Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near New Market in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Died on the Field of Honor...”

Gravestones of VMI Cadets

 
 
Died on the Field of Honor..." Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
1. Died on the Field of Honor..." Marker
Inscription. Of the 257 cadets from Virginia Military Institute who fought in the Battle of New Market, ten were either killed outright or later died of their wounds. Their legacy of service and sacrifice has inspired each successive generation of cadets. Since 1866, a commemorative ceremony has been held at VMI each year on May 15, the anniversary of the battle. The Corps of Cadets assembles on the parade ground, and the names of the ten New Market cadets are called. With each name, a cadet in the ranks responds, "Died on the Field of Honor, Sir."

The tradition of the roll of honor dates from the French army of Napoleon I, who felt his troops would be inspired by the act of commemorating their fallen comrades. For VMI, the tradition reinforces the ties between cadets of today and their predecessors who fought at New Market.

Once this Roll of Honor is reported to the Commandant, a wreath is laid at each of the cadets' grave markers, which lie beneath a statue entitled Virginia Mourning Her Dead. The statue was created by Moses Exekiel, a world-renowned sculptor who fought in the battle as a private in Company C.

In 2005, the gravestones of the six cadets interred at VMI were replaced, and memorial stones for the additional four cadets added. The original six tombstones were transferred to the New Market Battlefield State Historical
Died on the Field of Honor..." Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
2. Died on the Field of Honor..." Marker
Park and installed here in 2006.
 
Erected by Shenandoah at War and Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 38° 39.7′ N, 78° 40.253′ W. Marker is near New Market, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker can be reached from George R. Collins Parkway (State Road 305), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at the entrance to the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: New Market VA 22844, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New Market Battlefield Park (a few steps from this marker); Baptism of Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bushong Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Good-bye, Lieutenant, I am killed.” (approx. mile away); This Rustic Pile (approx. mile away); Heroism in Defeat (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Battle of New Market (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of New Market (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in New Market.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Six Gravestones image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
3. The Six Gravestones
Virginia Mourning her Dead on VMI Campus image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 21, 2012
4. Virginia Mourning her Dead on VMI Campus
Cadet Graves at VMI image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 20, 2012
5. Cadet Graves at VMI
Gravestones for the ten cadets who fell at New Market are seen here behind the Virginia Mourning her Dead statue at VMI. The remains of six of these cadets were placed in a copper box in the foundation of the monument.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 758 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement