe[5] Truss, which is in tomorrow’s lesson, tonight.

Saturday, February 9th, 1878

Pleasant with the exception of a rain late this eve, which caused a postponement of the proposed hop. Col. Patton lectured on the Howe Truss. This morn Holloway & myself ran the block and called on Misses Freeland and McCormick. Miss Rosa arrived last night. Was up town a short while this afternoon. Rec’d letter No. 53 from father.

Sunday, February 10th, 1878

Turned quite cold this eve. Attended Presbyterian church; text Romans 12, 1. Escorted Miss Julia Nelson to church tonight. Was delighted to meet Bush, much improved, as I returned from Church. Wrote to father.

Monday, February 11th, 1878

Real cold all day. Still working on the Howe Truss. After working the whole of study hours we have made much progress with it. First D.P. since the snow fell.

Tuesday, February 12th, 1878

Not so cold as yesterday. Called on Miss Rosa McCormick this afternoon and had a pleasant chat. Miss Freeland left for her home in Richmond yesterday. Thomson, Kennon, Browne, F’Bush and myself had an oyster supper in mess-hall.

Wednesday, February 13th, 1878

Pleasant until a slow sprinkle set in about 7 P.M. Tonight I attended the ‘musical concert,’ given for the benefit of the Presbyterian church, with Miss Jeanie. Had pleasant time.

Thursday, February 14th, 1878

Miserable weather; after a day of sprinkling the night set in with a snow. My mind has been roaming and I have not been able to study tonight. Cadets Renshaw and Owings[6] shipped. Mr. W. H. Lake[7] admitted a cadet. No D.P.

Friday, February 15th, 1878

A misty, miserable day; snowed sometime during the morning but it was dissolved by the damp ground. Called on the Misses Nelson this afternoon; Miss Jeanie was there and I had a chat with her. No D.P. the ‘O.D.’ gave us quite an extra supper at staff table tonight. T. W. Keitt[8] was ‘O.D.’.

Saturday, February 16th, 1878

Cool. No recitation on Civil; in lieu of which Col. Patton gave us an example to be handed in Monday. ‘Bush and myself attended the ‘lunch’ given at the Presbyterian lecture room, and again enjoyed being waited on by the young ladies.  Withers[9], Marshall and myself called on the Misses Johnston this afternoon. We had our long expected hop tonight, which was an enjoyable affair. I was the escort of Miss Mary Johnston. The hop closed at 11:30. It was near 1 o’clock when I retired.

Sunday, February 17th, 1878

Mild, but damp and raining (a) considerable (part) of the day. No church this morn. We have spent most of the day working on our example of the Howe Truss; but have not finished. Wrote to father.

Monday, February 18th, 1878

After a slight snow, about noon, it turned real cold; tonight a brisk wind blows. Unable to concentrate my mind on my studies tonight. Gen. Smith gave us a lecture on ‘Government’ this eve.

Tuesday, February 19th, 1878

Right cold. Called on Miss Rosa McCormick this afternoon; Miss Maggie Letcher was there and I chatted her.

Wednesday, February 20th, 1878

Cool. Went to sleep studying Civil tonight.

Thursday, February 21st, 1878

Snowing all day, which prevented D.P. Started up to see Miss Julia Nelson this eve but a heavy shower turned me back. Orders published for suspension tomorrow.

Friday, February 22nd, 1878

Another day of showers. ‘Bush, Thomson and myself breakfasted at the hotel. Called on Taylor and had a long chat this morn. Spent the evening in writing to mother and in completing an oration for tomorrow night. Attended the Society Celebration at W.&.L.U. tonight. Was very much disappointed in the speeches. Suspension.

Saturday, February 23rd, 1878

Weather cool. Peete, Husson and myself ‘ran the block’ and called on the Misses Nelson this morn; I had quite a long chat with Miss Jeanie who was there. Withers and myself called on the Misses Johnston this afternoon. Delivered my oration before the Cadet Society tonight – theme, ‘The beauties of God’s Creation.’ Rec’d letter No. 54 from father.

Sunday, February 24th, 1878

Bright and pleasant. Attended the Methodist church. Wrote to father.

Monday, February 25th, 1878

Windy and quite cold; scattering snow-flakes could be seen off and on all day. Col. Ship left on a furlough of 10 days. During his absence we will have German on alternate days and Constitution U.S. daily. We had our first recitation on the constitution today.

Tuesday, February 26th, 1878

Quite cold. Gen. Smith lectured on the Constitution. Rec’d a letter from Dr. Brzozowski. Cadet Z. T. Hill having an appointment to West Point resigned. Cadet Owings reinstated.

Wednesday, February 27th, 1878

Pretty cold.

Thursday, February 28th, 1878

Cool. Received a postal from my brother who is now at Cooper Institute, Lauderdale Co., Miss, taking a commercial course.


Invitation from his brother, James, at Cooper Institute in Mississippi

Friday, March 1st, 1878

Cool. Walked up town for a short while this eve. Rec’d letter No. 55 from father. Tonight the ‘first class’ was invited to a ‘sociable’ at Col. McDonald’s. Nearly all of us attended and had a pleasant time. We were warned to leave at 12:30.

Saturday, March 2nd, 1878

A pleasant day ended with a rainy evening. Col. Patton lectured on bridges this morning. Was up town for a short while this afternoon. Swanson[10], of Ga., was initiated into our fraternity. Tonight I was elected by the Cadet Society to deliver an oration at a joint meeting of the two societies on the night of the 23rd inst. No D.P.

Sunday, March 3rd, 1878

Cool; a brisk wind dispersed clouds which threatened us with rain this eve. Attended the Presbyterian church. Text Romans 12, 2. went out to Elmwood to see Miss Jeanie this eve. Wrote to father.

Monday, March 4th, 1878

Windy and cold. Mr. Alston[11], of Ga., admitted a cadet.

Tuesday, March 5th, 1878

A clear and cool day. Thomson and myself called on Miss Rosa McCormick this eve. Received a note from Miss Charlie Gibbs of Raymond, Miss.

Wednesday, March 6th, 1878

A beautiful day. I have been on quarter guard today. Wrote a letter to brother. Received my scrap book from Miss Jeanie. She has very neatly arranged the pieces I clipped for it.

Thursday, March 7th, 1878

A splendid day until late it began to darken and blow. We had not been formed in line at D.P. before it commenced to shower and we were ordered off the hill. A heavy wind soon ended the rain.

Friday, March 8th, 1878

A pretty and pleasant day. Very unfortunate at Civil this morn; got the only subject I did not know. Wrote to Mr. D. Mayer and to Paxton.

Saturday, March 9th, 1878

Pleasant. Walked out to Elmwood this afternoon. Called on Miss Rosa McCormick and the Misses Nelson tonight. I was so much entertained as to neglect the time and ran absent from tattoo. I make my notes for the day in their parlor. Miss Bessie says put down “lasses are sweet” and Miss Julia says, “yes, my dear”. Faison, Peek, Peete, F’Bush and myself just managed to arrive in barracks for ‘taps’.

Sunday, March 10th, 1878

Pleasant. Attended Presbyterian church. Text Romans 12, 3. Wrote to father and to Dr. Bryzozowski[12].

Monday, March 11th, 1878

Pleasant. Finished Moral Philisophy. Col. Ship having returned we will resume Ordnance as before.

Tuesday, March 12th, 1878

Raining off and on all day. Artilery drill commenced this eve. Until further orders ‘rev’ will be sounded at 6 o’clock. Called on Miss Rosa McCormick this afternoon. Rain prevented drill & D.P. Orders published that we will be examined on Moral next Saturday.

Wednesday, March 13th, 1878

Took Haynes up to see Miss Jeanie Lyburn who is stopping at Col. Williamson’s. I proceeded to see the Misses Nelson where I became oblivious to the flight of time and ran late at D.P. After supper I took a short walk with Miss Jeanie.

Thursday, March 14th, 1878

Heavy clouds, being dispersed by the wind, brought only a shower this morn. The wind has rendered it quite cold today. Withers and myself called on the Misses Johnston this afternoon.

Friday, March 15th, 1878

Cool and windy. In consequence of our examination tomorrow we had suspension of academic duties today. This eve I called on Miss Jeanie at Col. Williamson’s. Spent considerable of the day with Jenkins who is sick with fever.

Saturday, March 16th, 1878

Cool. Examined on Moral Philosophy. My subject was the “British Constitution, written or unwritten – how enlarged its elements”. Passed very well the subject being simple. The dejection of the last two days is dispersed. Called on Miss Jeanie, at Col. W’s, after society adjournment tonight. Rec’d letter from J. A. Reid.

Sunday, March 17th, 1878

Cool, and cloudy. Attended the Baptist church and heard a very good sermon. Text St Luke 17th ch. 20th. Verse: “The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation”. Wrote to father.

Monday, March 18th, 1878

Pretty cool. Faison and myself were confined to limits of the Institute for one month for being out of limits after retreat on 13th. We were out walking with ladies. Cadet Abraham[13] dismissed for breeching arrest. Spent evening in trying to prepare an oration for Saturday night.

Tuesday, March 19th, 1878

Cool. Commenced Hart’s Rhetoric. Cadets Englesing, J. W. and Sibley[14] shipped for breech of arrest.

Wednesday, March 20th, 1878

Pleasant. Considerable excitement in the corps over the fight between Keirn A. and Winn[15].

