Cadets Who Served as Instructors

The only conclusion that reasonably can be drawn from the fact that cadets were used as instructors at USMA is the paucity of qualified teachers across the country. This does argue for the position that USMA was needed to provide qualified technical individuals for the nation. I believe this was happening at other schools, although probably with young graduates, but that point needs to be argued.

[The Cullum Register, volume III, p. 544 indicates that in 1810 there were four cadet instructors. Boisaubin (C#15) and Loomis (C#62) for the first class and Fanning (#86) and Larrabee (C#55) for the second. So none of these taught mathematics]

In the USMA Archives there are a number of spiral bound books that are photocopies of fragile pamphlets. The copies are named Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. Volume I covers the years 1818 to 1827 but the copied documents do not bear the initial word "Official," this being added later (I have not tried to find out when the name change was made, but that should be easy to do by examining the contents of the volumes). The early years contain information about who served as teachers as cadets and that is catalogued below. The year refers to the year of the register, unless otherwise noted. 

"1317. The superintendent is authorized to detail such a number of senior cadets to perform the duties of acting assistant professors, or teachers, as the system of the institution may require; and each cadet, so detailed, shall be entitled to receive 10 dollars per month, as a compensation for extra services. The appointment will be considered in the light of an honourable distinction." General Regulations of the Army. Revised by Major-General Scott. 1825. = Regulations U.S.M.A., p. 363]

Lester A. Webb, in his book Captain Alden Partridge and the United States Military Academy 1806-1833 (1965), p. 172, gives a chart with the number of faculty at the Academy during the years 1813-1835 which is drawn from American State Papers, Military Affairs. Here is the information about cadet teachers that Webb gives:

1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835
0 0 0 8 8 10 13 12 15 6 8 8 10 6 5 6 1 1 4 4 0 0 3

Note that this data does not agree with what is listed below, even though the data below is just for the department of mathematics.

In American State Papers. Military Affairs (which is available on the web), vol. 2, pp. 380-387, contains a report on the Military Academy which the House of Represented requested. Appendix C is a "Statement of the expense of maintaining the officers and instructors of the United States Military Academy, each year since 1802." Unfortunately, for mathematics no expenses are listed for 1802-1806 and 1811-1812. The data ends in 1821. The faculty and cadet instructors are listed along with their terms of service and salaries. There is information here that I have not found elsewhere. The data is for calendar years rather than academic years, so this may cause some confusion.

1815. Richard Delafield was the first cadet detailed as acting assistant professor [Centennial, II, 69].


June 1818.

June 1819.

June 1820.

The proposed budget for 1820 called for four "acting assistant" professors of mathematics, to be paid $10 per month in addition to their cadet pay. It also requested two second lieutenants to hold the same position. There was also one in French. So it appears that this was changed around a bit. See American State Papers, #184, p. 66, January 31, 1820.

June 1821.

June 1822.

June 1823.

June 1824.

June 1825.

June 1826.

June 1827.

June 1828.

June 1829.

June 1830.

June 1831.

June 1832.

June 1833. 

June 1834.

June 1835.

June 1836.

June 1837.

June 1838.

June 1839.

June 1840.    The format of the information changes and no information is given about Cadet teachers.











This is all the further I photocopied. Need to go back and get more. 

No evidence of cadet instructors during World War I was found in the Howitzers examined in the departmental library, but the collection is quite incomplete. Need to check the Official Register which is on line at the Archives Web.


        No cadet instructors are listed in the Official Register for 1940.


In 1941 selected cadets of the First Class served as instructors in order to release officers for emergency assignments. The bound volumes of Superintendents Reports in the department do not contain a report for this year, so check the library. There are no cadets pictured in the Howitzer. The Official Register for 1941 lists four cadet instructors (they were all in the class of 1941; their class rank is given):

"However, in February, 1941, 20 selected cadets were assigned to duty as instructors thus releasing 10 offficers for duty away from West Point."   [1941 Superintendent's Report, p. 1]. "special arrangements were made whereby these cadet instructors could continue their own studies. During the next academic year this system will be extended and approximately forty cadet instructors will be used to take the places of twenty officer instructors." [ibid, p. 4]


"During the past year the system of using cadets as academic instructors was continued, 36 cadets being used for this purpose. Special arrangements were made whereby these cadets could continue their own studies to a limited degree, but it was not possible to give them the same amount of work in their First Class subjects as the other cadets receive. They made excellent instructors and their use was amply justified as an emergency measure. It is hoped to obviate altogether the necessity for the use of cadet instructors during the coming year by the use of retired officers called to active duty, officers of the Army of the United States for limited duty, etc."  [Annual Report of the Superintendent, June 30, 1942, p. [5]; the document is unpaginated; image 9 of the on-line version]

The following list of 10 names comes from the 1942 Howitzer. Cadets are in the picture and identified by name. They continue to wear their cadet uniforms. All are graduates of the class of 1942. There were 374 graduates in that class, and the class rank of each of these 10 is given below. Quite a few of these people are still alive and they should be contacted. Check:

The same 10 cadets are listed in the Official Register of 1942.

There are no cadet teachers listed in the Howitzers for 1940, 1941, January 1943, June 1943 (the pictures of the faculty in these two yearbooks are the same), 1945, 1946, and 1947. These are the only years that have been examined.


        No cadet instructors are listed in the Official Register for 1943.


"Academic training was hampered, but not halted, by the loss of regular officers in the early months of 1942. In fact, the exodus began in February 1941, when ten officers were relived from duty, and their places taken by first classmen who taught halftime. Within weeks of the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, the process of recalling retired military officers and commissioning civilian scholars was in full operation. By June 1944, more than two-thirds of the officers on duty at West Point were "non-graduates' . . . "  Crackel2002, 209-210.

The following are a few stray references that I picked up. They confirm information given above. 

Henry DuPont.    Pappus, p. 325.

Samuel Benjamin.   Pappus, p. 325. 

Dennis Hart Mahan beginning in his second year. Info from Marguerita Z. Herman's Ramparts, p. 151.

Robert E. Lee as a yearling.


Revised February 2004.