Today is the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of New Market.
Today, I’m actually in Lexington, Virginia, at Virginia Military Institute for the New Market Ceremony which is a special memorial observation. Before leaving for the book tour of Call Out The Cadets, we recorded an anniversary video.
So…who was the Confederate commander facing Union General Franz Sigel at the Battle of New Market? What units did this Southerner pull together to defend the valley and what was the Confederate plan and situation by spring 1864?
In today’s video you’ll “meet” John C. Breckinridge – a Kentucky politician turned skillful commander. He was another in a line of Confederate generals defending the vital Shenandoah Valley, but he had fewer resources than his predecessors. His pulled together army included infantry, cavalry, and artillery from Virginia and Tennessee, along with a few unique units like Woodson’s Missourians and Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets.
May 2, 1864 HQ, VMI Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge Comd. Dept. of Western Va. Dublin Depot
General, I have the honor to enclose herewith a letter from General R.E. Lee, Commanding Army of N. Virginia, addressed to the Adjutant General of Virginia–also–a copy of instructions from the Governor of Virginia communicated by the Adjutant General defining my duty as Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute.