Midshipmen of the Mexican War
Almost dead center in the Naval Academy "Yard" is an obelisk surrounded by four cannons and inscribed with the names: Clemson, Hynson, Pillsbury, and Shubrick. Names of naval heroes or of sailors who have given their lives in the defense of this great nation are not unusual at the Academy. Yet these names are unusual. They are the names of midshipmen who died in war.
Today, when we think of midshipmen, we picture young men and women who march in parades and go off on summer training cruises, but who are, for all intents and purposes, simply college students. As is evidenced by those four names on that obelisk, this was not always the case.
Although midshipmen always have been students, they were once an integral part of every major warship's crew. Hands-on training was more often the mode of educating these future officers, and their school could certainly be one of hard knocks when these classrooms went into battle.