Lexington Things to Do

  • Sign which shows where famous people are buried
    Sign which shows where famous people are...
    by grandmaR
  • White obelisk is VMI Superintendant
    White obelisk is VMI Superintendant
    by grandmaR
  • Looking down the cemetery path to Jackson's statue
    Looking down the cemetery path to...
    by grandmaR

Best Rated Things to Do in Lexington

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    Virginia Military Institute

    by 807Wheaton Updated May 14, 2006

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    Vieiw of Virginia Military Institute
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    Lexington citizens persuaded the state of Virginia in 1839 to convert the local arsenal into Virginia Military Institute. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson taught natural philosophy (physics) and artillery tactics at the school for ten years prior to the Civil War. General George C. Marshall, began a remarkable career, class of 1901, in Lexington that eventually led to his appointment as U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, Secretary of Denfense and his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize which is in the Marshall Museum at VMI.

    All of the superintendents of VMI have lived at The Superintendents Quarters. The Commandants Quarters was the home of VMI professor Matthew Fontaine Maury.
    Lejeune Hall is the cadet activities and reception center. The Old Hospital is the oldest VMI building. When visiting The Barracks you will see the Washington Arch and the George Washington Statue. This is the original entrance to the Barracks.

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    General Lee's Traveller

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 6, 2006

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    Burial site of Traveller
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    Traveller was a tall iron gray American saddlebred with a black main and tail and was purchased by Robert E. Lee in 1862. Traveller accompanied Lee throughout the Civil War and even carried Lee into Lexington when he assumed the presidency of Washington College.
    Lee died on October 12, 1870 and Traveller died at age 14 in 1871. He is buried on the campus at Washington & Lee outside the chapel. For many years Traveller's skeleton was mounted in the Brooks Museum on the W & L campus. In 1929 the skeleton was moved to the new museum in Lee Chapel. Finally in 1971 Traveller's bones are reinterred beside Lee Chapel. His grave is marked by the Virginia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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    Washington & Lee University

    by 807Wheaton Updated May 14, 2006

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    Entrance to Washington and Lee University
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    Begun in 1749 as Augusta Academy, the school was saved from financial ruin with a gift of stock from George Washington in 1796. To honor George Washington, it was renamed Washington College. After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee, as president from 1865 until his death in 1870, revived it and set it on its course as a modern university, now called Washington and Lee.
    Mary Anna Radolph Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee was the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington. These three important Virginia families linked by marriage combine to tell the remarkable story of the nation's ninth oldest educational institutions now called .
    On the beautiful rolling grounds, regarded as one of the most beautiful in the nation, you can visit the R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, the Lee House, Washington Hall, Lee Chapel, Reeves Center and the Morris House. Most of these buildings were constructed in the early 1800's.

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    A Tour of the Stonewall Jackson House Museum

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 6, 2006

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    Thomas Jonathan
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    Built in 1801 this is the only home that General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson ever owned. After accepting a professorship at Virginia Military Institute Jackson and his second wife, Mary Anna and five of their six slaves lived in the house from 1859 until 1861 when he departed for the Civil War. The house remained in the family after Jackson's death in 1863 until the United Daughters of the Confederacy bought it in 1907.
    The house is open to the public and admission is charged.

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    George C. Marshall Museum

    by 807Wheaton Updated May 14, 2006

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    George C. Marshall Museum and Library

    At the suggestion of President Truman, the Marshall Foundation was founded in 1953. The building was dedicated in 1964 by President Johnson and Eisenhower to honor the memory of George C. Marshall, VMI graduating class of 1901. After resigning as Army Chief of Staff in 1945, Marshall developed The Marshall Plan, the economic rebuilding of Europe following WWII. Marshall continued serving his country with a political and diplomatic career as Secretary of State and Defense and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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    WASHINGTON & LEE - TRAVELLER’S GRAVE

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Apples and flowers for Traveller
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    Traveller was the best known of Lee’s wartime horses. After the many journeys they shared during the Civil War, Lee let Traveller roam the college lawns in retirement. The horse only survived Lee by seven months. His bones were on display in the museum until the horse was finally allowed to rest, here in this grave by the side of the Lee Chapel, in 1971.

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    WASHINGTON & LEE UNIVERSITY

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Washington Hall and Lee Chapel at W&L Univ.
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    Originally the school was founded in 1749 as the Liberty Academy, but was renamed after a generous grant was given to the school by one, George Washington. The new name became Washington College. That name change and a statue of the First Father of the Nation, himself, enabled the school to not have to share the same fate as its neighbor, VMI, in 1864 when occupying Federal troops put that school to the torch. It was to this school that Robert E Lee retreated to after his four years of war came to an end at Appomattox. He spent the rest of his life rebuilding the college in the War’s aftermath with only 40 students attending when he arrived. There were 400 by the time of his death in 1870. In honor of his efforts, the school was renamed once again as Washington & Lee, a name it has kept to this day. The school seems to be quite the quintessential Southern private coeducational university today and stands as quite a contrast to its neighbor, VMI, on its northern side.

