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Edward M. Watson letter

Identifier: MS-0011
The collection consists of one letter (September 17, 1868) written by Edward M. Watson to his father. Watson describes in detail the typical daily new cadet routine at VMI during the post-Civil War years. Topics include reveille, roll call, inspections, meals, study and recitation, drill and parade. The letter contains one of the earliest documented examples of term "rat" as a reference to a new cadet.


  • 1868 September 17


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Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


1 items

Biographical / Historical

Edward Minor Watson was born in 1851, the son of John W. C. Watson, a lawyer and judge. He entered the Virginia Military Institute on September 14, 1868, from his home at Holly Springs, Mississippi and studied at VMI for one academic year, resigning his cadetship in 1869. Watson subsequently read law and received his license in 1871. He served as an attorney in the Department of Justice during President Grover Cleveland's first administration. Watson married Lily Moore of Noxubee County, Mississippi in 1871. The couple had five children: Dudley, Edward, William, Jean, and Anne. He died on December 7, 1887.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks
A Guide to the Edward M. Watson Letter, 1868
Diane B. Jacob
© 2002 Virginia Military Institute Archives
Language of description
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2004: Feb 16, 2004. PUBLIC "-//Virginia Military Institute::Preston Library::Archives//TEXT (US::ViLxV::vilxv00033::A Guide to the Edward M. Watson Letter)//EN" "vilxv00033.xml"converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15). Feb 26, 2004 converted to conform to eadVIVA.dtd by vivastrict.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450