462 History of Wake Forest College
In the early college period as well as in the manual labor days the
students voluntarily formed a military company, and drilled on
Saturdays, and organized a band as subsidiary.8
The military company drilled on Saturdays because as the College
did not provide the means for physical exercise, so also it did not
provide the time, the first five week days being devoted to a round of
recitations, and Friday night and Saturday morning being devoted to
the work in the Literary Societies.
Though Major Foote says that "The health of the students was
perfect,”9 sometimes the more studious neglected physical exercise
altogether. Dr. Wallace said that he had no time for it, and stayed in
his room and studied twelve to sixteen hours a day; the result was that
at the end of his college course he was "run down like a shadow," and
found it necessary to go to a watering-place to regain his strength.10
The opinion prevailed a half century ago that this neglect of exercise
was harmful and often disastrous, and students then intending to go to
college were warned by students of former days not to work too hard
at their books and to be certain to take sufficient physical exercise and
recreation to avoid loss of health.
In general the behaviour of the students through all these years
seems to have been as good as could be desired, and their diversions
harmless. In the reports for the year made at the Commencements the
conduct of the students is often commended, and often the statement
is made that there had not been a single case of discipline. They did
not drink nor indulge in other bad habits, not that the members of the
faculty knew of. But the students at Wake Forest were like all other
college students of that day
8 “About thirty students formed themselves into a military company with regular
officers and drilled on Saturdays. Besides that we had a fair band. Ned Hunter beat
the bass drum, Mat. Cooly the kettle drum, Thomas Skinner played the violin. Pat
Dozier the clarionet, Frank Alfred [Francis Alford of Currituck] the triangle, and
your humble servant the octavo flute." D. R. Creecy, Wake Forest Student, XXVIII,
9 Ibid., XXVIII, 347.
10 Ibid., XXVIII, 329 f.
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