On May 15, 1864, 247 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute joined Confederate forces at New Market, Virginia, in an effort to halt the sweep of the Union army into the Shenandoah Valley. This was the cadets' first taste of warfare and the only time in the history of our country that an entire student body took part in a pitched battle.
The cadets took the day, leading the charge which broke the Union lines. It was their "Youth's Hour of Glory." At battle's end, 47 of the cadets were wounded; eight were dead (2 more would later die of their wounds). Despite their losses, they had caused untold numbers of Union casualties and captured nearly 100 men. It was both a real and symbolic victory - it was "Youth's Hour of Glory."
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