THE CADET BATTERY
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 the war by the Richmond Howitzers, the Rockbridge
Artillery and other units and served at First Manassas,
Balls 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Superseded by heavier guns, they were retired and were later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 1. 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 said:
THE (Virginia Military) INSTITUTE WILL BE HEARD FROM TODAY."