The New Student's Reference Work/West Point, N. Y.
West Point, N. Y., the seat of the United States Military Academy, is a village of Orange County on Hudson River, 52 miles north of New York City. It is a promontory about 180 feet above the river, commanding the fine scenery of the Highlands and surrounded by hills reaching from 500 to 1,500 feet in height. The military school was founded in 1802, and provides free education for 300 cadets, who are bound to serve in the army (q. v.) for eight years. Each congressional district can send one cadet and ten are appointed by the president. The course of training lasts four years, and the graduates have the rank of second lieutenant in the regular army. The buildings include several batteries, besides the library, stone barracks and buildings for instruction, and contain many war relics and portraits of military heroes. West Point was guarded during the Revolutionary War by two forts and a chain across the river, which were taken by the British in 1777, but abandoned by them after Burgoyne's surrender. The point was afterwards strengthened by forts and other works, which Benedict Arnold, the commander, was bargaining to betray to the British, when the arrest of Major André (q. v.) defeated the plot. See Military Schools.