Thursday, March 21st, 1878

Cool; slight rain during study hours tonight. Cadet W. P. Moore[16] shipped for breech of arrest.

Friday, March 22nd, 1878

Clear & pleasant. Our standing in Moral Philosophy, as resulting from the recent examination, published this eve. I am 5th of 29.

Saturday, March 23rd, 1878

Cool. Spent the morning preparing the oration, -- “The Southern Character”, which I delivered at a joint meeting of the two societies tonight. Several ladies and other invited guests were present.

Sunday, March 24th, 1878

A very changeable day. We had several thunder storms this morning; one of which was accompanied by a wind sufficient to blow off a portion of our roof. The wind was terrific. We started to church but clouds warned our Captains of another storm and we turned back. Cocke and Crenshaw called on me this eve. Wrote to father.

Monday, March 25h, 1878

Windy and cold. This eve I called to bid Miss Rosa McCormick farewell. The recent burning of her home is said to be the cause of her departure so early. Carpenters have commenced repairing the damages of yesterday’s wind. Wrote to J. A. Reid.

Tuesday, March 26th, 1878

Real cool. Received and answered a letter from A. M. Paxton. Artilery drill will be discontinued until further orders; the non-commissioned officers will commence squad drill tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, March 27th, 1878

Morning pleasant; evening sultry; want rain. Col. Patton lectured on Skew Arches and Dams this morn.

Thursday, March 28th, 1878

Warm; several slight showers this eve and tonight. Lecture on Civil this morn. Was delighted to receive a letter from mother this evening; rec’d also a letter from Miss Georgie Nicols. Cadets Moore and Sibley reinstated.

Friday, March 29th, 1878

Pleasant. Col. Patton lectured on canals and dirt roads this morning. My room-mate with several First-Class-men are attending a festival in town tonight. Have spent study hours in drawing design for a bridge in connection with an example to be handed in Monday.

Saturday, March 30th, 1878

Cool and windy. This eve a shower brought us in just as we formed to go to D.P. This evening I slipped out of limits and went out to Elmwood. Had quite an interesting debate in the Society tonight. The question was, which is the most given to revenge – men or women?

Sunday, March 31st, 1878

Windy and real cold. Attended the Baptist church. Mr. Kirkpatrick filled the pulpit in the absence of Mr. Eager. Text: Hebrews 10th ch. 38th & 39th verses. Wrote to father.

Monday, April 1st, 1878

Cool and windy. Commenced reviewing Civil. Squad drill will commence tomorrow and until further orders sections will form in front of barracks.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 1878

Cool. Received a letter from my half brother, A. W. Pierson, which delighted me as it is the first time in three years and an evidence of his improving health. Rec’d a letter from brother also. Called on Miss Jeanie at Col. Williamson’s this eve.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 1878

Cool. Our drummer, Mr. Ivans, who has been extremely sick for some time and during which he lost an eye, returned to duty. The corps expresses great sympathy and has subscribed liberally for his relief. Wrote to my half brother.

Thursday, April 4th, 1878

Raining nearly all day, which prevented drill and D.P. Col. McDonald being sick we had no Mineralogy this afternoon. Called on Miss Jeanie at Col. W’s this eve. Wrote letter to brother.

Friday, April 5th, 1878

Cool. Stedman and Dryden called on me this eve. I have been unable to study tonight.

Saturday, April 6th, 1878

Pretty cool. Gen. Smith voluntarily released Faison and myself from confinement. The election for the medallists came off in the Dialectic Society tonight. The following were the successful candidates: Haynes for Orator’s medal; Keitt for Debater’s and Pettit for Declaimer’s.

Sunday, April 7th, 1878

Windy and cool. Attended the Episcopal church. Went out to Miss Jeanie’s this afternoon and remained until after tea. I enjoyed the conversation of Miss J’s two aged aunts very much. Tea over, Dr. Lyburn read the 23rd Psalm and led in prayer. Wrote to father.

Monday, April 8th, 1878

Cool. Cadet Englesing, J. reinstated subject to the orders of the Board of Visitors at their next meeting. Unable to study tonight.

Tuesday, April 9th, 1878

Showering all day, which prevented drill and D.P. Cadet Wise[17] shipped for breach of arrest.

Wednesday, April 10th, 1878

The rain did not stop until this morning early; no sunshine today. Thomson and myself walked up town a short while this eve.

Thursday, April 11th, 1878

Pleasant. On quarter guard with Burns and Cameron. Finished reading Rasselas[18] and Dinarbas, which I liked very much.

Friday, April 12th, 1878

Clear and windy. No Mineralogy. Spent the evening in preparing an oration for tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 13th, 1878

Wind rendered it quite dirty this eve. Took Bush and Peete to dinner. Spent the evening in reading Edgar’s Nations of Modern Europe. Called on the Misses Nelson tonight. Rec’d letter No. 56 from father also letters from Paxton and Dr. Brzozowski.

Sunday, April 14th, 1878

Pleasant. Excused from church by the O.D. Wrote to father.

Monday, April 15th, 1878

Very warm and threatening rain; after a shower this eve it turned quite cool. Have commenced reading the Life of Plutarch[19] by Mrs. Dobson. Tonight Dr. Mullalie began his series of lectures on the Lord’s Prayer.

Tuesday, April 16th, 1878

Cool enough for over-coats. After prayer meeting tonight the Rev. Mr. Eager came up and sat with me a while. I enjoyed his conversation very much; he has plenty to say and knows how to say it.

Wednesday, April 17th, 1878

Mild; but the sun has been hid all day. Thomson and myself walked up town this eve to examine Mr. Northern’s stock of goods. On our return, seeing Miss Jeanie’s horse hitched at Col. W’s gate, we went in and had a short chat.

Thursday, April 18th, 1878

Mild. Spent the afternoon in writing an oration for next Saturday night. I have the spring fever and have not been able to study tonight.

Friday, April 19th, 1878

Warm and sultry. Rain is wanted very much. Finished my oration, “An Historical Romance”, this evening and will deliver it before the Cadet Society tomorrow night. Tonight after supper a meeting of the Society was called in order that Swanson might declaim. He made a splendid rendition of “Osman’s Dream”. I am suffering from a cold and a sore throat.

Saturday, April 20th, 1878

Real warm; a blow brought a sprinkle this eve preventing D.P. Spent the evening in memorizing my oration for tonight. The election for Debater’s and Declaimer’s medals came off in Cadet Society tonight. Ball and Floyd were candidates for the former and Saunders and Swanson for the latter. Floyd and Saunders were the successful (winners). In the battle for the Declaimers medal there was a tie. The President (Ball) decided in favor of Saunders. There was great excitement over this election. Weems[20] shipped.

Sunday, April 21st, 1878

Warm. Attended the Baptist church; text Galatians 2, 20. There seems to be no ill feelings existing over the result of the election last night. Wrote to father.

Monday, April 22nd, 1878

A shower just before noon; but the day warm and clear. Company drill commenced this eve. Orders published that we would be examined on Rhetoric and Civil; the latter on Friday and the former on Monday. Wrote to miss G. Nicols explaining the delay in my writing.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 1878

Clear and warm. I am still suffering from a cold and a soar throat, I am almost unable to study at all.

Wednesday, April 24th, 1878

The clouds hovering over all morning descended this evening in one of the heaviest rains I have ever seen in Va. It beat in under the window and flooded our room. Spent the evening in studying Civil and reading Plutarch. Neither drill nor D.P.

Thursday, April 25th, 1878

Pleasant. The First class had suspension today in order to prepare for the examination tomorrow. At our special request Col. Patton explained to us this morning – ‘fluid’ pressure. We have studied faithfully today. After taps I went down to Ball’s room and studied until 12 o’clock.

Friday, April 26th, 1878

Pleasant. We went in to our examination this morn at 9 and came out at 1:30. After all my studying I did very poorly. I had 7.10 for an average and 15th stand. The class as a whole did badly. I feel disheartened. Weems reinstated subject to order of the Board of Visitors. Rec’d letter from my half-brother.

Saturday, April 27th, 1878

After several showers this eve it turned real cool. Ball and myself walked up town, between showers, this eve. Tonight the Orator’s medal was awarded to me by the Cadet Society. I had no opponent. Rec’d letter No. 57 from father. No D.P.



Gold Orator's Medal won by R. K. Boney


Sunday, April 28th, 1878

Several showers today. It was cool enough to render a cape. Comfortable this eve. Attended the Methodist church; text was taken from the “Song of Solomon” 2 ch. 11th, 12th and 13th verses. Wrote to father and to Paxton.

Monday, April 29th, 1878

Raining nearly all day; neither drill nor D.P. Faison and myself called on the Misses Nelson this afternoon. Miss Julie was sick and did not come down. Examined on Rhetoric. Cadet White dropped from the roll as a deserter.

Tuesday, April 30th, 1878

Clear and pleasant until after 4 P.M. when we were visited by a series of showers continuing until after supper. Neither drill nor D.P. Wrote to Miss Georgie Nicols. Ex-Cadet H. C. Preston is to be married to Miss Cary Baldwin tonight, in Staunton. Gen. Smith has gone to Richmond and will stop en route to witness the ceremony.

Wednesday, May 1st, 1878

A fine clear day. The whole class is anxious to know the Civil examination.

Thursday, May 2nd, 1878

Beautiful day. The telephone[21] is creating considerable excitement in barracks; conversation is being carried on between different rooms by means of this ingenious invention. My room-mate and myself have caught a mania for trotting and commenced with a turn around the parade ground tonight.

