“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Market in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Baptism of Fire

VMI Cadet Casualties in the Battle of New Market

Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), October 17, 2020
1. Baptism of Fire Marker
While the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute comprised one of the smallest Confederate units engaged in the Battle of New Market, they paid a disproportionately high price in their baptism of fire. Nearly one in four of the cadets were either killed or wounded during the fighting, resulting in the third-highest casualty rate in Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s army.

In addition to 45 cadets who would survive their wounds, ten cadets were either killed outright or would die after the battle ended. Even before the cadets were ordered into the battle line, a single artillery shell took the lives of Cadets William Cabell, Charles Crockett, and Henry Jones.

William Hugh McDowell was killed near the Bushong House, and Jacqueline “Bev” Stanard also died on the field. After saving another wounded cadet’s life by applying a tourniquet during the battle, Thomas G. Jefferson was struck in the body and succumbed in the Clinedinst home in New Market on May 18, consoled by Eliza Clinedinst and Cadet Moses Ezekiel.

Joseph Wheelwright, who was wounded around the same time as Cabell, Crockett, and Jones, died on June 2 at the
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home of a doctor in Harrisonburg. Luther Haynes also lingered, dying of his wounds in Richmond on June 15. On June 26, Alva Hartsfield suffered a fatal collapse brought on by his wounds in Petersburg.

Samuel Atwill, though slightly wounded in the calf, died of lockjaw on July 20, the last fatal casualty of the Battle of New Market.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1829.
Location. 38° 39.707′ N, 78° 40.216′ W. Marker is in New Market, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker can be reached from George Collin Parkway (County Route 305), on the right when traveling south. The marker is located at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park. Take Exit 264 off I-81 onto Rt. 211 West. Take immediate right onto Rt. 305 (George Collins Parkway). Continue one mile until you see the circular, distinctive Hall of Valor. A staff member will share park and ticketing information. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Market VA 22844, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of New Market (here, next to this marker); New Market Battlefield Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Stonewall Jackson (within shouting
Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), October 17, 2020
2. Baptism of Fire Marker
distance of this marker); The Assault on Bushong's Hill (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Union Line Collapses (about 700 feet away); The Bushong Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Artillery and the VMI Cadets (approx. 0.2 miles away); Imboden's Spring (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Market.
More about this marker. The marker features portraits of Cadets William Cabell, William McDowell, Samuel Atwill, Thomas Jefferson and Jack Stanard. On the right side of the marker is a map of the battlefield indicating Approximate Locations of Fatal Wounds to VMI Cadets.
Also see . . .  The Battle of New Market. Virginia Military Institute website entry (Submitted on January 22, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
View Acoss the Field Toward the Bushong Farm image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
3. View Acoss the Field Toward the Bushong Farm
Credits. This page was last revised on May 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 1, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,784 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3. submitted on January 22, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 22, 2024