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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2007 03:18 pm
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Texas Defender
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   Andrew Jackson did not attend West Point. In fact, he died in 1845.

  Thomas Jonathan Jackson was indeed a member of the West Point Class of 1846. The fact that he was even there was another of many accidents of history that do take place, and always have

   Jackson sought an appointment from a certain Congressman Hayes, but with his minimal education, he was outperformed by one Gideon Butcher, who was appointed. Butcher decided after one day at West Point that he did not wish to be there, so he resigned and returned home. Hearing about this, Jackson again sought the appointment, and managed to secure it.

   As might be expected, he initially did poorly. West Point at that time provided the premier education in the country in engineering, and also in mathematics and the sciences. Many cadets had attended excellent private schools, and some even schools designed to prepare them to attend West Point. Its surprising that Jackson could survive in such a competitive environment.

   But survive, he did. Starting near the bottem of the class, he improved his class ranking every year. At the end, he stood 17th out of 59, a considerable achievement. It can be attributed to sheer willpower. The joke among the other cadets was that if it was a five year course, Jackson would have been first.

   Even so, it took a break for him to be able to make this achievement. One wonders if this had not happened, would we ever have heard of Thomas Jonathan Jackson?

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