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Senior Class of 1861 [spine title, photographically-illustrated yearbook of the Kentucky Military Institute belonging to graduating cadet John F. Heafer].

Louisville, KY: 1861.

Price: $22,500.00


About the item

33 oval albumen photographs, approx. 7-1/2x5-1/4 inches each, comprising 15 portraits of members of the Board of Governors or faculty and 18 portraits of graduating cadets. 12 with signatures and autograph sentiments tipped onto the interleaved blanks, others with manuscript identifications on the mounts below the images. With a photographic trade card by the photographer's mounted to the front pastedown and a carte-de-visite of the photographers mounted to the rear pastedown. [With:] Document signed on vellum, Heafer's graduation diploma, laid in [And with:] Printed program from Heafer's funeral, laid in. 4to (approx. 10 x 8 inches). Contemporary brown morocco, recased, repairs at top and tail of spine. Minor foxing to tissue guards. Provenance: Cadet John F. Heafer.

Item #366765

An extraordinary photographic yearbook of the Kentucky Military Institutute, belonging to a graduating cadet, at the very start of the Civil War. Founded in 1845 as a military academy in the style of the Virginia Military Institutute, KMI was just the third U.S. military academy after West Point. "After the outbreak of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, there was a wholesale exodus of cadets from KMI. Tension had been growing among the cadets during the presidential campaign leading up to the election of Abraham Lincoln and tempers had occassionally boiled over. William Simpson cites one instance of a number of firstfights that broke out duyring dinner. Within a few short weeks there were only a few cadets and faculty members at the school" (Young, Character Makes the Man, pp. 18-19). The diploma belongiong to graduating cadet J. F. heafer, which accompanies the album, is dated June 4, 1861. The Institute closed shortly thereafter, reopening after the end of the Civil War.

At the start of the Civil War, border-state Kentucky vowed to stay neutral. It was not long, however, before the state legislature moved to side with the Union. Nevertheless, many of its citizens, and many of the graduates of KMI, sided with the Confederacy. Thus the present yearbook inadvertently captures the images of many soon-to-be soldiers in the Confederate Army.

The portraits of the members of the Board and faculty comprise:
1) Edwin W. Morgan [KMI Superintendent]
2) [Unidentified member of the Board of Visitors]
3) John C. Breckinridge [Vice President of the United States; Confederate Major General; Confederate Secreary of War]
4) Beriah Magoffin [Governor of Kentucky].
5) Thomas Dudley [President of the Board of Visitors].
6) John J. Crittenden [U.S. Senator from Kentucky]
7) Thomas B. Monroe [U.S. District Judge for the District of Kentucky; Member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States]
8) Joseph M. Locke [professor at KMI; commissioned Captain in the 14th U.S. Infantry, wounded at Second Manassas and Gettysburg]
9) W.F. Gregory [of Danville KY]
10) J. Russell Hawkins
11) E. R. Smith
12) Gustav Block
13) W.W. Hawkins
14) T.B. Lacy
15) John N. Norton

The graduating cadets comprise:
16) J.J. Harris [of St. Joseph, MO]
17) Richard J. Person [of Memphis, TN; Major in the 5th Confederate Infantry]
18) G.M. Steever [of Milwaukee, WI; sergeant major in the 13th U.S. Infantry]
19) Henry M. Baldwin [of New Jersey; lieutenant in Battery M, 5th U.S. Artillery; killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek in October 1864]
20) J. Clarke Wardlaw [of Abbeville, SC; regimental adjutant of the 2nd South Carolina Rifles]
21) R. Dudley Frayser [of Memphis, TN; class valedictorian; Lieutenant Colonel in the 37th Tennessee]
22) John F. Heafer [of Kentucky].
23) Achilles Perrin [of Cynthiana, Kentucky].
24) Benson W. Roberts [of Griffin, GA; served for nearly the entire Civil War in Georgia as a drillmaster and as an officer at a camp of instruction for recruits and draftees].
25) W.A. Wash [of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; Captain in the 60th Tennessee Mounted Infantry]
26) J.W. Swain [of Alpina, Alabama; Private in the 18th Alabama Infantry]
27) W.A. Jackson [of Brazoria, Texas]
28) Charles S. Shorter [of Columbus, GA; Captain in the 31st Georgia Infantry, later engineer officer on the staff of General Jubal A. Early].
29) Charles J. Batchelor [of Red River Landing, Louisiana. Lieutenant in the 2nd Louisiana Infantry]
30) J.H. Morgan [of Home Lake, Mississippi]
31) Theophilus S. Fontaine [of Columbus, Georgia; 20th Georgia Infantry]
32) E. O. Perry [of Port Caddo, Texas; Private in the 1st Texas Infantry; killed at the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864]
33) William K. Penny [of Morganza, Louisiana; Captain in the 14th Louisiana]

The photographers's of the class album, Israel and Edward Webster, were noted Louisville photographers, founding their gallery in Louisville circa 1851; Israel Webster is said to have travelled as an itinerant photographer with the Union Army during the war. The trade card and the cdv of the brother's are both unusual to find in such an album.

Photographically illustrated works from this early period were seldom printed in large quantities and given the number of graduates from KMI being only 18 cadets in 1861 it seems unlikely that many more than that were ever produced. That fact, coupled with the destruction caused by the Civil War in the years immediately following, it is no wonder that we find no other examples of an 1861 yearbook from KMI.