New Market Ceremony

The annual New Market Ceremony and Review commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of the Cadets called to the battle at New Market in 1864 - forty-seven wounded, and ten who died on the field of honor- and to all of the Institute's alumni who have served our nation.

Note: If you would like to watch the events from May 2020, please visit our 2020 Commencement Events page.

The ceremony and parade is held at VMI.

Due to the unique nature of this event, seating and viewing areas are limited to mainly along the academic row side of Letcher Avenue. There is no parking or vehicle traffic allowed on Letcher Avenue during this time. 

Order of Ceremony 

The Ceremonial Formation: The Corps of Cadets march from Barracks to the Parade Ground, forming two battalions centered on the statue Virginia Mourning Her Dead, at the base of which are buried cadets who died in the Battle of New Market.

The Roll Call: The ceremony begins with the historic roll call of the 10 cadets who died in the battle, each name called by the commander of the company in which the cadet served.  In response to each name called, a cadet appointed for the ceremony gives the traditional reply: “Died on the field of honor.”  The commanders of the companies of the Corps established since 1864 report for alumni who died in America’s wars since the Mexican-American War.  The regimental commander then gives the full report to the commandant.

The Ceremony and Review: Floral tributes are laid at the foot of Virginia Mourning Her Dead and at the three arches of Barracks that display plaques naming alumni who died in battle.  The chaplain recites the New Market Prayer, and a three-volley salute is fired.  At the conclusion of the gun salute, and echo rendition of “Taps” is played followed by the playing of “Amazing Grace.”  The Corps then marches to the end of the Parade Ground, onto Letcher Avenue toward Barracks, and renders an eyes-right salute to the superintendent and the commandant as it marches in front of the monument.