Organization honors slain soldiers in the Battle of New Market on anniversary

Published: May. 15, 2018 at 12:58 PM EDT
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The Women's Memorial Society honored those who died in the Battle of New Market with its annual ceremony Tuesday.

More than 1,000 soldiers died in the May 15, 1864, battle in Shenandoah County, including 10 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute. It was the only instance in American history where a student body participated in a pitched battle.

For more than a century, the Women's Memorial Society has worked to remember those men.

The organization takes care of 142 confederate graves in the Valley, along with a confederate memorial in what is now St. Matthews Cemetery in New Market.

"Well the soliders fought and died for a cause they believed in, and we owe it to them to remember what they did," said Barbara Blakey, the organization's president. "We owe it to them to continue the traditions and the honoring of their memory."

The Battle of New Market was one of the last Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley, and on May 15, confederate flags line the graves of those who sacrificed their lives

The annual Battle of New Market reenactment will also be happening on May 19 and 20.