Collection: Henry Ossian Flipper

Graduating Class, West Point Military Academy, 1877

Graduating Class, West Point Military Academy, 1877 Ammon A. Augur William H. Baldwin Thomas H. Barry George W. Baxter John Baxter Jr. John Bigelow Jr. William M. Black Francis P. Blair Augustus P. Blocksom Charles A. Bradley John J. Brereton Oscar J. Brown William C. Brown Ben. I. Butler George N. Chase Edward Chynoweth Wallis O. Clark Charles J. Crane Heber M. Creel Matthias W. Day Millard F. Eggleston Robert T. Emmet Calvin Esterly Walter L. Fisk Henry O. Flipper Fred. W. Foster Daniel A. Frederick F. Halverson French Jacob G. Galbraith William W. Galbraith Charles B. Gatewood Edwin F.

Treatment Received – Henry Flipper

The kind of treatment we are to receive at the hands of others depends entirely upon ourselves. I think my life at West Point sufficiently proves the truth of this assertion. I entered the Academy at a time when, as one paper had it, West Point was a “hotbed of disloyalty and snobbery, a useless and expensive appendage.” I expected all sorts of ill treatment, and yet from the day I entered till the day I graduated I had not cause to utter so much as an angry word. I refused to obtrude myself upon the white cadets, and treated

Yearling Camp – Henry Flipper

In this chapter I shall describe only those phases of cadet life which are experienced by “yearlings” in their “yearling camp.” Beginning July 5th, or as soon after as practicable, the third class receive practical instruction in the nomenclature and manual of the field piece. This drill continues till August 1st, when they begin the “School of the Battery.” The class attend dancing daily. Attendance at dancing is optional with that part of the third class called “yearlings,” and compulsory for the “Seps,” who of course do not become yearlings till the following September. The third class also receive instruction

The Secrecy of Hazing – Henry Flipper

Notwithstanding the secrecy of hazing, and the great care which those who practiced it took to prevent being “hived,” they sometimes overreached themselves and were severely punished. Cases have occurred where cadets have been dismissed for hazing, while others have been less severely punished. Sometimes, also, the joke, if I may so call it, has been turned upon the perpetrators to their utter discomfort. I will cite an instance. Quite often in camp two robust plebes are selected and ordered to report at a specified tent just after the battalion returns from supper. When they report each is provided with

Studies, Etc. – Henry Flipper

The academic year begins July 1st, and continues till about June 20th the following year. As soon after this as practicable depending upon what time the examination is finished the corps moves into camp, with the exception of the second class, who go on furlough instead. Between the 20th of August and the 1st of September, the “Seps,” or those candidates who were unable to do so in the spring previous, report. Before the 1st they have been examined and the deficient ones dismissed. On the 1st, unless that be Sunday, academic duties begin. The classes are arranged into a

Treatment – Henry Flipper

A brave and honorable and courteous man Will not insult me; and none other can.” Cowper. “How do they treat you?” “How do you get along?” and multitudes of analogous questions have been asked me over and over again. Many have asked them for mere curiosity s sake, and to all such my answers have been as short and abrupt as was consistent with common politeness. I have observed that it is this class of people who start rumors, sometimes harmless, but more often the cause of needless trouble and ill feeling. I have considered such a class dangerous, and

Reporting – Henry Flipper

May 20th, 1873! Auspicious day! From the deck of the little ferry boat that steamed its way across from Garrison s on that eventful afternoon I viewed the hills about West Point, her stone structures perched thereon, thus rising still higher, as if providing access to the very pinnacle of fame, and shuddered. With my mind full of the horrors of the treatment of all former cadets of color, and the dread of inevitable ostracism, I approached tremblingly yet confidently. The little vessel having been moored, I stepped ashore and inquired of a soldier there where candidates should report. He

Resume – Henry Flipper

July 1, 1876! Only one year more; and yet how wearily the days come and go! How anxiously we watch them, how eagerly we count them, as they glimmer in the distance, and forget them as they fade! What joyous anticipation, what confident expectation, what hope animates each soul, each heart, each being of us! What encouragement to study this longing, this impatience gives us, as if it hastened the coming finale! And who felt it more than I? Who could feel it more than I? To me it was to be not only an end of study, of discipline,

Retrospect – Henry Flipper

Henry Ossian Flipper, the eldest of five brothers, and the subject of this narrative, was born in Thomasville, Thomas County, Georgia, on the 21st day of March, 1856. He and his mother were the property (?) of Rev. Reuben H. Lucky, a Methodist minister of that place. His father, Festus Flipper, by trade a shoemaker and carriage trimmer, was owned by Ephraim G. Ponder, a successful and influential slave dealer. In 1859 Mr. Ponder, having retired from business, returned to Georgia from Virginia with a number of mechanics, all slaves, and among whom was the father of young Flipper. He

Plebe Camp – Henry Flipper

“Plebe Camp!” The very words are suggestive. Those who have been cadets know what “plebe camp” is. To a plebe just beginning his military career the first experience of camp is most trying. To him every thing is new. Every one seems determined to impose upon him, and each individual “plebe” fancies at times he s picked out from all the rest as an especially good subject for this abuse (?). It is not indeed a very pleasant prospect before him, nor should he expect it to be. But what must be his feelings when some old cadet paints for