David Sutherland on VMI's Civil War Legacy for more information visit WWW.ChicagoCWRT.org In June 1920 just after World War I then US Army Colonel George C. Marshall, a VMI graduate, persuaded his mentor, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, a West Point graduate, to visit the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. VMI's superintendent hosted General Pershing, toured him around the Institute and the VMI cadet corps held a full dress, review parade in Pershing's honor. After the parade General Pershing addressed VMI's cadets and spoke of the role Institute alumni had played in the Civil War and the Great War and he remarked on sharp the cadets had appeared earlier that day at parade. Pershing then added that while he had often heard VMI called the "West Point of the South," having just witnessed the VMI cadets parade that perhaps West Point should be called the "VMI of the North." The Civil War greatly impacted VMI and the Institute's alumni profoundly influenced Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Evidence of VMI's Civil War legacy is still visible around the post and VMI's Civil War heritage has shaped VMI alumni for generations. West Point came of age during the Mexican-American War. VMI came of age in the American Civil War. During the American Civil War ninety-three percent of VMI's then living alumni served in the war. This presentation will discuss VMI's Civil War legacy and how this legacy affected the Institute and today continues to shape VMI alumni. Dave Sutherland was born in Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Northwest Indiana and is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis. A three time, past president of the Indianapolis Civil War Round Table, Dave is a life-long student of the Civil War and has traveled to and walked scores of Civil War battlefields. He is also a US Army veteran who served in Korea. He lives in Brownsburg, Indiana, just outside Indianapolis, and has practiced law for 35 years.
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