Cadet Life, 1858
Edward Sixtus Hutter Diary
Cadet Life Manuscripts top level
Edward Sixtus Hutter, Class of 1859, was born Sept. 18, 1839 on his father's plantation "Sandusky" near Lynchburg, Va. Biographical details are available in our online rosters database entry.
The diary dates from the period January-April 1858. The bulk of the diary was written while Hutter was away from VMI and include entries about spending time with his family at Charleston, SC; Key West, FL, and the family home at "Sandusky". VMI entries mention various aspects of antebellum cadet life -- VMI faculty members, including Prof. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson; friends; the Society of Cadets (a student debating club).
Excerpts from VMI Entries
March 20th - April 2, 1858 Ma woke R.(his brother, Risque, VMI Class of 1860) & myself early this morning, so after getting up, dressing & bidding all good bye we got into the carriage, & were soon out of sight of Sandusky. I felt badly all day & have a very bad cold. We got to the boat landing in good time & at half past six the bell tolled for us to push off, our hilly city gradually disappeared behind the hills which encompass it. We had a tolerably pleasant ride up & got in sight of Barracks just about sundown. R & I walked down to Barracks immediately & took all in No. 50 (Barracks room number 50) completely by surprise. I have seen nearly all the fellows & feeling rather badly will go to bed early.
Here I am again at this miserable place. I find myself this morning beautifully spotted with the measles & have been in bed all day eating nothing and thinking of nothing but home. I really think I am the most unfortunate fellow in existence, just the idea of being laid up again the first day of my visit to this place. I would give oceans to be at home. There is a great deal of sickness in the corps. The Hospital is crowded. I never felt as badly in my life.
For the first time in some time, I visited the Mess Hall this morning at Breakfast The fare looked no more inviting than it did of old, consisting of plain corn bread, Goshen butter, & coffee.
Did not go to delightful reveille this morning, but laid in bed & listened to the charming strains of martial music. The soul stirring drum in the hands of Dick Staples & the ear piercing fife tooled by Pete Banker.
I attended recitation today without reciting although I feel very badly I become more & more disgusted every day & want to get home.... Went in to Major Jackson & was not remarkably well entertained the hour & half that he kept us in....Gil (Professor of Chemistry William Gilham) and Chenoweth and I made a galvanic battery. All the section took shocks & I never laughed as much in my life.