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Lexington, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Cadet Battery

 
 
Original Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
1. Original Plaque
Inscription. (Original Plaque):
These smooth-bore six-pounder cannon were received at V.M.I. early in June, 1848, and were especially cast lighter than standard, at Watervleit Arsenal. Each bears the seal of Virginia. They were used in war by the Richmond Howitzers, the Rockbridge Artillery and other units and served at First Manassas, Ball's Bluff, the Peninsula, Williamsburg, Savage's Station and Malvern Hill. At Falling Waters (Hainesville) they fired on July 2, 1861, the first hostile cannon-shot in the Valley. Superseded by heavier guns, they were retired and were later taken to Richmond, where they were captured when Richmond fell. They were returned in 1874 to V.M.I., where they were again used until official retirement ceremonies were held May 10, 1913, although they served for a short time in training men during World War I. These guns were used by Major Thomas J. Jackson, who came to V.M.I. on August 13, 1851, as professor of natural and experimental philosophy and instructor in artillery (and was listed among the professors until his death) in training hundreds of cadets, many former V.M.I. cadets were at Chancellorsville where Jackson, then
Lieutenant General "Stonewall" Jackson
was mortally wounded on May 2, 1863 - he died eight days later. The statue shows him on the morning of May 2nd, when seeing so
Updated Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
2. Updated Plaque
many of the military leaders he had trained, he said: "The (Virginia Military) Institute will be heard from today."

(New Plaque):
In 1848 the foundry of Cyrus Alger in Boston, Massachusetts, cast the specially designed VMI Cadet Battery. Each tube of the training guns weighs 562 pouns, three hundred pounds less than the standard six-pounder cannon of the time. The Adjutant General of Virginia requested that the carriages be painted red with black metal parts so that whenever the cadets were on parade, the public would instantly identify the cannon as the VMI Cadet Battery. The cadets too special pride in their unique guns.

Major Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson instructed artillery tactics with the red guns for ten years prior to the Civil War. The battery originally consisted of two 12-pounder howitzers and four 6-pound tubes, but one howitzer was lost during the war. The guns were issued to the Rockbridge Artillery and other units at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 and saw action at Falling Water, First Manassas, Savage Station and Malvern Hill.
In 2000, the restoration of the
VMI Cadet Battery was made possible by
the generous support of
Mr. Jeff Shaara.

 
Location. 37° 47.436′ N, 79° 26.166′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Virginia. Marker is on
Updated Cadet Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 21, 2012
3. Updated Cadet Battery Marker
VMI Parade Loop, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the parade grounds of the Virginia Military Institute. The two plaques set on opposite sides of the "gun line" in front of the "Stonewall" Jackson memorial. Marker is in this post office area: Lexington VA 24450, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Little Sorrel (here, next to this marker); Stonewall Jackson (here, next to this marker); Barracks     The Virginia Military Institute (within shouting distance of this marker); Virginia Military Institute Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); George C. Marshall (within shouting distance of this marker); Korean War (within shouting distance of this marker); George Catlett Marshall (within shouting distance of this marker); Jackson’s Classroom (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
 
Also see . . .
1. Stonewall Jackson at VMI. Article detailing Jackson's time as a professor at VMI and his use of the gun. (Submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Red Artillery Carriages Return To VMI. Article from Artilleryman Magazine. (Submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Four Apostles. Details about the guns.
Original Cadet Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 21, 2012
4. Original Cadet Battery Marker
(Submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US CivilWar, World I
 
Updated Cadet Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 21, 2012
5. Updated Cadet Battery Marker
Cadet Battery, New Plaque, and Jackson Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
6. Cadet Battery, New Plaque, and Jackson Memorial
The older plaque is mounted behind the battery, in front of the Jackson memorial.
The "Four Apostles" image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
7. The "Four Apostles"
Named "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" by Colonel Nelson Pendleton, the guns were said to speak "powerful language."
Cadet 6-pdr Gun image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
8. Cadet 6-pdr Gun
The 6-pdr guns followed the full scale regulation 6-pdr guns in some regards, but offered a cleaner, almost streamlined appearance. Alger also made similar guns for the Georgia and Arkansas Military Institutes.
12-pdr Field Howitzer image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
9. 12-pdr Field Howitzer
The lone surviving 12-pdr field howitzer from the V.M.I. Cadet Battery stands on the other side of the parade field. The howitzer followed regulation patterns, but featured the Virginia seal over the reinforce.
Regulation 6-pdr Field Gun image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 28, 2011
10. Regulation 6-pdr Field Gun
This regulation size 6-pdr field gun sits nearby in the Institute's trophy collection. It was cast in 1862 by Tredegar Iron Works. Compare the form to that of the smaller cadet 6-pdrs.
The Cadet Battery image. Click for full size.
By Don Hogan, July 26, 2011
11. The Cadet Battery
Cadet Battery, Jackson Memorial and George C. Marshall statue in the background.
The Cadet Battery, Jackson with Mathew, Mark, Luke and John image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 5, 1980
12. The Cadet Battery, Jackson with Mathew, Mark, Luke and John
Prior to brick walkway, chain barrier and tablet placements
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 997 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on December 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on May 31, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   11. submitted on November 29, 2011, by Don Hogan of Milton, Georgia.   12. submitted on January 28, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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