Friday, May 3rd, 1878

Pleasant. On surveying detail today, F’Bush and myself attended the Episcopal Festival tonight, which would have been much more enjoyable had there been more room. It was raining on our return, about 11 o’clock.

Saturday, May 4th, 1878

Shortly after breakfast it cleared off and was bright until after noon when a rain set in for the day. Went out to see Miss Jeanie this morning, and the rain kept me all the evening. Rec’d letter No. 58 from father. Cadet Wise reinstated.

Sunday, May 5th, 1878

The rain stopped early this morn and we had a clear day. Was excused from church by O.D. Tonight I went to church with Miss Julia Nelson; text Mark 6, 26. Wrote to father.

Monday, May 6th, 1878

Real pleasant. Commenced Descriptive Geometry under the instruction of Gen. Smith. Wrote to my half-brother.

Tuesday, May 7th, 1878

Weather fair. Nothing unusual.

Wednesday, May 8th, 1878

Pleasant day; a rain set in while we were at supper. The general representative of the Y.M.C.A. addressed the corps tonight. Wrote letter to aunt Eliza.

Thursday, May 9th, 1878

Pleasant. At supper a controversy between Ball and Keirn, A. resulted in the passage of a glass and cup between them. Keirn, W. ran to the assistance of his brother; but further damage was prevented by friends. After supper, Keirn, W. taking the part of his brother, challenged Ball. I endeavored to arrange matters between them but without success. I regret the affair very much; both parties are my particular friends, and heretofore they have been mutual friends.

Friday, May 10th, 1878

Quite pleasant. Ball & Keirn, W. fought this morning between rev and breakfast. They fought long and stubbornly. As every one thought, Ball, being the most muscular and several years the senior, got the best of it; but Keirn never said enough. It was stopped by the seconds. A party of girls from the Weslayan Seminary in Staunton are in Lexington, en route for the Natural Bridge. Attended the “Gleemers”, a festival given by the little girls for benevolent purposes, tonight and had a real pleasant time. Walked home with Miss Vertie Jordan, a beautiful and lady-like little girl of about twelve summers. Returned to barracks about 12:30 o’clock, it was a real cool night.

Saturday, May 11th, 1878

Real cold all day; felt the want of an overcoat. Walked up town this eve and chatted some student friends a few minutes; called on Taylor; on my return dropped in at Prof. Nelson’s a short while. Our stands as resulting from the recent examinations published. I stood 16th on Civil and 15th on Rhetoric. Rec’d letter No. 59 from father.

Sunday, May 12th, 1878

Very disagreeable; raining nearly all day. No church. Wrote to father.

Monday, May 13th, 1878

Still unpleasantly cold. Col. Semmes is absent and we will have no German this week. Wrote a letter to Mrs. A. H. Jenkins, congratulating her upon the possession of so model a son as hers is. I am completely attached to him.

Tuesday, May 14th, 1878

Very disagreeable; cold and raining. Such weather has not been seen at this season for years. By special application we got heat in our rooms. Called on Miss Jeanie at Col. WmSon’s this eve. Wrote to mother. Neither drill nor D.P.

Wednesday, May 15th, 1878

Another such day as yesterday. Have been on quarter guard and did not enjoy the suspension given in commemoration of the Battle of New Market. Haynes was O.D. and we had a very nice dinner. Wrote to brother.

Thursday, May 16th, 1878

The sun coming out promised us a bright day; but a slow rain brought us in from drill this eve. Cadet F. C. Englesing dismissed.

Friday, May 17th, 1878

Not so cold; but sprinkling rain all day which prevented drill and D.P. Received letter No. 60 from father, which brought both good and sad tidings; my brother joining the church and the death of my cousin[22]. It grieves me, although it was not unexpected, to hear of the death of so good a boy. Peek and myself called to see the Misses Johnston this eve; they were not at home. We stopped to see the Misses Nelson on our return.

Saturday, May 18th, 1878

Mild but cloudy. Called on Miss Jeanie between 11 & 12 o’clock. Haynes & myself called to see the Misses Johnston this eve, but they were again down at Clifton; they are making arrangements to move down next week. Met several of my college friends & chatted a while this eve.

Sunday, May 19th, 1878

Rained from 6 P.M. until night. Attended Presbyterian church, text Romans 12, 11. Walked home with Miss Jeanie this eve & had to return in a sprinkle. The rain stopping for a while I went to church with Miss Bessie Nelson. Wrote to father.

Monday, May 20th, 1878

Sun shine today – warm. Commenced Battalion drill. The “minks” are rejoicing tonight over the victory which their B.B. nine gained at the U. of Va. this evening. It is reported that they scored twelve to nothing.

Tuesday, May 21st, 1878

Clear and warm. Col. Ship being sick we had no drill. Finished my German letter to Dr. Brzozowski. Cadet Lee[23], J. N. dismissed.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 1878

Pleasant. Col. Semmes has returned and we have resumed German alternating daily with Ordnance. “Bush and myself called on Miss Gertie Tucker this eve; she returned yesterday & has not yet become reconciled to quiet Lexington. Received a letter from aunt Eliza.

Thursday, May 23rd, 1878

Clear & pleasant. Resumed the summer uniform this morning at troop. First class are privileged to wear white palitols (?). Bush & myself walked to town & had our class picture taken between 4 and drill; visited also the tailor and shoe shop.

Richard K. Boney V.M.I. graduation picture


Friday, May 24th, 1878

Warm & sultry; slight shower this eve only increased the disagreeableness. Walked up town this eve & purchased three volumes of Macauley[24].

Saturday, May 25th, 1878

Real warm. Called on Crenshaw, Smith & Cocke this afternoon. Walked down to see the Misses Johnston late this eve; -- quite a warm walk.

Sunday, May 26th, 1878

Pleasant. Attended Methodist church. This evening I took my little friend Jenkins out to see Miss Jeanie. On our return he voluntarily assured me that my interest in him and my encouragement and advice had contributed much to his very exemplary course here. I never appreciated anything more. I never knew any one that I liked more and I am happy to think that I have been a means of doing him good. Taylor & Cocke called on me while I was absent this eve. Wrote to father & brother.

Monday, May 27th, 1878

Pleasant. After writing my diary last night my room-mate returned from church and informed me of the death of Dr. Madison, which occurred about 10 o’clock last night. Tho’ it was not unexpected we are filled with the deepest of grief at the loss of so noble a man and efficient professor. Every one who knew him liked him. Tonight Dr. Mulallie & Gen. Smith delivered very feeling and appropriate eulogies on our beloved professor. As he requested, his remains lie in the library tonight and until their interment tomorrow. Suspension. Wrote to Judge Farrar.

Tuesday, May 28th, 1878

Warm. The funeral of Dr. Madison took place from the Institute this morn at 11:30. The corps acted as military escort. Nearly all of the people of Lexington were out to pay their last respects to the honored dead. It was very solemn. We arrived at barracks on our return at 12:30 o’clock. Received a letter from A. M. Paxton.

            I am reading Herodotus[25].

Wednesday, May 29th, 1878


Beautiful day. I went on O.D. today, being the first of the privates in our class to go on. I enjoyed the novelty of the thing very much. Tonight I gave the members of my fraternity a strawberry supper. My fraternity ring arrived; every one pronounced it pretty. Wrote to Paxton.

Invoice for fraternity ring

Thursday, May 30th, 1878

Warm until several showers came up this eve. Neither drill nor D.P. Bush & myself called on Misses Bruce & Junkin. It chanced that I should talk to Miss Bruce. I was very much pleased with her. Rec’d a letter from Mrs. A. H. Jenkins.

Friday, May 31st, 1878

Cool & windy; white pants felt out of season early this morn. Peek took me up to see Miss Mattie Graham between 4 o’clock & drill. Rec’d letter No. 61 from father.

Saturday, June 1st, 1878

Cool & windy. Withers & myself called on Miss Girtie Tucker this afternoon. Having a permit until taps I went out & took tea at Dr. Lyburn’s.

Sunday, June 2nd, 1878

Pleasant. Attended Episcopal church. This evening I received a very pleasant visit from Messrs. Compton & Shaw, members of my fraternity, from Roanoke College. Escorted Miss Julia Nelson to church tonight. Wrote to father.

Monday, June 3rd, 1878

Warm; a shower fell this eve which made it very close and oppressive at drill. Holloway and myself called on Misses Bruce & Junkin this eve. The former, being sick excused herself. On my return seeing Miss Jeanie’s horse at Col. W’s gate I went in and talked a short while.

Tuesday, June 4th, 1878

Warmest day we have had. After dinner I “ran the block” and went out to see Miss Jeanie returning in time for drill at 5.40.

Wednesday, June 5th, 1878

Clear & pleasant. Walked up town this eve; procured the picture which Jenkins & myself had taken last Thursday, -- it is pronounced splendid; called by and set a while with Cocke.

Thursday, June 6th, 1878

The early morning was quite cool in white pants; the day pleasant. This being “Memorial Day” we were excused from drill. Hagood & myself visited the graves of the cadets who fell at New Market, the tombs of Lee & Jackson. The ladies had them handsomely decorated. Called on Miss Mattie Graham, where I was introduced to Miss Hopkins.

Friday, June 7th, 1878

Cool. Received letter No. 62 from father, also one from my half-brother. Called on Miss Julie Nelson this evening.

