CSN Midshipman and VMI Cadet

President Jefferson Davis once told one of his associates that the South could not afford to "grind up the seed corn," by which he meant that if there was to be any future leadership for the Confederacy, then it could not afford to put its youngest, brightest men at risk on the battlefield. What the Confederacy could do, was to attempt to train the brightest of its young men for leadership. No army academy on the lines of the Union's West Point ever opened its doors, but the Confederate Naval Academy did make some remarkable strides in the worst of conditions. The midshipman at left is a prime example of the young men trained and educated at public expense, and in the most realistic of all environments, on board ship. Note the row of buttons around his cuffs, which served as the badge of rank.

The Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.) cadet on the right learned warfare the hard way by marching to glory against Sigel's forces in the Battle of New Market, in the Shenandoah "Valley," in May 1864. More than two hundred V.M.I, cadets, forever after dubbed "New Market Cadets," perished.Their youthful example created a tradition that has long outlasted their cause, instilling pride even today.

1864 Vmi CadetFrock Coat Dabney Minor

Confederate naval material is exceedingly rare. The dolphin-head naval officer's sword (25, 26, 27) is one of the most desirable objects in the whole field of Civil War collectibles

1 Midshipman's cap

2 Signal flag

3 Frock coat of Lt R Dabney Minor

4 Officer's bell with interlocking buckle

5 Midshipman's revolver holster

6 Adams revolver for item 5

7 Presentation sword of Capt J Tattnall, U.S.N, (presumably captured)

3 Sword case for item 7

9 Captain's sword, very closely modeled on British Royal Navy original

10 Captain's sword

11 Scabbard for item 10

12 Adams revolver

13 Holster for item 12

14 Lt. Minor's vest

15 Hailing trumpet for use at sea

16 Frock coat

17 Cap of Captain Raphael Semmes

18 Sword belt of master's mate of CSS Shenandoah

19 Signal flag

20 Epaulettes of Commodore Forrest

21 Captain Semmes'field glass

22 Naval cap

23 Lt. R Dabney Minor's uniform |acket

24 Uniform frock coat

25 C.S.N, officer's sword from CSS Alabama

26 Master's mate's sword

27 Commodore Forrest's sword

28 Log board

29 Compass

30 Lt R. Dabney Minor's field glasses

31 Captain's insignia

32 Capt. Semmes s holster

33 Capt. Semmes's revolver

34 Clothes bag

Passed Midshipman

Master

Commander

Captain

Flag Officer

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