Official Register of the Officers and Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. June, 1842. Irvin McDowell's Signed Copy.
New York: J. P. Wright, 1842. Wraps. West Point register of the Class of 1842, which sent 86 officers to the Civil War, many to become generals. Irwin McDowell's copy, signed as a 2d Lieut. 1st Art., Adjutant (Military Staff), graduate of the Class of 1838, and later a Union Major General. The Class of 1842 must have been the first class that could be considered "The Class the Stars Fell On", a phrase that came to be used for the Class of 1915 for World War II generals.
Almost a roll call of participants in the Civil War. The pamphlet ends with the "Conduct Roll for 1842", listing cadets by number of demerits. Of the 217 cadets listed, quite a large number of important generals were amongst the last quarter - Ulysses S. Grant (157th); James Longstreet (160th); George McClelland (179th); Abner Doubleday (181st); Winfield S. Hancock (190th); Lafayette McLaws (198th). Henry L. Eustis, Lucian Loesser and George W. Rains were 1st, 2nd and 3rd with the least demerits.
McDowell (1818 - 1885), was a career army officer, known for defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large battle of the Civil War, as a recently promoted supply officer in charge of inexperienced troops.
Classes with members who served in the Civil War are:
The Class of 1842 sent 34 graduates, more than any other class. 1st in class, Henry L. Eustis, was a graduate of Harvard, Union Brigadier General; 2nd - John Newton, born in Virginia, Union Major General; 3rd - George W. Rains, "Chief Chemist of the Confederacy"- owned Washington & Highland Iron Works, Newburgh, NY; 5th - William S. Rosencrans, Union Major General; 24th - Abner Doubleday, Union Major General; 48th - Lafayette McLaws, Confederate Major General; 54th of 56 cadets, James Longstreet, Confederate Major General and Lee's confidant at Gettysburg.
The Class of 1843 sent 21 graduates. The 2nd in class William B. Franklin, Union Major General; 3rd in class was George Deshon, roommate of US Grant. He resigned his commission in 1851 and became a Catholic priest; 5th - Roswell S. Ripley, from NY but a Confederate Brigadier General; 11th - Samuel G. French, from NJ but a Confederate Major General; 14th - Franklin Gardner, born NY, Confederate Major General; 33rd - Rufus Ingalls, Union Brevet Major General; 40th (of 41) George C. McClelland, Union Major General and general-in-chief of the Union Army at one point.
The Class of 1844 sent 8 graduates. The 4th of the class was Daniel M. Frost, of NY but Confederate Brigadier General, 35th - Winfield Scott Hancock, Union Major General, 1880 Democratic candidate for President (narrowly defeated by James Garfield.) "Hancock the Superb".
The Class of 1845 sent 23 graduates. This class included Edward C. Boynton, born in Vermont. He was to write a history of West Point that is sought after today.
Small 8vo, 23pp, last page "Synopsis of the Course of Studies", a list of courses by class, along with the instructors and the text books used. Printed on rear wrapper: Head Quarters, Military Academy, West-Point, N. Y., July 1, 1842. By order of Lt. Col. De Russy. Below this are McDowell's signature and his printed rank. OCLC: 839655343 records one individual copy, Official Register for June 1842, at the American Antiquarian Society. Other OCLC records locate the series. Very good condition. Item #24662