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    WASHINGTON & LEE - LEE CHAPEL

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    The Lee Chapel at W&L University
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    While Washington Hall - built in 1824 - serves as the centerpiece of the university, it is the Lee Chapel - built in 1867 - that tourists will gravitate towards. The chapel served as an assembly hall for the students and was built - by Lee’s request - to seat 600 students. Inside the chapel, at the front, is Edward Valentine’s statue of Lee sleeping on a battlefield cot. The statue is surrounded by replicas of Confederate battle flags. Below the chapel is the Lee Tomb, resting place for the General, his wife, sons and daughters. Lee’s office is nearby, as is a fine museum devoted to Lee’s life.

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    Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery

    by grandmaR Written Feb 12, 2008

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    Looking down the cemetery path to Jackson's statue
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    Here in the middle of the real location of Lexington Virginia are the graves of many famous people, in addition to Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson [body minus Arm], including 144 Confederate veterans, and two Virginia governors.

    Others (in alphabetical order):

    John White Brockenbrough - the founder of Washington and Lee Law School

    John Mercer Brooke - Confederate States Naval Commander, Inventor, and Professor.

    William Gilham - the author of a popular book on military drill and tactics.

    Mary Anna Jackson -Widow of General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson who wrote his memoir.

    George Junkin - the founder of Lafayette College in Easton, PA; the founder of the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio (Miami of Ohio); and the President (1846-1861) of Washington College (present day Washington and Lee University ) in Lexington, Virginia. He was also the father of Eleanor Junkin, the first wife of Confederate Civil War General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

    John Letcher - Virginia Governor, US Congressman. the editor of the Democratic “Valley Star” from 1839 to 1850

    Elisha Franklin 'Bull' Paxton - Civil War Confederate Brigadier General.

    Alexander Swift 'Sandie' Pendleton - Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Historians today call him the most capable staff officer in the whole Confederate army

    John Thomas Lewis Preston. - founder of the Virginia Military Institute and his wife
    Margaret Preston - Author ot "Silverwood, a Book of Memories," "A Rhyme of the War," and "Old Songs and New."

    Absalom Willis Robertson - Major, World War I, 1917-1919; United States Representative from Virginia, 1933-1946; United States Senator from Virginia, 1946-1966; father of televangelist Pat Robertson.

    Francis Henney Smith - the first Superintendent of Virginia Military Institute.

    Edwin Parker 'Cy' Twombly - Major League Baseball Player. He was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in 1921.

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    VMI - THE BARRACKS

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Front and center at the Barracks of VMI
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    This quadrangular building is where the VMI cadets live for the duration of their time here. Built in 1851 and burnt during the Civil War, the Barracks is home to student-cadets and a whole host of arcane rules/regulations that new students become aware of rather quickly during the initial stay at the school.

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    VMI - THE STATUES

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    George C Marshall looks out over the Parade Ground
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    There are four main statues placed around the Parade Ground. One commemorates the school’s first superintendent, General Francis H. Smith. Another honors the dead cadets who fell at the Civil War battle of New Market where 10 cadets were killed. The other two statues are just outside of the Barracks, memorializing the school’s most luminous instructor, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, and the school’s most illustrious alumnus, George C. Marshall, the Chief of Staff for the US Army during World War II, Secretary of both Defense and State after that War and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. A vintage World War II howitzer sits near Marshall while four 6-pound cannons stand next to Jackson. These cannons were made 320 pounds lighter than normal since the Institute was short of horses and the cannons had to be manhandled by the cadets in the drills put to them by their instructor. The guns took part in several battles early on in the War. Little Sorrel, Jackson’s faithful horse is buried by the base of Jackson’s statue.

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    VMI - JACKSON MEMORIAL CHAPEL

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Jackson Memorial Chapel with Stonewall and guns
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    Just east of the Barracks, the Chapel is the main assembly hall for VMI’s cadets. Prominently displayed above the front of the hall is a large painting that commemorates the VMI cadets who fought at the Battle of New Market in 1864. Surrounding the hall are 26 flags honoring the existing 26 States at the time of the school’s founding in 1839.

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    VMI MUSEUM

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Remembering the alumni who have died post 9/11
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    Located below the Jackson Memorial Hall, the VMI Museum exhibits deeds of valor that have been performed by the alumni and instructors of the Institute over the years. The museum is free of charge and it is from here that cadet tours begin. Some of the exhibits include the uniform Jackson wore at the Institute and the stuffed skin of his horse, Little Sorrel. Newer exhibits include Medal of Honor winners that have come from VMI and one exhibit honors VMI alums that have died since September 11, whether it was in the Twin Towers, in the Pentagon attack or in Iraq.

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    VMI - KEYDET TOURS

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Keydet explaining the tradtions of the Barracks
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    There is no better way to become better acquainted with the Institute and its customs than by taking one of the tours given twice daily by VMI cadets. You meet up at the VMI Museum desk and then walk together around the grounds gaining new insights from the viewpoint of the students themselves.

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    VMI - PARADE GROUND

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Looking across the Parade Ground from the Spider
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    The Parade Ground is multifunctional to say the least. Cadet marching formations, engineering survey classes, physical training sessions and sports training are all but some of the events going on in the front yard of the Institute.

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Lexington Things to Do

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