Virginia Military Institute’s Cadet Rifles
By G&A Staff
For more than 20 years leading up to the founding of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on Nov. 11, 1839, the Commonwealth of Virginia used an arsenal building at Lexington to store Richmond-manufactured arms in the western part of the state. Arms included the U.S. Model 1795 and the Model 1816 muskets from Harpers Ferry Armory and Springfield Armory.
Once VMI was formed, the institution obtained rifles that were reduced scale and shortened for virtue of a student’s young age. These variants would eventually be described as Cadet rifles and were purchased by many military schools.
In 1864, 257 VMI cadets marched 85 miles and fought to victory at the Battle of New Market, where 55 cadets were wounded and 10 cadets were killed. Two hundred cadets were issued Austrian Lorenz rifles, and approximately 50 cadets carried the Springfield Model 1851.
Following the Civil War, cadets have been issued service rifles, including various Springfield Cadet Model Trapdoor rifles, Krag-Jørgensen carbines, the Model 1903 and M1 Garand. During World War II, the need for M1 Garands rose to a point that VMI turned in its M1s for the M1917 Enfield until the war’s end. By 1972, the Institute exchanged the M1 Garand once again for …Read the Rest
Source:: Guns and Ammo