Saturday, June 8th, 1878

Raining off & on all day. Notwithstanding the weather Holloway & myself raised our umbrellas and called on Misses Junkin & Bruce. I also called on Miss Mattie Graham. Wrote to Mrs. Farrar.

Sunday, June 9th, 1878

Pleasant with the exception of rain tonight which prevented my going to church with Miss Girtie Tucker. Attended the Presbyterian church. Text St Paul to Hebrews 10, 2. Called on Miss Jeanie this eve; Cocke was there and we had a splendid time. Wrote to father.

Monday, June 10th, 1878

Real cold; white pants uncomfortable. Called on Miss Girtie Tucker this evening. Until further notice rev will sound at 5 o’clock.

Tuesday, June 11th, 1878

As cold as yesterday. Cadet Lovell, president of the ball, assisted by his committee and several young ladies, decorating the ball-room. Bush and myself walked up town this eve; on my return I stopped in to see Miss Julia Nelson. Wrote a letter to my half-brother.

Wednesday, June 12th, 1878

Turned somewhat warmer after a shower about noon. Spent my leisure in reading Herodotus.

Thursday, June 13th, 1878

Pleasant. Called on Miss Graham this eve. Orders published that battalion drill would be discontinued until further orders and that battery drill would commence tomorrow. First Class privates do not attend battery drill.

Friday, June 14th, 1878

Pleasant. Col. Ship lectured on torpedoes and cannon. Bush and myself walked up town this eve.

Saturday, June 15th, 1878

Beautiful day. Gen. Smith lectured on the arch in Descriptive this morn. Haynes took me up to dinner. Was glad to see Mr. Eager, who has been absent in the South for some time. Called on Miss Jeanie this eve and remained until after supper.

Sunday, June 16th, 1878

Splendid day. On quarter guard with Englesing, Blair & Braver, Poage[26] Sgt. guard. This is my last tour of guard duty. Nichols, ‘O.D.’ took me to super. Wrote to father.

Monday, June 17th, 1878

Pleasant. Spent the day in reading Herodotus. Withers, Holloway & myself called on Misses Junkin & Bruce this eve. I also called on Miss Graham; but she was not at home. During the absence of Col. Ship it has been ordered that the 2nd class will go to artillery drill & the 3rd & 4th to squad drill.

Tuesday, June 18th, 1878

Sprinkling rain most of the morning. This evening I called on Miss Mattie Graham and Miss Girtie Tucker.

Wednesday, June 19th, 1878

Pleasant. Examined on Descriptive Geometry this morning. I had “to draw a tangent plane to a cylinder at a point on its surface”. I made the maximum. Called on Miss Julia Nelson this eve; met Miss McElwee. Made an engagement, by telegraph, to escort Miss Maggie Freeland to our German.

Thursday, June 20th, 1878

Rather warm. Spent the morning in reviewing German. Took Haughton out to see Miss Jeanie Lyburn this eve. Blank cartridges were fired at Battery drill this eve. Battalion drill ordered to be resumed tomorrow. Received a very nice letter from brother.

Friday, June 21st, 1878

Raining off and on all day. Spent the morning in reviewing German. Called on Miss Maggie Freeland this evening, also Miss Girtie Tucker, where I met Miss Smith. R. E. Scott, our old class-mate, arrived today. Neither drill nor D.P.

Saturday, June 22nd, 1878

Morning was cool for linen clothes. Examined on German between 12 and 3 o’clock. Having obtained a permit from Gen. Smith to be absent from D.P. I took Miss Bruce buggy riding; the evening was fine and I had a splendid time. I noticed many visiting ladies at D.P., Miss Sallie White has returned. We practiced for the German tonight. Received letter No. 62 from father.

Sunday, June 23rd, 1878

Cool. Last night, about 1 o’clock, we were aroused by an alarm of fire. The officer-in-charge had the drum sounded and marched a party of us at double quick to the fire; we found the student’s mess-hall enveloped in the flames. Captain Patton commanded the cadets to go to work with their buckets and save the adjacent buildings. The cadets worked manfully, and had it not been for their timely arrival with buckets, and the immediate use they made of them, the fire would have extended. The mess hall was entirely consumed. Attended the baccalaureate sermon at W.&L.U. chapel. Dr. Kirkpatrick preached a splendid sermon. Taylor called on me between 3 & 5. Herndon & myself called on the Misses Johnson; met Miss Catlett, of Staunton. We remained so late as to run absent from E.P. Tonight I escorted Miss Bruce to Mr. Skinner’s address before the Y.M.C.A. at W.&L.U. Got to bed after 12 o’clock. Wrote to mother.

Monday, June 24th, 1878

Very pleasant. Thomson, Scott & myself called to see Miss Sallie White this morning; but she was not at home. Returning we met her and her visitors, Misses Ott and Williams on the college campus. Napped a short while after dinner. Went to the boat race where I joined Miss Belle White and Miss Ott. Attended the Society Celebration at W.&L.U. tonight. The Albert Sidney crew won the race and had the champion cup presented them by J. R. Tucker tonight. The corps tendered the students our mess-hall for their ball. Retired shortly before 12.

Tuesday, June 25th, 1878

Pleasant. Examined on Ordnance and Gunnery this morning. Shortly after 2 o’clock, hearing of father’s arrival, I hurried to the hotel to meet him. Gen. Smith gave me a permit to be absent from drill and D.P. Took Haughton & Buchanan around to see the Misses White; but they excused themselves. After supper I called on Miss Blair for a few minutes. Attended a party at Mr. Tucker’s tonight.

Wednesday, June 26th, 1878

Turned warm. Father and myself attended the commencement exercises at W.&L.U. The speech of the Hon. J. Randolph Tucker before the Literary Societies was splendid. Took dinner with father. Napped a short while; called on Miss Mattie Graham this eve. Col. Ship did not have drill this eve. Attended the Student’s Ball with Miss Maggie Freeland; had nice time. Rec’d letter from mother.

Thursday, June 27th, 1878

Returned from the student’s ball this morn at 4 o’clock; slept until near 8. Went in to examination on Mineralogy about 9. ‘Bush & myself called on Miss Sallie White & her visitors. Real warm all day; a shower just after dark prevented my calling on Miss Bruce.

Friday, June 28th, 1878

Warm; rained this eve. Went out to see Miss Jeanie this morn, dined and remained until 3 P.M. Called on Miss Williams also Miss Junkin this evening. Attended the German tonight as Miss Maggie Freeland’s escort. Did not have so good a time as anticipated; Miss F. does not please me so much.

Saturday, June 29th, 1878

Returned from the German this morning about 3:30 and slept, getting up to intermediate roll calls, until 8. Spent the morning in writing remarks to be delivered on the reception of my medal. Ball & myself dined with father. Took Buchanan to see Miss Ott this eve; I also called on Miss Bruce. Tonight I called on Miss Bell. Rained between 2 & 4, which prevented drill.

Sunday, June 30th, 1878

Warm. A slight rain about noon. Escorted Miss Bruce to Presbyterian church this morn; text Isaiah 54, 10. Withers and myself dined with father. Gen Smith after making sad farewell remarks presented each of us with a handsome Bible this eve. Jenkins & myself called on Miss Jeanie this eve; rode back in the carriage with her & her brother. Took supper with father. Escorted Miss Mattie Graham to church tonight.

Monday, July 1st, 1878

Warm. This morning I took Herndon & Jenkins to see Misses Blair & Maury, and also the young ladies at Prof. White’s, Misses Ott & Williams. Spent most of the morning with father. The salute which was to have been fired this morning was not fired until after review this evening. The ‘O.D.’ excused me from “passing in review” & D. P. Withers and myself called on Misses Bruce and Junkin. The Joint Final Celebration of the two Societies came off tonight. My speech of thanks, upon the reception of the orator’s medal, seemed to meet the approval of my friends.


Invitation to V.M.I. 1878 Graduation Ball

Program for Joint Celebration of Cadet & Dialectic Societies -- July 1, 1878

Invitation to V.M.I. Class of 1878 Commencement Exercises

Tuesday, July 2nd, 1878

Warm. Our commencement exercises today were very tedious and long, continuing from 11 to 3 o’clock. I received the thirteenth diploma[27], out of twenty three, four having been declared deficient. The speech of Gov. Holliday was splendid. I am very much pleased that several of my friends were promoted to officers. Williams, Keirn, W., Swanson, Haughton and Jenkins were all successful. Jenkins, my little man, got second corporal. I was never made more happy than at this commencement. But it saddens me to think of our separation, probably never to meet again. He is dearer to me than any other friend. Getting on my citizen’s clothes (how funny) I went to town; -- it being late could not get dinner. Had a long and pleasant buggy drive with Miss Julia Nelson, returning in time to join my fraternity at supper. Took Miss Catlett, of Staunton, to our ball.

Farewell old V.M.I.

(The following articles appeared in a local newspaper)


39th ANNIVERSARY OF THE Virginia Military Institute.


The Commencement Exercises of the V. M. I., which we give to-day, shows the great military school of the South to be in a flourishing condition. Her history, in the lives of her alumni, is the history of whatever is good and noble in the State. In peace or in war they have reflected honor upon their Alma Mater and upon the State. They freely gave up their life-blood in defence of her honor,--how freely, let the long roll of her honored dead testify. An Institution which has been so fruitful of results, deserves the cordial support of every well-wisher of our State.


Tuesday, July 2nd.

