Addition, 1847-1848, to Evans Family Papers
| Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Front Page 2007 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2007
Two letters, 6 April 1847 and 24 February 1848, written from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, by Nathan George Evans to George A. Lucas in Binghamton, New York, augment the South Caroliniana Library's holdings of Evans family material while providing some insight into the activities of the cadets and the process by which they secured appointments after graduation. | Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
A large portion of the April 1847 letter is devoted to a description of the cadets' new "riding suit[s]": "pantaloons of a bluish grey some considerable lighter than our present uniform with Moroccan spatter-dashes and brass flat chain straps buttoning on the outside to three small fatigue buttons which together with the row on the dasher makes the whole appear quite military." He continues by informing Lucas that "Steuart, G[eorge] H. is considered the most graceful rider in the class he appears perfectly at home not all afraid of any horse." Evans closes this letter by encouraging Lucas to visit "the Point next encampment" as "we would then be prepared to give you a cordiall reception being liberated from the Pledge and having made preparations to receive excellent liqueurs from New York."
The letter written on 24 February 1848 deals primarily with the conclusion of the war in Mexico and Evans' preference for being appointed to a mounted unit following his graduation. He begins by relating that the cadets are "all 'down in the mouth' at the awful prospects of peace, especially our class, who have all ready fought an hundred Battles in imagination and dreamt of the revelling success in the Halls of the Montezuma." He continues by informing Lucas that he is "strongly in favor of the Dragoons and think my chance of success is pretty fair, there not being many above me applying. I think I will certainly get in either the Dragoons or Mounted Rifles. I must by any means get into a mounted Corps where I can have the luxury of a fine horse."
Records indicate that Evans and Steuart graduated thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh (out of thirty-eight), respectively, in the class of 1848, and served on the western frontier as part of the First and Second Regiments of Dragoons. Both resigned their commissions in the United States Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, and each eventually served as generals in the Confederate States Army.