Virginia Military Institute

Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Military Institute in Lexington Virginia.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Washington and Lee University Campus, Lexington, Va.

"The Washington College group of buildings form the oldest part of the academic buildings.  It was begun in 1824.  Its charming colonial style has entranced generations of students and visitors alike."

This is another great old postcard I picked up at the Bookery in Lexington Virginia.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Robert E. Lee Hotel- Lexington Virginia

So, we were in Lexington Virginia...  Stopping by the Robert E. Lee Hotel seemed appropriate.

We strolled through and checked things out.  The place looked like a wonderful old hotel...  Which it is.

We had a great lunch in their restaurant, Rocca Bar Ristorante, which does not sound like the name of a restaurant inside of a hotel named after the Civil War General.  The name sounds a little out of place.

BUT, we went in and gave this place a try and we loved it!  I had an Italian sandwich that was VERY different.  It had a little more of a kick than I am used to, but it wasn't overwhelming.  I think they put pepper seeds on it, and it really gave it something extra.  We had a great waitress too, who was all over the place.

We figured we would enjoy the food here, but we really liked it.  Everyone was happy with what they had ordered.  We were expecting good, but we got exceptional.

AND, as I said before, we had a lot of great meals in Lexington......

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gaunce's Cafe and Deli in Winchester Kentucky

Some friends in Winchester took us to Gaunce's Café and Deli.

Apparently, everyone in the area knows about how good the food is here.  it was crowded when we went!  I can see why though.

I told a co-worker from Winchester that I went to a great deli place in town, and they instantly knew where I was talking about.

Our whole party loved everything.  Soup Sandwiches, everything here is a winner.  We got a beer cheese plate too.....  I would go back just for that.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Palms Restaurant- Lexington Virgina

A coworker who has been to Lexington many times said that the Palms was her favorite restaurant in town.  After eating there, I see why.

When you walk in, the place has a bit of a basic bar feel, with a very relaxed vibe.

We each ordered something different and we all loved what we had.  Here are a few photos!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Cadet June Final Dress Parade, Virginia Military Institue, Lexington Virginia

"The Cadet's June final dress parade on the campus of the VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE at Lexington, Va.  Former cadets are and have been nationally known civic and military leaders.  They are thoroughly schooled in science, engineering, chemistry and the arts."

I bought this beautiful old linen postcard at a cool bookstore in Lexington Virginia called the Bookery.  They had several nicely preserved old postcards and they had a great book selection!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Virginia Military Institure- Lexington Virginia postcard

The back of this postcard, says-

"One of the greatest military colleges in the United States.  VMI has produced military leaders for more than a century and takes continuous inspiration from Stonewall Jackson, a VMI instructor prior to the Civil War."

It is unused, and I am assuming it is from the 1960s.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Virginia Military Institute- Lexington Virginia

To me, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) exists in my mind as a place FOREVER linked to the Civil War.

VMI has very high standards, and it obviously produces some seriously impressive graduates...  but it is high on the list of a lot of historians for it's links to the 1860s.

I have already talked some about VMI's most noted teacher, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.  Stonewall is buried a very short walk from the campus.  His close friend, General Lee, is buried very close by too, on the campus of Washington and Lee University.

The young men (some very young) of VMI are most noted for their participation at the Battle of New Market where 247 cadets showed up. Marching 80 miles from the college to be there, the student/soldiers were reluctantly put into the fight by Major General (and Kentuckian/former US VP) John Breckenridge.   47 of the VMI cadets were injured, and 10 killed.  There is a very good movie that came out in 2014 about the cadets involved in the battle called, "Field of Lost Shoes."

We walked around the campus while we were in the area, and we took some time to visit the VMI Museum.

The museum is located in Jackson Memorial Hall, in the same building as the chapel, which is a bonus, because you want to see the chapel too.

The focal point of the chapel is the MASSIVELY huge and visually amazing New Market Battle Painting.  The 1914 work by Benjamin Clinedinst is something to see, and it is especially something to see in person.  This grand painting and stunning chapel are such a perfect compliment to each other.  Either would be impressive without the other but they are so perfect together.

We took the elevator down to the actual museum.  We saw a group of students come through, and another group who looked to be military pose with a Canadian flag.  This is obviously a near religious experience for some.

In the main area of the museum as you walk in, you immediately notice a case devoted to Stonewall Jackson.

For any Jackson admirer, this is a Holy Grail type of display.  Items directly linked to him, and his death are on display.  I was very impressed to see a coat he wore when he was shot.