The closing exercises were held in the large Mess Hall of the Institute in the presence of a distinguished and cultivated audience. The proceedings were opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Withers, of Nelson County, Virginia.

.           Mr. G. G. Lacy, of Va., son of Maj. Horace Lacy, was introduced by the President, Mr. T. T. Holloway, as the Orator of the class of 1879. His speech was delivered in good style and voice, and he showed some of the oratorical gifts of his distinguished father.

Mr. R. S. Ball, of Va., who had been selected by the graduating class, delivered an admirable Valedictory Address, in which he vividly portrayed the life of a cadet at the V. M. I., and in turn bade farewell to the cadets, to the ladies of Lexington, to the Governor of Virginia and Board of Trustees, to the Superintendent and Faculty, and to his fellow-classmates.

The Superintendent then announced class distinctions and delivery of medals


T. T. Holloway, R. G. Withers, W. W. Briggs, E. W. Nichols, R. F. Haskins, T. W. Keitt, G. B. Wade, G. W. Archer, R. H. Peek, W. E: Faison, E. B. Hopkins, R. S. Ball, R. K. Boney, W. D. Haynes, A. L. Blair, R. H. Lewis, J. W. Frankenbush, J. H. Carson, G. Kennon, W. M. Husson. T. P. Thomson, J. S. Brown, A. McD. Peete.

The Honorary Degree of Bachelor of Science was conferred on Mr. E. A. Gibbs, of Virginia.

Mr. T. T. Holloway, of Illinois, was the recipient of the 1st, and Mr. R. G. Withers, of Va., of the 2nd Jackson-Hope Medals, These medals were presented by Gov. Holliday in a speech of marked ability, power and force, which produced unbounded enthusiasm among his hearers. The ordinary modes of approval were exhausted, and men rose in their seats and clapped and cheered vociferously. The speaker was unable at times to proceed for the boisterous applause. Gov. Holliday possesses in an eminent degree the electric force of an orator. His eagle eye kindled and his frame seemed convulsed with emotion when speaking of Virginia, her past and present and future. He said Virginia had ever been the leader in every great question which had agitated this country. His allusion to the Convention of 1829-30, and the speech of Benjamin Watkins Leigh in which he denounced the degeneracy of the times, was a grand effort, and the astounding portrayal of the still greater degeneracy of the present times -was enough to bring the blush of shame to the cheek of every Virginian. He appealed to the young men of the State, as the older ones seemed deaf to entreaty, to come forward and save the State. Gov. Holliday spoke without notes, and without preparation, but he was evidently on ground he knew, and went straight forward, dealing ponderous blows at corruption, venality and discord. His eloquence was impassioned and fervid. A distinguished son of South Carolina present pronounced him the ablest man he had ever met with in Virginia, and he has associated with giants. We do not hesitate to say that Governor Holliday made a great speech, and we regret that it cannot be given to the country in this time of its degeneracy. It would accomplish much good. We are more than ever persuaded that Gov, Holliday should have taken the stump in the late canvass, but the wisdom of his course then we are content to leave to the future. We thank God we have such a man in the responsible position which he occupies, and we feel sure Virginia will suffer no detriment at his hands. The Governor has made a great impression in Rockbridge.

At the conclusion of his speech, which was nearly two hours in delivery, Capt. John S. Wise introduced Richard H. Melville Jackson, of Richmond, as the orator of the Alumni Society.


The Ball will long be remembered by those who were present as one of unusual brilliancy. The Hall was handsomely decorated with festoons of evergreens and bright colored pennons, flag and coats of arms of the different States represented, and portraits of distinguished graduates of the V. M. I. At one end of the room was "Class '78" and over the music stand "Auld Lang Syne” in gas jets. Among the ladies present were:

Miss Hussen, blue satin, point lace and diamonds; Miss Whiting, blue silk; Miss McCormick, white silk tarletan with pink rose buds; Miss Catlett blue tarletan and pearls; Miss Freeland, blue silk; Miss Johnston, rose-colored silk and diamonds; Miss Rosa Johnston, corn-colored silk and black velvet with scarlet flowers; Miss Sellers, pink silk and white lace; Miss Tucker, blue brocade, powdered hair and silver ornaments; Miss Laura Tucker, white tarletan, and pearls; Miss Bell, white cashmere; Miss Moreland, white silk and pink roses; Miss Newman, white tarletan ; Miss Maury, pink silk and tarletan; Miss Letcher, white tarletan and white flowers; Miss Maggie Letcher, white tarletan and blue flowers; Miss Edmonds, white muslin lace and pearls; Miss Ott, blue silk; Miss Pegram, white muslin and lace; Miss Coe, white tarletan and silk; Miss Smith, white lace and pearls; Miss Atkinson, green silk, black velvet and pearls; Miss Basye, blue brocade; Miss Bolling, white tarletan; Miss Mary Davidson, rose-colored silk, white lace and gold ornaments; Miss Paine, lilac grenadine and white lace; Miss Belle Anderson, white tarletan; Miss Bruce, white tarletan; Miss Junkin, Miss Nelson and Miss Julia Nelson in white.

Among the married ladies present we noticed Mrs. Wise, white muslin and lace; Mrs. Tucker, silver grey silk and black velvet; Mrs. Judge McLaughlin, black silk and white lace; Mrs. Prof, White, black silk and diamonds; Mrs. Gov. Letcher, black silk; Mrs. Dorman, black silk and white lace; Mrs. Johns, black brocade; Mrs. Walton, grey silk and diamonds; Mrs. Col. Lyell, in cafe au lait silk; Mrs. Hay, Mrs. Figgat, Mrs. Frank Smith and Mrs. Harry Tucker in black silk.

V.M.I. Graduation Picture-- Class of 1878



Wednesday, July 3rd, 1878

Real warm all day. I returned from the ball about 5 A.M. It was generally pronounced a success. Although much fatigued I lost all desire for sleep in the sadness of parting with so many friends and a final farewell to my class-mates. The saddest of all was my parting with Jenkins, who departed about 6 or 7 o’clock. Breakfasted at the hotel and returning to barracks napped from 11 until 1 o’clock. After dining with father I went to his room and attempted to nap, but without success. I called on Misses Bruce & Junkin. Tonight I attended the sociable at Prof. White’s until about 10 o’clock. It was quite an enjoyable affair. Quite hoarse from exposure last night.

Thursday, July 4th, 1878

Real warm. Bush and myself breakfasted at the hotel. Father went out to the Natural Bridge. McCutchon, Statham[28] and myself spent most of the day at Clifton, visiting the Misses Johnson and Miss Catlett. Calling to see the young ladies at Mr. Tucker’s late this eve I was persuaded to remain until tea. Miss Laura doctored my hoarseness quite successfully. Sat with father a while; he seems much pleased with the bridge. Received a beautiful cigar-case, by express, from Miss M. L. Tonight I called on Misses Bruce & Junkin. Retired shortly after 11 o’clock. Among my class-mates who are remaining a few days are Frankenbush, Peete, Thomson, Faison, Kennon, Wade, Holloway, Nichols, McCutcheon, Heyward, Hagood and Haynes.

Friday, July 5th, 1878

Oppressively warm; a slight rain this eve. Spent part of the morning in packing; so that everything may be ready for our departure Sunday morning. This morning I called on Misses Bruce & Junkin and Misses Ott, Williams and White. This eve I called on Miss Mattie Graham. Tonight I paid my parting visit at Tucker’s. Retired about 11 o’clock. So irregular have been my habits & unsettled that I have not been able to keep an account of my expenses.

Saturday, July 6th, 1878

Real warm. Breakfasted at 7.30, with a party of my classmates, in the sub’s dining room. This morning I finished packing & called on Misses Mattie Graham, Bruce and the Misses Junkin, of whom I took leave. This afternoon I paid final visits to Misses Blair, and the Nelsons. Hired a horse and rode out to Elmwood late this eve; remained until 11 o’clock. Never did I regret so much the parting with friends. The Doctor and the family have all manifested the greatest friendship for me, and Miss Jeanie, my true sister, all appeared to reciprocate my feeling of regret at having to depart. Returning to town I sat with Taylor until 12, when I went to the hotel and retired with father.

Sunday, July 7th, 1878

Father and myself were up at 5, snacked and seated ourselves in an open hack, our conveyance to Warm Spring. We drove to the Institute for my trunk, where I again had to go through the sad performance of saying good bye. How much I hated to leave my good-natured and agreeable room-mate; but I hope to meet Bush again, when we are business men in our old state. It was hard to part with Peete and Thomson. However after saying good bye to these my class mates I was grieved at parting with Williams and Keirn, my fraternity-men. At 6.30 we were trotting briskly out of Lexington. I looked at the towers of the old V.M.I. for probably the last time. There I had many hours of bitter gloom and dejection, the result of my own indiscretion and too credulous disposition. But my moments of happiness eclipsed these and I remember with pleasure the V.M.I. Our drive to the Jordan Alum Springs[29], where we arrived and dined about 11, lay through a beautiful country. We rested and dined at the Alum. After dinner we walked over and took a survey of the Rockbridge Alum.


