This very post was struck by a 3 inch rifle shell fired by Snow's Maryland Battery in the Battle of New Market fought between General John C. Breckinridge and General Franz Sigel on the 15th of May 1864. When the shell struck, General Breckinridge was sitting on his horse in the middle of the Pike, about 5 yards from this post and was in the act of raising his field glass to make an observation of the enemy's position, his staff being grouped a few yards in the rear. The battery that fired the shell was in position on top of the hill about 1200 yards distance north, and 150 yards east of the Valley Pike, now known as U.S. Route No. 11 (Lee Jackson Memorial Highway).
There were 221 cadets of the Virginia Military Institute in the infantry and 30 in a section of artillery engaged in the battle. Nine cadets were killed and forty-seven wounded. The battle resulted in a complete victory for the Confederate forces. The Federal forces fleeing down the valley in complete rout, crossed the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Mt. Jackson, burned the bridge, and thus escaped further pursuit which ended the battle.
It is interesting to note that through the gap in the Massanutten Mountain, just to the east of New Market, the armies of General Stonewall Jackson passed back and forth three or four times during the Civil War of 1861-65.