see it clearly

New Market Cross of Honor

A twelve pointed variation of the cross pattee resting on a wreath, in the center a circular medallion bearing the seal of the State of Virginia.

New Market Cross of Honor

The four arms of the cross inscribed V.M.I. CADET BATTALION NEW MARKET MAY 15, 1864. The reverse is a smooth surface on which is stamped V.M.I. ALUMNI ASS'N. TO leaving blank space for the name of the recipient. The cross is suspended by two chains, of three links each, from an ornamental clasp, inscribed FOR VALOR. Bronze. Size 40mm. exclusive of clasp.

One of the oldest and most famous institutions of learning in the Southern states is the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, Virginia, which was founded in 1839. At the beginning of the Civil War the distinguished Confederate "Stonewall" Jackson was a member of the faculty. Among its graduates were five major generals, nineteen brigadier generals and over five hundred officers who served in the Confederate Army.

To carry out a scheme of cooperation with the Army of the Potomac, General Franz Sigel, with about eight thousand troops, started up the Shenandoah Valley, on the first of May, 1864, intending to march to Staunton, at the head of the valley, cross the Blue Ridge from there to Charlottesville, and continue further operations as circumstances might direct.

At New Market, about fifty miles from Winchester, he was met on May 15th by the Confederate General John C. Breckinridge, with a somewhat smaller force, and decisively defeated, being driven back about thirty miles, with a loss of seven hundred men, six guns and considerable other supplies.

General Breckenridge's force had been hastily gathered, and, with the permission of the Governor of Virginia, the Cadet Battalion of the Virginia Military Institute, consisting of two hundred and ninety-four boys, from fifteen to eighteen years of age, volunteered. The services of two hundred and fifty were accepted, the remainder being either left on guard at the Institute or sick in the hospital. They behaved with great courage during the battle, about one-quarter of their number being killed or wounded.

Forty years later the Alumni Association of the Virginia Military Institute, presented a bronze cross to each survivor of the two hundred and ninety-four Cadets, and to the families of those no longer living.