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Confederate Col and Virgina Maj General Francis Henry Smith
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Confederate Col and Virgina Maj General Francis Henry Smith 1P ALS V.M. Institute, March 23,1848

Written to "Dear General” The letter discusses a bill running through the Senate that is impacting the cadets.
Smith was the first Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute on its establishment in 1839, and he held that post for 50 years. His superintendency
included the four years of the American Civil War, during which he served as a major general in the Virginia militia and a colonel in the Confederate States
Army. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Smith was appointed a Brevet Brigadier General in the Virginia Militia on April 24, 1861, then a colonel in the 9th Virginia Infantry Regiment on July 7, 1861. Major General John C. Breckinridge was commanding Confederate forces in the Department of Southwest Virginia during a critical time in the 1864 campaign in the Shenandoah Valley Although he did not want to use the VMI cadets in battle, Breckinridge requested that Smith send them to reinforce his outnumbered army when Union forces began to move into the valley. On May 12, 1864, Smith sent almost the entire Corps of Cadets of VMI, leaving behind only 27 cadets to guard the Institute, to help hold off the advance of the Union Army under Major General Franz Sigel from the northern end of the valley. On May 15, 1864, the VMI Cadets earned distinction and fame at the Battle of New Market as the only Corps of Cadets in United States history to fight as a unit in battle. Ten cadets were killed and forty-seven were wounded in their valiant defense of the center of the Confederate line at a critical point in the battle. The Union forces were defeated and Sigel withdrew them to Mount Jackson and then to his headquarters at Cedar Creek, Virginia.
Shipping Weight: 0.25 lb
Item # 15447
Price Was: 400  $350.00 USD

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