Grand Hotel at Rockbridge Alum Springs, built in 1873 and closed in 1902. VA Archives

At 3 we started on our pleasant evening’s drive of about twenty-two miles. The road from Milborough to the Warm was in good order and the monotony of the drive was relieved by a variety of scenery; now we drive along the banks of the clear Cowpasture, then through fields of growing timothy and finally the slow ascent of the Warm Spring Mountain gave us occasional glimpses of the valley. The Bath Alum, a beautiful but apparently unpatronized place, lay on our route. The moon came out to light our way down the mountain and to give us a faint view of the Warm so picturesquely nestled among the hills at its foot. We reached our destination about 8, and being fatigued we took a light supper and retired. How glad I was to have in prospect a full night’s sleep.

Bath Alum Springs in early 1900's. The buildings were torn down in the late 1930's. VA Archives


Trip from Lexington to Warm Springs

Warm Springs from Beyer's 1857 Album of Virginia

Monday, July 8th, 1878

Father and myself after resting well last night arose and went to the bath at 5 this morning. I never enjoyed a bath more. Here sulphur water issues, at a temperature of about 98º, from a bed of rocks about 50 ft. in diameter. We were much refreshed and at 8 o’clock we had an appetite for breakfast. After breakfast I met up with a Mr. Dunscomb, a young man from Memphis, with whom I had a pleasant chat. I soon agreed that the place was beautifully situated and the atmosphere cool and embracing; but it wanted in that very necessary concomitant of a watering place – the female sex. I believe there are only one or two young ladies here; and of all the guests there are not more than sixty probably. The bath, so rec’d, having given me a desire for sleep I retired and napped from 10 until near 1. This evening I met Messrs. Hammond & Eubank, ex-cadets. Hammond is a graduate of ’74, and is now practicing law here. Father and myself with my Memphis friend played ten-pins this eve. I commenced a letter to the Vicksburg Herald, giving an account of our ride from Lexington here.

Tuesday, July 9th, 1878

Pleasant. We awoke and took our bath at 6. After breakfast I revised and rewrote my letter to the Herald. Read Macauley’s Life and Letters a short while before dinner. Napped most of the afternoon. Father and myself were hurried in by a shower shortly after 6 P.M. The band having arrived today we had a nice little dance tonight. I met Misses Ravenel & Clark. Hammond and myself sat and talked until near 12. Wrote to Williams, P. B. Received a letter from Herndon.

Wednesday, July 10th, 1878

Pleasant morning but sultry evening. Several arrivals. Before dinner I wrote to Frankenbush and read Macauley. Father, having a headache, did not go to dinner. Wrote a long letter to Jenkins. At the dance tonight I met Mrs. Conley, of Mobile, and her petite daughter. Mrs. C. waltzes splendidly. The music is good and the ball-room floor perfect.

Thursday, July 11th, 1878

A warm day, but delightful evening. Spent the morning in writing to Ball and copying my journal. This evening I spent in social chat with gentlemen friends. Father and myself walked to “flag rock”, about three miles distant, late this eve. We had an extensive and beautiful view of the surrounding country. Had a pleasant dance tonight; at which we practiced a few figures of the German. Messrs. Houston Letcher, Davidson and Rev. Mr. Canter of Lexington are here tonight. Received a letter from mother. She had not received father’s letter requesting her to come to Virginia.

Friday, July 12th, 1878

Pleasant. This morning I wrote a letter to Keirn; sat in the parlor and chatted with the ladies. Ex-cadet Belvin, with four of his friends came over from the Healing[30].

Healing Springs. VA Archives

Napped some time this eve. Father and myself walked to Germantown late this eve. Danced until 10.15. After which I talked to Dixon and Dunscomb until 11.

Saturday, July 13th, 1878

A rain set in last night and continued up to breakfast this morn; several showers followed during the day. This evening I practiced the waltz with Dunscomb, Clark and Dixon; after which we played ten-pins. Met Miss Torrence of Cincinnati Miss Willett of Baltimore. Hammond and myself met after the dance tonight and chatted until 12 o’clock.

Sunday, July 14th, 1878

Beautiful day; but quite warm about noon. Commenced a letter to Miss Jeanie Lyburn. Heard Dr. Palmer, of New Orleans, preach two splendid sermons today. This morn he preached a sermon establishing the truth of Christianity and tonight from the text, “all things worketh together for good to those who love the Lord.” Escorted Miss Clark to Church tonight. Hammond and myself have been together most of the day.

Monday, July 15th, 1878

Pleasant. Met the ladies in the parlor after breakfast and talked until 11, when I went to my room and finished my letter to Miss Jeanie. After dinner we chatted again in the parlor for a short while. Wrote a letter of thanks to Miss M. L. for the beautiful cigar-case. Father and myself joined a party of gentlemen in a game of ten-pins this eve. A party of young ladies and gentlemen came over from the Healing tonight and joined in the dance. After the dance Hammond and myself talked until after 12, Rec’d a letter from Williams.

Tuesday, July 16th, 1878

Warm day. Father and myself visited the Healing and Hot Springs this morning.

Hot Springs from Beyer's 1857 Album of Virginia

Our acquaintances, Belvin, Stokes & others, at the former were very polite in showing us around. At the latter I met J. T. Dickinson, of the U. of Va., who is a ΣΧ. We arrived on our return about 1.30 P.M. Napped a while after dinner. Played ten pins with Dixon, Clark & Dunscomb. We had a very short dance tonight, after which I joined Miss Ravenel in a game of whist[31]. Rec’d a letter from Frankenbush. Retired at 11.30.

Wednesday, July 17th, 1878

Warm. Spent the morning in taking leave of the ladies; having written to mother to come to the Mont. White Sulphur[32] I left the Warm today in order to meet her in her arrival there. Very glad to find my friend Dickinson, whom I met yesterday, a passenger on the stage, which I took about 1 P.M. The Rev. Dr. Palmer and lady, of New Orleans, were also passengers with us. Having made some very pleasant acquaintances at the Warm it was not without regret that I left it. We had a considerable shower in our passage to Millboro which cooled the sultry air much. Reaching Millboro at 5.30 we remained over until 10.30, when Dickinson and myself took the train for Charlottesville. Stepping out on the platform at Goshen I met Moore, just from Lexington.

Thursday, July 18th, 1878

We arrived at C. this morn at 2.30; took room at the Central and slept until 8 when we breakfasted and proceeded to the University, where I was introduced to Prof. Minor[33] and Dr. Harrison[34]; engaged room for next session. Attended Prof. Minor’s lecture before his Summer Law Class which consists of about 75. Met Lucas[35] & walked home with him after the lecture, where we chatted some time. Dickinson and myself dined at the Central. He persuaded me to remain over night with him. In the afternoon we returned to his room at the University, examined the rooms in company with Lucas, after tea we walked over to Dr. Chancellor’s[36] and sat with Lucas and others until about 9. Returning to Dickinson’s room we met Pierce, a ΣΧ, who sat with us until after 12 o’clock. The day has been oppressively warm.

Friday, July 19th, 1878

Dickinson and myself were up and breakfasted at 8 o’clock. Called around & chatted Pierce, until about 10, when I called to take leave of Lucas. Dickinson, Robinson & Pierce went to the depot with me and saw me off at 11.40. I had a very disagreeable trip; very warm & dusty. I reached Blue Ridge Springs at 4.17 P.M., where I concluded to stop and examine the place.

Blue Ridge Springs

After refreshing myself with a bath I went out to find Huener, N. M. K. and Jim Scaife, an old Mont. Gom. White Sul. friend. I also met Miss Mamie Scaife with whom I had several nice waltzes tonight. She has made as pretty a woman as she promised to be. I retired at 11 o’clock.

Saturday, July 20th, 1878

Warm, though we had a slight rain about 9 A.M. After breakfast Miss Mamie & myself walked to the spring and chatted some time. I am not very much pleased with the situation of this place; too near the rail road; it is not a resort for young people. The number of visitors is small. Talked with Miss Mamie a short while after dinner. Departed for the Montgomery White at 4.30, where I arrived at 6. Met Maj. Lucas and Dr. Brockett first thing. There seems to be a very pleasant crowd here, said to number 300. Had a nice time at the ball room tonight; met Misses Lilly Rountree, Alpha Vairin and Margy McGhee.

Sunday, July 21st, 1878

The weather has been more pleasant than for some time; this place appears cooler to me than any where I have been. After breakfast Dr. Brockett introduced me to Misses Maggie & Ettie Lonsdale, of New Orleans, and Miss Maggie Miller of Miss. I had a long chat with Miss Ettie, whom I escorted to the parlor about 11, where we heard a splendid sermon preached by a blind minister, text 1st James last verse. I chatted the Misses Lonsdale & Miss Miller a while this eve. These ladies are very pleasant & the prospects are for a pleasant summer. Rec’d a telegram from father stating that mother left Clinton yesterday. Wrote to Herndon.

Monday, July 22nd, 1878

A splendid day. Went up to the depot this morning and met mother, with whom I spent most of the morning; we took a short walk this eve. Had a splendid time at the ball room tonight. The Misses Lonsdale are splendid waltzers; I walked to their cottage after the dance & chatted until 12. Keirn, W. and Keirn, A. arrived shortly after 12. Keirn, W. is rooming with me. Received a letter from Ball.

Tuesday, July 23rd, 1878

Cool enough for fire in the morning and evening. A party went on a pic nic excursion near Christiansburg and spent the day. I escorted Miss Vairin. We had quite a jolly time. It being cool we enjoyed the dance very much tonight.

Wednesday, July 24th, 1878

The cool weather became quite pleasant this eve. Talked to Miss Ettie this morn & Miss Lilly Rountree this eve; Miss R. is from Norfolk and very pleasant indeed. Wrote to aunt Eliza. Father dispatched that he would leave the Warm on Thursday.

