Such having been the case, it would not perhaps have been unnatural if the veterans of the civil war had been rather disposed to magnify their own opportunities, even possibly to the extent of discrediting the advantages of West Point training. This, however, has not been the case; the most successful of leaders who had come up 'from the ranks' have united in deploring for themselves the lack of certain elements, hardly to be described and to be gained only in early youth, and to advocate most strenuously the training that the academy affords.
This influence, which has been quite unanimous, combined with the popular feeling consequent upon our sudden rise as a 'world-power,' has determined congress to increase largely the capacity of West Point, and to remodel wholly the material of the institution. For this purpose
the sum of five million dollars has been appropriated, and, after a competition between ten prominent firms of architects, the award of excellence in general design has been made to Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson, of Boston.
The work of remodeling the academy is necessarily tri-fold: it naturally resolves itself into the architectural, the pictorial, and, inevitably, the practical. At present the buildings of the academy, constructed as they have been at various periods and by authority of men of various degrees of artistic feeling, are more or less ill-assorted and incongruous; several are fine examples of architecture; the cadet barracks highly appropriate in treatment, and the cadet mess-hall