For an in depth look at the practice read Samuel Gridley Howe's report on "Bodily Training, Cold Bathing, &c" in the Perkins Annual Report, 1872
As you might imagine, many failed to embrace the cold bath. The following document is a petition signed by 65 individuals to end the practice at the Perkins Institution on a compulsory basis:
Full text: The undersigned, believing that the indiscriminate use of the cold plunge bath as ordered and practiced compulsorily at the Perkins Institution for the Blind, to be abusive and injurious, do therefore respectfully petition the Trustees of said Institution, that the regulation requiring said baths to be taken by all the students may be modified or abolished, so that the taking of the baths be made optional with the students, their parents or guardians. [65 names signed below].