14 History of Wake Forest College
on them. These old soldiers were in dead earnest about getting an education, and it
was a pleasure to teach men as anxious to learn as they were. We had classes in
Mathematics ranging from Arithmetic to Trigonometry; in English, from elementary
English Grammar to Whateley's Logic; in Latin and Greek, from beginners in the
grammar to Cicero, de Officiis and Homer's Iliad. One man had to take up
elementary Geography. Another when asked whose English grammar he had
studied, said, "My own." Some had a little money and some had none. Those who
could paid their bills. Those who had no money gave their individual notes for their
bills, and I am glad to say that every one who gave his note paid it very soon after
graduation. My "heart burns" within me as I think of those old boys. What men they
made of themselves and what they have done for the old state!19
The session which began on Monday, January 15, 1866, was
continued until Thursday, July 13, and the next term was advertised to
begin on August 3, but this was changed to July 27, the winter
vacation to commence on December 12 and close on January 15, and
the annual commencement to be on the second Thursday in July, with
all college exercises suspended from Friday of the preceding week.
For the session of 1867-68 it was provided that exercises should
commence on August 1 and close with the commencement on the
second Thursday in June, with a four-weeks winter vacation,
December 21 to January 19. A like calendar was also followed for the
session of 1868-69. For the next four years, closing with the session
of 1872-73, the session began on September 15, the second term on
February 1, and the annual commencement was on the fourth
Thursday in June. The only vacation in this period was for two days at
Christmas, December 25-26. With the session of 1873-74 a calendar
was adopted which held with only slight modification as to opening
day until June, 1896, although in June, 1893 the commencement was
held on June 1, a week earlier than the schedule. Under this calendar
the college year began on September 1 and the second term
Hardly more than a guess as to the number of former soldiers is the statement
in an editorial note of the Biblical Recorder of March 8, 1866: "There are now fifty
students at Wake Forest College. Most of the young men were in the Southern
armies till the close of the war, and yet the College has never had a more quiet,
orderly, or industrious body of students."
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