May 7th, 1861

“Third term begins at Williams and undergraduates form a battalion and drilled an hour daily.” Excitement created by the surrender of Fort Sumter caused many to enlist and the ensuing years of incoming classes were smaller. Three hundred seventeen Williams men, representatives of 38 classes from 1825 to 1870, answered Lincoln’s call and eight non-graduates entered the Confederate army. In 1863, the faculty made military training a required exercise with a schedule of three 40-minute drills a week. Students who had been in actual service could be excused from drills upon application.

Source: George L. Raymond journal, 1862.