VMI Cadet Cenotaphs

Died on the Field of Honor: Gravestones of the New Market VMI Cadets

Of the 257 cadets from Virginia Military Institute who fought in the Battle of New Market, five were killed and five more died later of their wounds.  Almost 50 cadets were wounded because of the battle. Their legacy of service and sacrifice has inspired each successive generation of cadets.  Since 1866, a commemorative ceremony has been held at VMI each year on May 15, the anniversary of the battle.  The Corps of Cadets assembles on the Parade Ground, and announces the ten fallen New Market Cadets.  With each name, a cadet responds, “Died on the Field of Honor, Sir.” 

Photograph of VMI Cadets marching as part of the Pass in Review honoring the New Market fallen

The tradition of the roll of honor dates to the French army of Napoleon I, who felt his troops would be inspired by the act of commemorating their fallen comrades.  For VMI, the tradition reinforces the ties between cadets of today and their predecessors who fought at New Market.

Photograph of VMI Cadets laying wreaths at the stones of the New Market fallen New stones marking the fallen from New Market on Post

Once this Roll of Honor is reported to the Commandant, a wreath is laid at each cadet grave beneath a statue entitled Virginia Mourning Her Dead.  The statue was created by Moses Ezekiel, a world-renowned sculptor who fought in the battle as a cadet in Company C.

Photograph of Moses Ezekiel Photograph of the Virginia Mourning Her Dead statue on VMI Post

In 2005, the original gravestones of the six cadets interred at VMI were replaced with new markers, and memorial markers were added for the four cadets buried elsewhere.  The original six gravestones were transferred to the Virginia Museum of the Civil War in 2006 and serve today as cenotaphs.

 

Photo of stone marker for C.G. Crockett

Cadet C.G. Crockett

Born in Wythe Co., Va., Dec. 3, 1846

Pivate Co. D Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.

Photo of stone marker for Cadet Jones

Cadet Henry Jenner Jones

Born in King William Co., Va., March 10, 1847

Pivate Co. D Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.

Photo of stone marker for Cadet Jefferson

Cadet Thomas G. Jefferson

Born in Amelia Co., Va., Jan. 1, 1847

Pivate Co. B Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.

Photo of stone marker for Cadet McDowell

Cadet W. H. McDowell

Born in North Carolina, Dec. 1845

Pivate Co. B Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.

Photo of stone marker for Cadet Wheelwright

Cadet J.C. Wheelwright

Born in Westmoreland Co., Va., Nov. 20, 1840

Pivate Co. C Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.

Photo of stone marker for S.F. Atwill

Cadet S.F. Atwill

Born in Westmoreland Co., Va., 1846

Corporal Co. A Corps of Cadets

Killed May 15, 1864 at Battle of New Market, Va.