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

Augusta Military Academy

 
 
Augusta Military Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
1. Augusta Military Academy Marker
Inscription. Soon after the Civil War ended in 1865, Confederate veteran Charles S. Roller began teaching at the Old Stone Church nearby at Ft. Defiance. By 1874 he had founded Augusta Male Academy and incorporated military discipline into its classical curriculum by 1880. Roller renamed it Augusta Military Academy in 1890; it was the first military preparatory school in Virginia. In 1919, the Academy was among the first schools in America to adopt a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. The Academy’s international reputation for excellence in secondary level military education attracted more than 7,000 students from the United States and abroad before it closed in 1984.
 
Erected 1999 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number A-100.)
 
Location. 38° 14.175′ N, 78° 58.56′ W. Marker is in Fort Defiance, Virginia, in Augusta County. Marker is on Lee Highway (U.S. 11) south of Fort Defiance Road (County Route 616), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1640 Lee Hwy, Fort Defiance VA 24437, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the
Rt 11 (facing south) image. Click for full size.
By Dan Fisher, June 20, 2010
2. Rt 11 (facing south)
crow flies. The Rev. John Craig (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Augusta Stone Church (about 800 feet away); a different marker also named Augusta Stone Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Willow Spout (approx. 0.3 miles away); Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. 2.9 miles away); Grandma Moses in Augusta County (approx. 4 miles away); Piedmont Battlefield (approx. 4.5 miles away); Battle of Piedmont (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Defiance.
 
Also see . . .  The Roller School. “A loving history of Augusta Military Academy” compiled by Bob Bradford. “Those who remember Charles Roller, Jr. recall his boundless energy. Not only did he run the school and teach chemistry and college algebra, he ran the farms that supported the school. His personal touch was everywhere. Bouncing along in his 1936 Dodge, ‘The Grey Ghost,’ horn beeping impatiently, he would leave written instructions for his farm manager, and notes for faculty members and staff. If a boy broke a window, he had to write a note to Colonel Roller to have the window repaired. And the colonel, and later the general, would answer these notes on his midnight visits to barracks. Then, he
Augusta Military Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Forest McDermott, May 14, 2010
3. Augusta Military Academy Marker
Looking south on U.S Route 11 in front of the Old Academy entrance.
would bounce into his fourth period class in the Big Room with a booming, ‘Good morning, boys!’, having, on his way from Big Barracks, picked up tiny specks of paper that would have eluded eyes less well trained. Occasionally, he would find a discarded cigarette, declaring, ‘I would rather find a rattlesnake than a cigarette butt,’ which put him slightly ahead of his time on the subject of tobacco.” (Submitted on September 28, 2008.) 
 
Additional comments.
1.
I was very surprised to see again photos of the academy. After all these years it brings me back memories of the time I spent there, when I was 15 years old in the course of year 1960. Thank you for the memories.
—Benjamin Flores, Class of 1960.
    — Submitted May 31, 2010, by Benjamin Flores of Miami,florida.

2. Memories
Although at the time, military discipline was harsh and strict, it helped mold my character and if not for the Viet Nam War, I would have chosen to make my career within the U.S. Armed Forces.

From my arrival at AMA's campus on September 1959 through June 1962, my experience
Augusta Military Academy Gates image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
4. Augusta Military Academy Gates
The marker is out of frame to the left.
was absolute for I met many people of whom I have nice memories. I'm sorry it was closed down because it was a good school.

I went back for a visit, ignoring it had closed down but will visit on my next trip to the East Coast. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted July 31, 2011, by Julio F.Diaz Milian of Merliot Santa Tecla, El Salvador.

 
Categories. EducationMilitary
 
Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Fort Defiance image. Click for full size.
By Forest McDermott, May 25, 2012
5. Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Fort Defiance
Church is located north of the Old Academy on the adjoining property.
Augusta Military Academy image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
6. Augusta Military Academy
Dress Parade, Augusta Military Academy, Fort Defiance, “8 Miles From” Staunton Va. image. Click for full size.
J. J. Prats Postcard Collection
7. Dress Parade, Augusta Military Academy, Fort Defiance, “8 Miles From” Staunton Va.
Undated postcard published by Valley News Agency, Staunton, Va. Caption on back reads “An awe-inspiring sight — cadets on parade at Augusta Military Academy.” Compare with Photo No. 4.
Augusta Military Academy image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
8. Augusta Military Academy
Augusta Military Academy image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
9. Augusta Military Academy
This appears to be the same building depicted in the postcard above (picture 5).
Augusta Military Academy Museum image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2008
10. Augusta Military Academy Museum
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,055 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   2. submitted on June 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on May 28, 2012, by Forest McDermott of Masontown, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on September 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5. submitted on May 28, 2012, by Forest McDermott of Masontown, Pennsylvania.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
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