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The United States Military Academy, since its founding in 1802, was an institution, sited at the isolated West Point on the Hudson River, with the acknowledged goal of molding ambitious, confident, clear-thinking young men of promise into Leaders of Men in exercise of the Military Arts. Typically, in the 19th Century, the intake of each year's Plebe Class involved young men between 16 and 21, possessing limited military knowledge, and unimpressive life experiences; these neophytes were instructed by worldly, knowledgeable, experienced military teachers, skilled at imparting their knowledge, and who could impress their charges merely by "exercise of authority" that seemed to be innate, somehow absorbed into the fabric of their being, and emitted at will. That routine process of super-skilled masters molding formless clay came undone in 1865; for in that year's intake -- Class of 1869 -- were three men of experience: Charles Morton. Private in the 25th Missouri Infantry. Veteran of Shiloh (at age 15). Finished 25th in his class of 39 and was commissioned as a Cavalry officer. Retired as Brigadier General in 1910. Eric Bergland. 17-year-old Second Lieutenant of the 57th Illinois Infantry. Veteran of Shiloh. Finished 1st in his class of 39 and was commissioned Artillery officer (but soon was transferred to Army Corps of Engineers.) Retired as Major, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1896. John G. Bourke. Joined the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry at age 16. Not a Veteran of Shiloh (but won the Congressional Medal of Honor at Stone's River in 1862.) Finished 11th in his class of 39 and was commissioned as a Cavalry officer. Was serving as Captain in the 3rd U.S. Cavalry at the time of his death Provided to illustrate another of the unexpected, but far-reaching outcomes of the Battle of Shiloh. Ozzy References: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/Classes/1869.html http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jgbourke.htm John Gregory Bourke http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/2273*.html Eric Bergland http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/2297*.html Charles Morton