... Sheridan graduated 34th of 52 in 1853 (suspended for a year after chasing a classmate across the plain at the point of a bayonet).
To bring this back to the subject of Robert E. Lee:You might say this was prophetic!
Lee was appointed Superintendent at West Point for a 3-year term in 1852. In the classes of 1853-55 you have:
James B. McPherson, John M. Schofield, John R. Chambliss, Philip H. Sheridan, John B. Hood, G. W. Custis Lee, Oliver O. Howard, James E. B. Stuart, Stephen D. Lee, William D. Pender, Cyrus B. Comstock, David McM. Gregg, Alfred T. A. Torbert, William W. Averell, William B. Hazen, and a host of others. McPherson, Custis Lee and Cyrus McCormick finished #1 in those three years.
Another three classes of underclassmen had one to three years of experience with Lee (and Lee with them) at West Point. Six years of cadets at West Point experienced from one to three years of Lee as Superintendent. Lee's psychology would have helped shape them, and Lee had good reason to know how many of those cadets thought.