Thursday, July 25th, 1878

Pleasant. Talked to the ladies all the morning. Took walk with mother this eve. I escorted Miss Margie McGhee to the German tonight, which was a very enjoyable affair; danced until 12.

Friday, July 26th, 1878

Warm. Talked to the Lonsdale party this morning & to Miss Lilly Rountree this eve. Although tired I enjoyed the dance tonight. Rec’d letter from Jenkins and Frankenbush.

Saturday, July 27th, 1878

Unpleasantly warm; especially to dancers; a slight rain this morn & again this eve. Talked a while with Miss Lilly this morn. A party of us met this morn & arranged to have a Tournament on the 8th August. This eve I wrote to Williams and Frankenbush. Rec’d a letter from Holloway. Father arrived at 6 P.M.

Sunday, July 28th, 1878

Cloudy; raining this eve. Rode up to the depot with Misses Vairin and Groverman after breakfast; talked a while with Miss Ettie and spent the rest of the morning with mother. After dinner I chatted a while with Miss Maggie L. and then went to my room and wrote to Holloway & Scaife. After supper I walked to the cottage with Miss Maggie and sat some time.

Monday, July 29th, 1878

Warn and raining. Spent the morning in assisting Miss Maggie and the ladies in dressing the ball room for the Lee Monument ball. This eve I talked to Miss Maggie and then wrote a letter to my little rat J. S. Henderson. Walked home with Miss Vairin from the ball room tonight. Rec’d a letter from Herndon.

Tuesday, July 30th, 1878

Pleasant. Spent the morn in chatting with Miss Lilly Rountree, and this eve in talking to Miss Maggie L. and a short while in napping; late I took a walk with mother. The ball tomorrow night brought in many arrivals today. Rec’d a note from Jim Scaife saying that they would come and that Miss Mamie accepted my invitation. Escorted Miss M. L. to the ball room tonight and sat with the party until near 12.

Wednesday, July 31st, 1878

Pleasant. Robert Yancey[37], who graduated at the V.M.I. in ’75, having arrived, I took him around to see the ladies this morn. This eve I spent in resting. Humes, Scaife & Dunscomb came down to attend the ball, on this evening’s train. I was also delighted at the arrival of Miss Mamie Scaife, whom I escorted to the Lee Monument Ball tonight. This was as enjoyable as any ball I ever attended; after the supper we had a splendid German; Miss Mamie dances very nicely indeed. At 4 o’clock the music stopped and we had to depart.

Thursday, August 1st, 1878

Pleasant. I was up at 7.30 and went up to the depot with Miss Mamie; it was impossible to persuade her mother to remain longer. Spent the remainder of the morning in talking with the men & playing euchre[38]. After dinner I chatted the Misses Lonsdale a while and then called and sat with Miss Vairin. At 6 I went to my room and tried to nap without success. I danced all the dances again tonight, and felt not in the least tired. Miss Lucy Banks is here for a short stay and I had a pleasant chat with her tonight. Received a letter from Williams.

Friday, August 2nd, 1878

Pleasant. I did not get to sleep until after 10 o’clock last (night) and even then until I had gotten up and bathed my body. I spent the morning in writing a letter, to the Vicksburg Herald, of the Lee Monument Ball. Miss Maggie Miller assisted me in describing the ladies toilettes. Went horse-back riding with Miss Maggie L. this eve, which tired me so considerably that I did not dance any or but little tonight; I sat most of the time with mother and retired to my room before 10.30. Received a letter from Miss Jeanie Lyburn.

Saturday, August 3rd, 1878

Pleasant. Was up at 8 much refreshed from my night’s sleep. Talked with the Misses Lonsdale a short while after breakfast. Before dinner I finished my letter to the Herald. Talked with Miss M. L. a short while after dinner; then retired and napped until about 7 when I arose and had a short walk with Miss Vairin.

Sunday, August 4th, 1878

Cool this morn but quite warm this afternoon. Mother being unwell, I sat with her most of the morning. Napped until 6 when I got up to take a walk with Miss Vairin. After supper I sat a while with mother, who is much better, and then retired to my room and wrote a letter to Miss Jeanie.

Monday, August 5th, 1878

Pleasant. Spent the morn in conversation with the ladies at the Lonsdale cottage. This evening we practiced for the tournament.

Tuesday, August 6th, 1878

Pleasant. From 11 to 12 A.M. I practiced in the tournament track; from 12.30 until 2 o’clock dinner I talked to the ladies. After dining I rested until 5, when I again exercised in tilting for the rings. I have been very unsuccessful in getting the rings every one being more dexterous. At 7 o’clock the Misses Lonsdale, Longley, Given and myself departed for the Allegheny[39] where we were invited to attend a German.

Allegheny Springs from E. A. Pollard's[40] book The Virginia Tourist

Being the escort of Miss Maggie Lonsdale, a splendid waltzer, I assured myself a splendid time. After a pleasant moonlight drive of an hour and a half we arrived at our destination. Having arranged ourselves for the dance we entered the ball room, where some thirty or more couples had assembled for the dance. Mr. Geo. Kenner, of New Orleans, having lead the Monty White visitors “a round” of introductions gave the “whistle” for the music to strike up. The hall is not as suitable for dancing; nor is the floor so good & the music can’t be compared with the White; but it was enjoyable. Shortly after midnight the dance was suspended for supper, which was excellent.

Wednesday, August 7th, 1878

We arrived on our return from the Allegheny at 6 A.M., each one expressed a delightful time at the German. I retired immediately and slept until 2 P.M. when I arose, dined and practiced for the tournament. Misses Irvin and Malvina Miller arrived. They are an addition to the Lonsdale party. I sat at their table; how nice to be at the table with five young ladies and one other gentleman, Dr. Stewart of the U. S. N.

Thursday, August 8th, 1878

This has been a very exciting day. The occasion of the Grand Tournament. The tilting commenced about 11 o’clock. The contest was warm. In my first two rides I took five rings, which tied me with Rinaud, who crowned Queen. The last tilt I failed to get a ring, which threw me to a tie with Hunt for the honor of crowning 3 maids. In our first ride we again tied by taking a ring each. On the second I took all three and he one. I crowned Miss Maggie Lonsdale. The Tournament, coronation & ball pronounced a success. Mr. Singleton of Miss. made a splendid address. Danced until 2 o’clock. Was glad to see Miss Williams whom I met at Miss Sallie White’s at the Tournament. Pleasant day.

Friday, August 9th, 1878

Up at 8. Went to mother’s room after breakfast and chatted some time; then to my room and read until 1. After dinner I napped until 6. Took walk with Miss Vairin. Escorted Miss Maggie L. to the ball room. Very warm afternoon.

Saturday, August 10th, 1878

Called on Miss Cora Townsend this morn. Chatted mother a while before dinner. Read Macauley this eve. Took walk with mother just before supper. Went with Miss Vairin to the German tonight. Had nice time. Wrote letter to Lucas. Warm.

Sunday, August 11th, 1878

Raining nearly all day. Called & sat with Miss Vairin some time this morn. Wrote to Herndon. This eve I read Macauley & talked to father who came up to my room. After supper I chatted with the Misses Miller until 10 o’clock, then wrote to Ball.

Monday, August 12th, 1878

Rather warm. In the forenoon I chatted with Miss Rountree & Miss Vairin. This eve I went up to the Depot with the Misses Voorhies; two pretty and very interesting French girls from N. O. Late I went walking with Maggie L. Enjoyed dance tonight; walked home with Miss Vairin. Wrote to Williams. Rec’d letter from Henderson.

Tuesday, August 13th, 1878

Cloudy & drizzling. This evening the drizzle slacked and a party of us went over to the Yellow Sulphur[41] to take part in a tournament.

Yellow Sulphur Springs from Beyer's 1857 Album of Virginia

Keirn & myself with the Misses Lonsdale, Miss Vairin & Mrs. Clark went over in the same vehicle. The whole affair including the ball tonight was badly managed & not a success. Met M. P. Davis[42] of the class of ’75, at the Yellow. Returning arrived at the White about 2.

Wednesday, August 14th, 1878

A pretty day. Was up at 7 and after breakfast & taking leave of father & mother by 9 o’clock I started for the Blue Ridge to attend the Military Ball given by a company from Lynchburg tonight. At 11 A.M. I was at my destination. The ball was a very enjoyable affair, though the crowd was too large for the room. I was glad to see Willie Dudley at the Ball. I escorted Miss Winn of Richmond; she was too loquacious tho’ a fair dancer. Met Miss Anna Read, a beautiful brunette & considered the Belle of Norfolk. Danced until 3.

Thursday, August 15th, 1878

Clear & warm. I managed to get a few broken naps between 3 & 7 o’clock. The military were in possession and were continually passing in & out. About 10 or 11 I rode down to Coiner’s and saw Mr. & Mrs. Conley & Miss Mamie. Returned at 1 o’clock. This afternoon I rested. Tonight I had several nice waltzes with Miss Mamie S. Retired at 10.30. While at Coiner’s I met Mr. Hugh Fry, ex-cadet, class ’67.

