October’s After Action Report by Archie

Mr. David J. Sutherland, of Brownsburg, Indiana, a thorough-going program on the
Virginia Military Institute, which was established in 1839. He is a graduate, himself. Lots of slides of past & modern views of the Institute and its history.

“Never take council of your fears.”

Thomas J. “Stonewall”
Jackson Instructor at VMI

All who attended can say they learned at least something new about the Institute, and many of us, much. For example, the battle of New Market was stellar in its Civil War history. That the South had 11 military colleges at the opening of the War, the North I think he said, only 1. We were shown many articles.

Mr. Sutherland is an Indianapolis attorney & member of the Indianapolis Civil War Round Table.

Bibliography: Thanks to Mr. Sutherland answering my email about the book he highly recommended on women entering the ranks of the VMI and on the battle of
New Market: Laura Brodie authored Breaking Out: VMI and the Coming of Women on women’s arrival at VMI in the late summer of 1997. She is an excellent writer.

Background: In 1996 the U. S. Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military
Institute, then an all-male, public, military college, to either admit women to VMI’s cadet corps or surrender its status as a publicly supported state college. Breaking
Out tells the story of VMI’s plans for women’s arrival and the challenges and lessons that both VMI and the new women cadets learned during VMI’s first year as a
co-ed, state, military college. Women have done very well at VMI and today, women comprise about ten to twelve percent of VMI’s cadet corps.

There are two excellent books on the Battle of New Market. The first is William C. Davis’ The Battle of New Market. Davis’ book was published in 1975. Since the Davis book’s publication a more recent Battle of New Market book by Charles Knight has been published.
Knight’s book includes source material not known available to Davis in 1975. I enjoyed reading both books. I have spoken with Charles Knight at New Market
where Knight had been employed by VMI when he worked at New Market State Historical Park and lived in New Market. I recommend both books to you. A link to Knight’s book follows:

A. L.

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