Dickinson Students Part Ways

Before the war, the student body of Dickinson College was fairly evenly divided between Northern and Southern students, and thus the college was represented by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Students would even get into such heated debates over topics such as slavery that the subject had to be stricken from classroom discussion. The split is reflected in an autograph book in the college's archives. The autographs show parting words between some of the 118 students enrolled in April, 1861 as they prepared to depart for their respective homes. Many of them expected to meet one another on the battlefield at some future date---and many of them did. Alumni include one Confederate and eleven Union generals, the surgeon general for the Union Army, and two Confederate spies. The autograph book belonging to Dickinson student F. B. Sellers contains comments such as these: "If I wear the Phi Kap badge, don't shoot me Frank. Yours fraternally, H. Kennedy Weber, Baltimore," and "Though I am a Secessionalist, yet . . . I am your friend. May prosperity attend you in all you do, except in making war upon the South. Yours fraternally, Cyrus Galutt, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland."