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Which Author Was Expelled from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point?

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

which author was-expelled from the u.s. military academy at west point

Which author was expelled from the U.S military academy at West Point?” If you have read the short story “The Raven”, then you surely know of Edgar Allan Poe, America’s famous writer whose net worth up until his death in 1849 was $20 million. He is famously known for contributing to science fiction and as the “father” of the detective fiction genre.

But did you know that he is also known for being the author that was kicked out of the U.S military academy at West Point?” Yes, you read that right.

Today’s article will brief you through the story of Poe’s expulsion; continue reading for the details!

The Story of Edgar Allen Poe’s Expulsion From the Military Academy at West Point


Before the military academy at West Point, Poe was a student at the University of Virginia. After one year, however, he dropped out due to financial instability.

Much of the financial instability was caused by a debt from accumulated publication costs of his first book Tamerlane featuring a collection of poems. The book did poorly and left him with one option: turning to the government for help.

He joined the Army as an artilleryman and eventually became a respected artificer. Two years into his enlistment, Poe ranked up to sergeant major. Despite his “successes” in service, Poe wanted an early way out.

The solution? He enrolled in the U.S military academy at West Point. Although Poe initially embraced cadet life, he soon “changed his mind” and committed to getting kicked out of the academy. It is believed that he wanted to get revenge on his foster father for cutting ties with him and not consenting to his leave from the academy.

Poe accrued an “impressive” record of 106 demerits and 44 offenses in sixth months from July to December 1831. However, his peak was actually after that. In January, within just 31 days, he accrued 66.

Although the specifics of his misconduct were never disclosed, stories range from him always being drunk to going into formations naked. More serious stories even claim that he murdered someone.

Here’s a well-made video on Youtube that discusses the stories of his misconduct.

Ultimately, at a court-martial, Poe was expelled for “disobedience of orders”, and “gross neglect of duty” in February. So, with that, you have the answers to what military academy expelled Poe and what is the famous military academy expelled Poe in 1831?


Now, you know the answer to “Which author was expelled from West Point?” The next time you find yourself talking about Edgar Allen Poe with someone else, be it in a literature class or a book club, you can throw in this “fun fact” that you learned here! Trust me, everyone will be impressed. You can link them to this article if they want to read about it themselves!

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