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John F. Hanna cadet diary, 1864 [digital]

 Digital Collection


  • 1864



Hanna's diary contains a colorful account of life at VMI and in Lexington during the spring of 1864. Entries begin April 17, 1864 and end May 9, 1864. On May 10, the cadets were called to active duty at the request of Gen. John C. Breckinridge and on May 15 participated in the Battle of New Market. The entries contain comments about VMI activities and people, Lexington social life, and discussion of personal concerns.

Biographical / Historical

John Francis Hanna (1843-1885) was born at the home of his grandparents in Philadelphia on August 20, 1843. Before matriculating at VMI he attended Gonzaga College and Georgetown University. He entered VMI from Manassas, Virginia, on January 22, 1862 as a member of the Class of 1864. He was a cadet First Lieutenant, Co. D., at the Battle of New Market. Fourteen members of the class, all New Market Cadets, were graduated on June 17, 1864, approximately a month after the battle. After the war he studied law at Columbian (now George Washington) University and practiced in Washington, DC. He never married. He was injured in a riding accident on October 25, 1885 and died at his home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, on October 31.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450