My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Monday, February 11, 2013

MONDAY'S MILITARY - Henry A. Horst, USNA Class of 1882, Part II

[This past weekend I was contacted by a docent at the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland. He had read my post regarding Henry August Horst (1861-1922), the younger brother of my great-great-grandfather Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912) - which had included pictures and information about Henry's education at the Naval Academy, from 1878-1882. He thanked me for post on Henry, and told me how he had used the biographical sketch on him to write his own sketch that he would be able to share with visitors at the museum. The man, Gregg Overbeck, was himself a graduate of the Academy in 1969 and enjoyed researching the many important, heroic, scandalous and infamous graduates throughout the school's history, which he could then share with visitors at the museum.

Class Ring of Henry A. Horst
on display at U.S.Naval Academy Museum
Annapolis, Maryland
He asked to send me his sketch of Henry, along with pictures of Henry's class ring that his son Martin Lyon Horst had donated to the museum in the 1960's while traveling through the area. The ring is on display, along with many others, at the museum but they had no story of the man whose ring it was. They now have his story.

A few of my facts were corrected in the biography, and the answer to the question of 'Why did Henry leave the Navy after graduation' was answered. I hope this will add to Henry's story. And isn't it nice that 90 years after his death he is still being talked about and his story is still being told?]

Henry A. Horst, Part II
On June 21, 1878, Henry August Horst entered the United States Naval Academy, after receiving a nomination from Alabama. Henry was the son of German immigrants Martin Horst (1830-1878) and Apollonia Weinschenk Horst (1829-1908), my great-great-great grandparents. Cadet Midshipman Horst graduated 23 of 37 cadet midshipmen on June 9, 1882.
Henry A. Horst
Cadet Midshipman - U.S. Naval Academy
Class of 1882
" Following the Civil War the United States Navy was in slow decline due to limited funds and fewer ships.  The Naval Officer Corps was swollen with officers, promotions were based on seniority and passed midshipmen (those who had graduated, spent two years at sea as required and passed their finally examination by the Academic Board) had to wait as long as eight years to receive an Ensign’s commission.  In order to create an opening for a new Ensign’s commission, a senior officer had to die or go on the retired list. 

On August 5, 1882, two months after Horst’s graduation, Congress passed a law that stipulated that the Navy could only commission that number of officers for which there were actual vacancies on a ship but not less than ten a year. The act required that those allowed to continue should be appointed in the order of merit, as determined by the Academic Board after examination at the conclusion of their six-year course.  Those who didn’t make the cut where given a certificate of graduation, an honorable discharge, and one year’s sea pay of about $950.  For Passed Cadet Midshipmen Horst’s class of 1882 that meant only 12 graduates could be taken into the Navy in 1884. The law also eliminated the distinction between cadet midshipmen and cadet engineers calling them naval cadets.
In 1884, Passed Naval Cadet Horst resigned from the Navy. He returned to Mobile, Alabama and took up employment as a bookkeeper and started a very successful civilian career." [from biographical sketch written by Gregg Overbeck, 2013]

The United States Naval Academy Museum
"Located in Preble Hall on the Academy grounds, The U.S. Naval Academy Museum holds large collections of unique and rare naval memorabilia. The Rogers Ship Models Collection consists of 108 models of the sailing ship era dating from 1650 to 1850; seventeen are scale models built for the use of the British Admiralty. The more than 5,000 naval prints in the Beverley R. Robinson Collection depict major naval battles and ships from the 16th century to the present. Most pieces are contemporary to their subjects and represent three centuries in the art of printmaking. The Malcolm Storer Navy Medals Collection of 1,210 commemorative coin-medals, dating from as early as 254 B.C., was gathered from more than thirty countries. The U.S. Navy Trophy Flag Collection of 600 historic American and captured flags features the "Don't Give Up the Ship" flag flown at the Battle of Lake Erie and banners that have been to the moon." [from]

Check out their website at or visit the museum Mon-Sat. 9:00-5:00, Sun. 11:00-5:00. Admission is FREE.

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