Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/36
28 Southern Historical Society Papers.
the army. Of the nine now remaining, three are exempt from phys- ical disability, and one or more of these three left the class on that account. In a communication by President Swain to Governor Vance he says; " Our Sophomore Class is now reduced to six regu- lar members. Morehead (who has a substitute, an Englishman over conscript age) is the best, and Mickle, the second best scholar in it. The latter has a slender constitution, and is in delicate health."
Freshman Class. Of the twenty-seven members of this class, twenty-four are under age; and one over eighteen years of age, Julius C. Mills of Caswell, who has a substitute. The remaining two are Julius S. Barlow of Edgecombe, born January 5, 1845. and Isaac R. Strayhorn of Orange, born August yth, 1845.
I have been thus minute in relation to the Sophomore and Fresh- man Classes, for the reason that on them, the reliance for the contin- uation of the exercises of the Institution must mainly depend. It will be seen by reference to the numbers of the Sophomore and Freshman classes and their ages, but few, very few soldiers can be added to the army of the Confederacy, whilst the removal of that small number may so reduce the classes as to render it necessary to discontinue the exercises of the Institution, one of the oldest and largest in the Confederacy; and disband the able and venerable corps of instructors, some of whom have devoted their services to the Institution for more than a quarter of a century, and others for nearly a half century. To disband this able body in their declining years, when their accustomed salaries are so necessary to their comfort in the evening of life, would seem to be ingratitude. To continue those salaries without corresponding service, would subject the trus- tees to merited censure.
And although the limited number instructed might not seem to justify the salaries paid, yet when we consider that this Institution numbered between four and five hundred students at the commence- ment of this war, by whom every state in the Confederacy was rep- resented, it is most respectfully submitted whether the trustees are not justified, even at the sacrifice of their scanty means, in using all exertion to keep the Institution in its present condition of usefulness, ready to meet the demands of the Confederacy when our independ- ence shall be blessed with peace.
Pardon me sir, for suggesting in behalf of the trustees that your aid in continuing these classes will greatly contribute to the contin- uance of the Institution, whilst the army, to whose efficiency your first duty is due, will not be materially affected.