Col. Keith Gibson (center), director of the VMI Museum, looks on as the remains of Little Sorrel are lowered into the animal's final resting place on the Parade Ground at VMI. Cadet Adam Pool, left, carried the casket to the gravesite, accompanied by the 2nd Virginia Cavalry, the Fincastle Rifles and the Harry Gilmor Sons of Confederate Veterans Camps, and members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Photograph by Nancy Andrews. The Washington Post

Thanks to the efforts of the Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the cooperation of the Virginia Military Institute, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson's war horse, Little Sorrel, was laid to rest July 20, 1997, 111 years after the animal's death.

Under a clear blue summer sky, in a ceremony replete with mounted cavalry and infantry, a fife and drum corps, a bagpiper, and ladies in period dress, an 18-inch-tall walnut casket bearing the remains of Little Sorrel was escorted to a grave in front of his master's statue on the VMI Parade Ground by Virginia Division UDC President Mrs. Mark R. (Juanita) Allen, members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, VMI Cadet Adam Pool, and SCV Virginia Division Commander Collin Pulley.

Members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, acting as honorary pall bearers, file out of the VMI Museum to begin the proceedings.

Photograph by Nancy Andrews. The Washington Post

The invocation, blessing, and benediction were offered by the Reverend William Klein, pastor of the Lexington Presbyterian Chuch, where General Jackson and his wife worshipped during their years in Lexington. Featured speakers included Dr. James I. Robertson, author of the recently published definitive biography of Little Sorrel's master, and Col. Keith Gibson, director of the VMI Musuem, where the mounted hide of Little Sorrel is on public display.

UDC members from across the state had gathered dirt from every battlefield on which Little Sorrel and General Jackson had been engaged, and spectators were invited to come forward after the ceremony's conclusion and drop a handful into the gravesite, which was flanked by wreaths of apples and carrots and contained several horseshoes.

A member of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry drops some dirt into Little Sorrel's grave.

Photograph by Nancy Andrews. The Washington Post

Background Information

Bones of Warhorse Will Be Interred Near Jackson (The Washington Times)

Lexington, Va., Bids Fond Farewell to a War Horse (The Washington Post)

Confederate Charger Buried a Century Later (The Roanoke Times)

The Warrior's Final Rest

A Prayer for Horses

Return to Virginia Division Celebrates the Year of Stonewall Jackson