Last In Their Class:
Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point
First Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike Inge
Goat of the Class of 1838
Zeb Inge hailed from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was tall, well mannered, decidedly handsome, and attracted attention wherever he went. Like many Goats, he was a good-natured and popular fellow. His demerit record was low for an Immortal, and he was made a Cadet Corporal his yearling year. But in his two final years at USMA he racked up back to back 160 demerit totals, and lost his stripes.
Zeb was known at West Point as an excellent rider, a reputation he took into the service in the Dragoons. He was also reputed to be the best swordsman in the service. He served in Florida against the Seminoles, then spent some time on recruiting duty on Long Island, where he met and married Rosa Williams of Maryland. He left his young bride in Baltimore in 1845 to join the Corps of Observation, taking along his favorite pointer, since he had heard the hunting in Texas was excellent.
During the opening days of the Mexican War Zeb took part in the historic charge by the Second Dragoons at Resaca de la Palma, May 9, 1846. The charge was led by Colonel Charles Augustus May, whose rallying cry, "Remember your regiment and follow your officers!" became and today remains the regimental motto. Charles and Zeb led the columns of horsemen into the teeth of the Mexican artillery. They raced side by side, jockeying for the lead position. May pulled slightly ahead at one point, and Zeb called out, “Hold back Charley, ‘tisn’t fair!” Zeb spurred his horse forward and overtook May, as moments later the two bore down on the Mexican tubes, nearly ready to fire, their gunners frantically shoving in power and grape.
Several cannon sounded, on the flank; some Dragoons went down. But the forward edge of the column was already among the main body of Mexican gunners, slashing at them with their sabers, leaping over the guns, scattering the crews, and crashing through the position to the Mexican works beyond.
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