Page 10,The Institute Report,April 2013
Cadets Help New Market
Prepare for Re-Enactment
Regardless of how good a shape a cadet is
in, hauling and chopping wood for extended
periods of time is exhausting. Six cadets got to
feel that exhaustion during Spring FTX at New
Market April 8 and 9.
With the warm, arguably hot, weather finally
arrived, the cadets traveled to New Market to
help the Virginia Museum of the Civil War in
its preparation for a Civil War re-enactment
scheduled for May 18 and 19.
Maj. Troy Marshall, museum site director, put
the cadets to work on piles of logs that needed
to be cut into fireplace-size pieces for use by the
600 to 700 re-enactors. Throughout the morning,
the cadets used mauls, axes, and a hammer and
splitter to reduce the logs to firewood.
“What this does is save us… literally having
to go out and spend hundreds and hundreds
of dollars for firewood,” said Marshall.
Some logs were easier to split then others.
Pithy woods and stubborn knots sometimes
slowed the process, but persistence paid off
and the cadets eventually became less visible, blocked by the growing
piles of chopped wood. There was much sweat and much accomplished.
“It’s just a small price to pay to come out here and have the tradition
going,” said Cadet Clayton White ’15, a mechanical engineering major.
The FTX assignment was also an extension of Park Day, held April 6.
This annual event, organized by the Civil War Trust, has been going on
since 1996 and allows people to help with maintenance-related duties
on Civil War battlefields and historic sites. The FTX activity also gives
cadets an opportunity to be present at New Market.
“I think it’s vital as much as possible to get the cadets up here,” said
Marshall. “It’s good for the public to see the cadets.”
Helping that day were cadets Fred Wang
’13, Sean Purnell ’13, Jonathan Hampton ’13,
Abhimanyu Trikha ’14, White, and Nicholas
Dreybus ’15. “Anything we can do to connect
the Institute to the battlefield is vital for us,”
“It’s all for a good cause,” said Chad
Phillips, grounds worker and maintenance
supervisor. Phillips also chopped wood and
used a chainsaw to create more manageable
pieces for the cadets to chop.
Working at New Market reminded the
cadets of the 10 who died as a result of the
Battle of New Market in 1864.
“It’s nice to be able to give back, especially
for those [who] … committed so much,”
Added Wang, “New Market holds a special
significance in the hearts of VMI cadets.”
These six cadets were among many who
fanned out into the community during Spring
FTX. They assisted with events including
VMI’s 10K/half-marathon Torch Run, Special Olympics, the Virginia
State Science and Engineering Fair, the Nabors Service League Children’s
Carnival, and Shredding Saturday with Rockbridge County Recycling. In
addition, they worked with children in schools including Mountain View
Elementary, Central Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, Natural Bridge
Elementary, Rockbridge Middle, Maury River Middle, Rockbridge
County High, and the Boys’ Home in Covington, Va. Cadets also worked
at Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden, Rockbridge Area
Hospice, Project Horizon, Rockbridge Area YMCA, and Rockbridge SPCA.
But for the six, helping out was one more opportunity to be a part of
the NewMarket story. As Marshal put it, NewMarket is “their battlefield.”
Water Polo Tournament
Molly Watkins ’16 reaches for the ball March
23 during VMI’s first-ever MAAC game in Clark
King Pool, vs. Iona College. The game was the
first of four over two days in a tournament
attended by all seven conference schools. The
Keydets logged their first-ever MAAC win,
taking down St. Francis Brooklyn 10-9, and VMI
scorers were led by a hat trick from Mackenzie
Perkins ’15, the team’s leading scorer in 2012.
Celine Lazzaro ’15 and Amanda Berrios ’13
chipped in two goals each while rookies Joyce
Zabala, Emily Cait Farsakian and Caitlyn
Jackson all scored once. Watkins made 11 saves.
– Photo courtesy of VMI Athletic Communications.
Cadets chop wood for campfires for the
– VMI Photo by H.