Friday, August 16th, 1878

Arose at 8 o’clock much refreshed from night’s sleep. Talked to Miss Mamie a while after breakfast. It rained all the morning. I departed at 4.30 P.M. Saw & spoke to Mrs. Conley in passing Bensack. At Salem I got off and went to the Duval House for the purpose of examining the suitableness of the place for mother to stop until time for her return. Several members of my fraternity, of Roanoke College, introduced themselves and made my stay very pleasant. We strolled around to reconnoiter until dark. I left at 10.30 & arrived at the White about 12. I was not favorably impressed with Salem; it is too low & muddy. I was delighted to find brother on my return.

Saturday, August 17th, 1878

My brother & myself were bedfellows last night. We were up at 8.30 when father came in & aroused us. Mother being unwell I sat with her some time after breakfast. Rested nearly all the eve. Had nice time at the dance tonight. Escorted Miss Vairin to her cottage & sat some time. Warm day.

Sunday, August 18th, 1878

Escorted Miss Maggie L. to church this morn. Went walking with Miss V. this eve & escorted her to church tonight. Pleasant day.

Monday, August 19th, 1878

Dr. Brockett commenced work on my teeth this morn; after which I chatted Miss Maggie L. & went walking with her this afternoon. Escorted Miss V. home from dance tonight. Rec’d letter from Pierce. A heavy rain set in just after supper which caught Mr. Longley & Miss Ettie L. out riding. It prevented their return.

Tuesday, August 20th, 1878

Raining nearly all day. Visited Dentist this morn. Talked to Miss M. L. a while after dinner then wrote letters to Prof. Harrison (U. of Va.) and Messrs Pierce & Jenkins. Took Miss V. home from dance & talked until after 12.

Wednesday, August 21st, 1878

Pleasant. Visited the Dentist & talked to the ladies morning & evening. Took walk with Miss V. before supper.

Thursday, August 22nd, 1878

Last night a noisy crowd kept me awake until very late, hence I slept until very late this morn. Visited the Dentist. Talked to the Misses Rountree this morn. This eve read & napped. Escorted Miss Rountree to dance. Retired at 12. Pleasant day.

Friday, August 23rd, 1878

I was thankful to finish with the dentist this morn. Talked to Miss Rountree until 1, then to Miss M. L. until 2. Escorted Miss Mal Miller to the Children’s Ball & Tableaux tonight. Pleasant day.

Saturday, August 24th, 1878

Called on Miss Cora Townsend this morn. We were to have a morning German but in consequence of the late arrival of guests from the Allegany it was postponed until this afternoon. I escorted Miss Vairin to the German, which was conducted by Mr. Joe Given of N. O. with success. Enjoyed the dance tonight.

Sunday, August 25th, 1878

Raining off & on all day. Miss Cora T. & myself walked over to the parlor & talked some time this morn. This eve I joined the party at the Lonsdale cottage. After supper we played “yes or no” then I called & chatted Miss Rountree. Helped Keirn to pack up & saw him off at 4 o’clock A. M. He is a good friend & I dislike to part with him.

Monday, August 26th, 1878

Chatted Miss V. a while after breakfast then called for Miss Cora T. but she was out. Napped this eve. Escorted Miss Maggie L. to dance. Rec’d letter from Pierce. Pleasant day.

Tuesday, August 27th, 1878

Raining, which prevented proposed pic nic. Played ten pins with Lonsdale party, then at cards. Called on Miss Cora T. Chatted with mother and read Moore this eve. Escorted Miss M. L. to dance. Rec’d letter from Miss Jeanie.

Wednesday, August 28th, 1878

This morn I played ten pins with Lonsdale party. Called on Miss V. & chatted before dinner. Read Macauley this eve. Took walk with mother before supper. Escorted Miss M. L. to dance. Pleasant weather.


This is the last entry in his 1878 diary. His diary at the University of Virginia Law School begins on January 1, 1879 so there is a skip from Wednesday, August 28th, 1878 to Wednesday, January 1st, 1879.



Chapter 6 – University of Virginia Law School -- 1879


Return to Preface

[1] Gian Pietro Cardinal Carafa – one of six Cardinals who made up the Roman Inquisition in 1542. When he became Pope Paul IV in 1555 he accelerated Inquisition activities and approved and published the first Index of Forbidden Books in 1559.

[2] Robert Eden Scott: Warrenton, VA. Class of 1878. Lawyer, Richmond, VA. Died January 2, 1954.

[3] John Dandridge Murdaugh: Fredericksburg, VA. Graduated 1879, 16th of 22. U.S. Civil Service. Died in Washington, DC February 7, 1910.

[4] Madison Parish, LA weekly newspaper, published then in Delta, LA, which at this time was the Parish Seat, not far from Duckport and across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, MS. The paper later moved to Tallulah, LA – the current Parish Seat.

[5] Elias Howe (1819-1867) American inventor. Invented the sewing machine.

[6] Thomas Owings: Baltimore, MD. Class of 1880. Lawyer. Died January 18, 1891 at Asheville, NC.

[7] William Henry Lake: Class of 1882. Memphis, TN. Merchant in Kingman, AZ. Died November 12, 1901.

[8] Thomas Wadlington Keitt: Newberry, SC. Graduated 1878, 6th of 25. Planter, Asst. Prof at V.M.I. and Clemson College. Died August 31, 1917.

[9] Robert Gilham Withers: Norwood, VA. Graduated 1878, 2nd of 25. Asst. Prof. V.M.I., lawyer, Goldfield, NV. Died November 19, 1922.

[10] James Emerson Swanson: LaGrange, GA. Graduated 1882, 18th of 21. Cotton Planter & Farmer. Died May 10, 1890 in La Grange, GA.

[11] Robert West Alston: Decatur, GA. Class of 1881. Clerk, Auditor’s Office, Washington, DC. Died October 23, 1886.

[12] Stanislaus Bryzozowski (sp?), a Polish physician living in Madison Parish, LA.

[13] Robert Parham Abraham: La Grange, GA. Class of 1882. Banker; Manager Cotton Warehouse, La Grange, GA.

[14] John Adams Sibley: Augusta, GA. Class of 1881. Life Insurance Business, St. Marys, GA. Killed in automobile accident April 26, 1934.

[15] Norman Griffin Winn: Demopolis, AL. Graduated 1879, 10th of 22. Farmer; Mayor; President of School Board. Died February 25, 1938 at Demopolis, AL.

[16] William Paul Moore: Norfolk, VA. Graduated 1880, 26th of 25. Dental Surgeon, Mayor, Jackson, NC. Died September 8, 1915.

[17] Obediah Jennings Wise: Richmond, VA. Class of 1881. Died February 4, 1884 at Thomasville, GA.

[18] Written in 1759 by Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). A philosophical tale in which the moral is that "human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed”.

[19] Plutarch (46?-120) Greek biographer and essayist.

[20] Mason Locke Weems, Jr.: Columbia, TX. MD from Tulane. Physician at Brazoria, TX. Died there August 15, 1930.

[21] Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in March 1876, although telephones did not start to be common until after the switch was invented in 1891.

[22] His cousin Edwin Cocke died at the Boney residence at Duckport on May 9, 1878. From the Vicksburg Daily Herald May 17, 1878. “Mr. Edwin Cocke – 19 years of age died from pulmonary consumption at the residence of Mr. G. L. Boney Duckport, La. May 9, 1878.”

[23] Joshua Nelson Lee: Danville, KY. Graduated 1880, 21st of 25. Lawyer, Banker, Danville, KY. Died April 29, 1926.

[24] Baron Thomas Babington Macauley (1800-1859) Best known for his five volume History of England

[25] Herodotus (484-425BC) Greek historian. Known as the “father of history”.

[26]  Walter Staples Poage: Newbern, VA. Graduated 1879, 13th of 22. Solicitor to Comptroller of the Currency, Washington D.C. Died February 13, 1928 near Wytheville, VA.

[27] Richard K. Boney graduated 13th of 25 (one was added later). However, of the 87 class members, 62 never graduated.

[28] Clifford Statham: Lynchburg, VA. Graduated 1877, 16th of 32. Tobacconist; ex-postmaster, Lynchburg, VA. Died November 19, 1882.

[29] The Jordan Alum Springs was located near the Rockbridge Alum Springs and there was an intense rivalry between them until they merged in 1880. Before the merger a high fence was built between them, and it is said that employees of the two resorts regularly engaged in fistfights.

[30] Healing Springs, about 7 miles southwest of Warm Springs.

[31] A card game for four players in two partnerships that is played with a pack of 52 cards and that scores one point for each trick in excess of six.

[32] Montgomery White Sulphur Springs, VA.

[33] John B. Minor: Professor of Common and Statute Law.

[34] James F. Harrison, MD: Chairman of the Faculty.

[35] Apparently Lucas was attending the University of Virginia at this time.

[36] He was later to take room and board at Dr. Chancellor’s when he attended the University of Virginia Law School.

[37] Robert Davis Yancey: Lynchburg, VA. LL.B Univ. of VA. Lawyer; Mayor of Lynchburg; Commonwealth Attorney. Died January 9, 1931.

[38] A card game in which each player is dealt five cards and the player making trump must take three tricks to win a hand. In two-handed euchre only 24 cards are used as those from deuce through eight are excluded.

[39] Another resort near the Montgomery White.

[40] Pollard, Edward A. The Virginia Tourist, J. B. Lippincott, 1870.

[41] Another resort near the Montgomery White.

[42] Micajah Preston Davis: Lynchburg, VA. Graduated 1875, 25th of 45. Merchant; Insurance Agent, Lynchburg, VA. Died November 28, 1925.