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Partridge, Alden (12 February 1785–17 January 1854), soldier and educator, was born in Norwich, Vermont, the son of Samuel Alden and Elizabeth Wright, farmers. He attended Dartmouth College between 1802 and 1805 but, instead of graduating, enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Partridge was commissioned first lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, on 30 October 1806 and spent the next twelve years as part of the faculty. He became captain on 23 July 1810, professor of mathematics in April 1813, and five months later was appointed the first professor of engineering. In January 1815 Partridge functioned as acting superintendent. His tenure proved unpopular, however, and marred by acrimonious feuding with staff members. Partridge vigorously contested his ouster as superintendent and refused to obey his replacement, Major ...

Article

Smith, Francis Henney (18 October 1812–21 March 1890), military officer and educator, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Francis Smith, a merchant, and Ann Marsden. Smith graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1833 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the artillery. After a year of garrison duty at various posts, he became an assistant professor of geography, history, and ethics at the academy. In 1834 he married Sarah Henderson, with whom he had seven children. In 1836 Smith resigned his commission and accepted the professorship of mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Hampden-Sydney awarded him an M.A. degree in 1838....

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Herman Hattaway and Michael D. Smith

Thayer, Sylvanus (09 June 1785–07 September 1872), soldier and educator, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Thayer, a farmer and carpenter, and Dorcas Faxon. An exceptional student with a keen interest in the military campaigns of his day, Thayer received an LL. with honors from Dartmouth College upon his graduation in 1807. He immediately sought appointment as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy. Thayer mastered the curriculum in one year and graduated in 1808. Commissioned as a second lieutenant of engineers, he was inspector of coastal fortifications in New England. In 1810 he reported for duty at West Point as an assistant professor of mathematics. Promoted to first lieutenant on 1 July 1812, Thayer saw active field service in the War of 1812. He was chief engineer during campaigns in upper New York and during the defense of Norfolk, Virginia. He was made captain on 13 October 1813 and brevet major on 20 February 1815....