The Cadet Battery

The Cadet Battery (HMSTZ)

Location: Lexington, VA 24450
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 47.436', W 79° 26.166'

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(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 Superseded by heavier guns, they were retired and were later taken to Richmond, where they were captured when Richmond fell.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 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.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 10:08pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 637700 N 4183733
Decimal Degrees37.79060000, -79.43610000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 47.436', W 79° 26.166'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 47' 26.16" N, 79° 26' 9.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 414-416 VMI Parade, Lexington VA 24450, US
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