Old Barracks, former classroom of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson


Legacies Classification
Memorial Structure
Memorial Type
Space on Campus
Memorial Context
Old Barracks, former classroom of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Background and Context
The former classroom used by VMI professor Thomas J. Jackson during his tenure at VMI, 1851-1861.

The Old Barracks was one of the original buildings at VMI, predating the Civil War. Today, Old Barracks incorporates stars where shells hit the facility during the shelling of the building by Union forces during Hunter's Raid in 1864 as well as a plaque marking Jackson's antebellum classroom. The plaque is located on the exterior wall of the second floor in the southwest corner of Old Barracks. What was formerly one large classroom is today divided into three smaller rooms housing 2nd class cadets. The plaque is located underneath the middle room's exterior window.

The original barracks, now called Old Barracks, was present when VMI was founded in 1839. Formerly, this building was an arsenal intended to arm militia in the case of a slave uprising in the wake of the 1831 Southampton Rebellion ("Nat Turner's Rebellion"). After VMI was founded in 1839, the building housed cadets and some classrooms.

The location of the classroom was nearly converted into a Stonewall Jackson shrine in the 1950's, but the plan was abandoned in favor of using the rooms to house cadets. The proposal to convert the rooms into a Jackson shrine can be understood as a backlash to national school desegregation efforts in the wake of Brown v Board of Education (1954).
Physical Description
Second-story exterior wall of Old Baracks, southwest pillar, opposite the academic buildings and across from the Parade Ground. Designated by an iron plaque roughly 1 foot by 6 inches affixed to the exterior wall of Old Barracks.
Memorial Inscription
"This second story room and those immediately to the right and left of this plaque composed the classroom used by Major Thomas Jonathon Jackson when he served as Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute 1851-1861."
Creator/Participating Person(s)
Date created, installed or dedicated
Funded by
Location: Institution, City, State

Position: 676 (8 views)