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    "Stonewall" Jackson V.M.I. diploma issued to a future C.S.A. officer killed in action at the Battle of Yorktown

    Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson V.M.I. Diploma Signed and Virginia Dialectic Society of Cadets Certificate issued Robert M. McKinney. The diploma is one vellum partly-printed page, 15.75" x 19 ", "Given at Lexington in the State of Virginia," July 4, 1856. Jackson signs, "T. J. Jackson Prof Nat & Exp. Phil. &c." Following his celebrated service during the Mexican War, Thomas Jonathan Jackson (1824-1863) began teaching at the Virginia Military Institute in the small town of Lexington during the spring of 1851. As professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery, the taciturn Jackson emphasized mobility, efficiency, and discipline. The diploma is also signed by future confederate generals Henry A. Wise and James L. Kemper as members of the Board of Visitors.

    The recipient of this diploma was Robert M. McKinney. By profession a teacher, he immediately joined the Confederate cause by helping to train troops in North Carolina. He was commissioned captain of Co. "A" in the 6th North Carolina Regiment on May 24, 1861, and later elected Colonel of the 15th North Carolina Regiment. He was killed in action during the Battle of Yorktown on April 16, 1862.

    Together with McKinney's Virginia Dialectic Society of Cadets Certificate, 17.25" x 22". Issued on the same day as the diploma, the certificate is adorned with an elegant engraving of the campus on the recto and the verso contains the signatures of fellow members of the society, many of whom went on to serve in the Confederate army. Signers include:

    James Lawrence Meem, mustered into Co. "G" , Virginia 11th Infantry on April 23, 1861; killed on May 31, 1862 at Seven Pines.

    Charles Marshall Barton, commissioned into Virginia Winchester Light Artillery March 10, 1862. He died of wounds on May 26,1862 at Winchester, Virginia.

    William Boswell Seldon, C.S.A. Engineer. Died on February 8, 1862, in the Battle of Roanoke Island, N.C.

    Eusebius Fowlkes, entered service with the "Preston Guards" at Christiansburg on May 29, 1861 for one year as Company F, 11th Virginia; elected Captain on June 6, 1861. Killed in Action at Seven Pines on May 31, 1862.

    Francis Marion Suddoth, joined the 11th Mississippi Infantry and served briefly as 2nd Lieutenant; returned to Virginia in May 1861 and entered the Provisional Army of Virginia as a 2nd Lieutenant. After the Provisional Army disbanded, he was appointed a 2nd Lieut. of Co. B of the 26th Virginia in September 1861. Appointed Adjutant of the 26th Virginia in October 1861. He died of typhoid fever contracted while in service less than two weeks after receiving the appointment.

    Reference: Virginia Military Institute website at accessed on September 4, 2016.

    Condition: Both diploma and certificate have been stored rolled, and both lack the blue ribbon originally adorning the documents. The diploma has light toning, and rough edges. The ink has lightened a bit, and there are a few stray stains. The certificate has some loss at the bottom right corner and several small wormholes, not affecting any text or signatures.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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