Four different groups of students took off to secure the booze, with one even crossing the Hudson River in the dead of night to secure alcohol. All together, the men gathered a gallon of whiskey, a gallon of brandy and a gallon of wine.
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They bought some mutton, eggs, milk and nutmeg, concocted their beverage and began imbibing. It started slow, around midnight on Christmas Eve, with four students in one dorm room pounding drinks. Hitchcock arrested Davis and a few of the other drunks, and then literally read them the Riot Act. Well-lubricated and celebratory, the drunken cadets started a riot. Davis, under arrest but too damn drunk to do anything about it, stumbled from the ensuing chaos, went to his room, vomited on the floor and passed out in his bed.
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He slept through most of the following carnage, waking only when a roommate loudly reloaded a pistol in the room. Other cadets woke up, some got into the grog and others joined the faculty. Cadets and soldiers unsheathed swords, one person fired a pistol and the drunks tossed furniture through windows and ripped up the banisters.
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As a. Some of the revelers were still drunk and others had begun to nurse hangovers. Historians say as many as 70 cadets and faculty participated in the riot. Thayer ordered the arrest of 23 of the cadets and spent two months investigating the event. Davis sold out some of his fellow drunks and Robert E.
Lee testified as a witness.
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In the end, Thayer expelled 19 of his students. However, the faculty relented by March and allowed some of the students to continue their studies on a provisional basis. The hallways were shorter and each floor forced students to exit the building before traveling to a different floor. It was about crowd control—Thayer wanted to inhibit the destructive path of future drunks.
Alcohol is still banned throughout most of West Point, but it certainly still sneaks in.
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