AND, one of the main attractions at the museum is Little Sorrel.  Stonewall's favorite horse, Little Sorrel now is on display at the VMI Museum.  The Horse actually passed away in 1886, and now, his hide is on display at the museum.

Elsewhere, there are many uniforms and other items related to the history of VMI and it's cadets.  There is a very cool display showing class rings from each year.  Displays on notable alumni are also there.

MANY of the cadets and soldiers that we saw the day we were on campus gravitated to the gun display.  I'm not a gun person myself, but I understand the interest.  I do like looking at weapons from the Civil War, but that's about it for me.

I did hear many of the young men excitedly telling their pals details about specific ones.  I heard one brag of owning a similar model.  This may have been the most popular area of the museum.

After exploring the museum, I did spend some money in the gift shop.  They have a great, well stocked store with something for everyone.  I got my usual items, AND found a 1999 issue of Blue and Gray magazine covering the Battle of New Market for the 1999 cover price of $3.95!  Oh, and I had a nice chat with one of the very sweet ladies running the gift shop.

After that, we walked around campus some, and it was VERY common to hear a "hello and "how are you".  There is a very sincere and gentlemanly vibe going on here.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stonewall Jackson Cemetery- Lexington Virginia

Here are just a few photos I took at the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery.  Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is here, as are many of his family.  There are numerous other Civil War related markers here too.  It is a very nice place to visit while in Lexington.

While we visited on a very hot day, we ended up going at different times than our traveling friends.  We both walked to the cemetery... and it is a bit of an uphill walk.

One of our friends told us later that he stopped to rest on a bench.  After a few minutes, some VMI students walked by him as they were on their way to visit Stonewall.

After some pleasant exchanges, the students invited our friend to walk with them.

So our pal walked a couple more blocks to the cemetery with a group from VMI.  He said that they were all very pleasant, and he enjoyed talking to them.  He thought it was kind that they invited him to walk with them.

This added to our admiration of the students here.  You wouldn't get that kind of friendliness on every college campus.

I was in the area after the students visited and I noticed the smell of lemons.  Some of the kids had left lemons at Stonewall's monument....  a very appropriate thing to leave, as he enjoyed eating them.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In The Footsteps of Stonewall Jackson by Clint Johnson

I mentioned Clint Johnson here not too long ago....  He wrote a great book about Civil War locations in Virginia and West Virginia.  After checking around, I found that he also wrote an "In the Footsteps of" book on Stonewall Jackson.

AND, just like in his previously mentioned book, "In the Footsteps of Stonewall Jackson" is just a fun read.  Even if you have no plans of visiting any of the places mentioned, you will enjoy hearing about them.

Clint Johnson is great about noting odd facts in his book.  I enjoyed reading about how Jackson missed (by a few days) staying at the same hotel as an A. Lincoln from Springfield Illinois!

Jackson is such a fascinating character all around.  He is a tough character to understand.  Johnson even points out that, after writing a book on the legendary Confederate General,  he still can't figure the man out.  "Will anyone ever figure out Stonewall Jackson?" the author asks.  He answers himself with a no.

Anyway, it is fun reading about the places he visited, lived, and fought.

Some of the sites are now museums and B&Bs.  Some are private homes.  Of course, this book came out in the early 00s, so it is good to google about the places, as their status may have changed since then.

The author ends the book with a story told by Jackson's wife.  The story involves Stonewall's admiration for James Wolfe, a commander who died in a somewhat similar way to Jackson.  Jackson's thoughts, as reported by his wife, offer some insight into how the man worked.

Anyway, this is another great volume from Clint Johnson that is very informative while also being a fun book to read.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Stonewall Jackson House- Lexington Virginia

 Here are just a few of the photos I took while visiting the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington Virginia.  I took more inside, but I am still uncertain of the photography policy at the house- one staff person told me non-flash photos were fine, and another one said that photos are not allowed.  Otherwise, the staff here was very informative and helpful.... and seemed to have a sincere appreciation for the home of Stonewall.

I am going to include a photo I took of the desk Jackson had made so that he could stand while he worked.  I had just read about that, and thought it was pretty cool.  AND, it was a bit ahead of its time, as people are wanting desks to STAND at these days.

Of course, our guide told us about Stonewall's life in the area.  He taught at the Virginia Military Institute (they own and operate the house now).  This would be the only house he owned, and when he left it to fight in the Civil War....  he would not return.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Birthplace of Stonewall Jackson, Clarksburg, West Virginia

"Birthplace of Thos. J. (Stonewall) Jackson, Lieutenant General A.C.S.  Born Jan. 21, 1824, Died May 10, 1863."

This postcard is unused and undated.