Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/37
I'n /V,r.v/'/// nf North Cui'nliini ill I lit- Ci'ril \\',ir. 29
Allow me to c-\\\ to your attention, the letter written you by Gov- ernor Swain, on the isth October, 1863, in which there are some
interesting details connected with the University.
By order of the Board of Trustees.
CHAS. MANLY, Secretary.
To this request Mr. Seddon replied under date of March 10, 1864: " I cannot see in the grounds presented such peculiar or exceptional circumstances as will justify departure from the rules acted on in many similar instances. Youths under eighteen will be allowed to continue their studies, those over, capable of military service, will best discharge their duty and find their highest training in defending their country in the field."
When this decision became known at the University in the spring of 1864, the nine or ten students who were subject to conscription went into the army, and others went with them to share their fortunes. The catalogue shows but sixty matricu- lates for the whole scholastic year of 1863-64; the next was little better. The report of attendance, December 29, 1864, is interest- ing: Senior class, seven; Junior class, two; George Slover and J. T. Smith; first distinction to Smith, second to Slover. Sopho- more class, twelve; of these, two absent from examination. Fresh- man class, nineteen. Even the catalogues are a silent witness of the intensity of the struggle. They are smaller, are on inferior paper, and have that oily look peculiar to Confederate imprints. The dif- ficulties in the way of the faculty were many, but they struggled on. Dr. Charles Phillips rang the college bell with his own hands for the last six months, although there were hardly a dozen boys in the Institution. These, with two or three exceptions, were from the vil- lage. When the Federal army appeared, these two or three left the University, and walked to their homes in the neighboring counties, but the exercises went on, morning and evening prayers were atten- ded as usual, even when Federal troops were on the campus.
Under these circumstances, few students had either the opportu- nity or desire to continue their course unbroken. Many began their studies before the war; a few of these came back, lame and halting, or perhaps with an arm or a leg missing. We find numerous records like these: William Harrison Craig, matriculated 1857, C. S. A., A. B. 1868; or like this, Walter Clark, Adj. C. S, A.. A. B. 1864,