A Guide to the Edward M. Watson Letter, 1868 Watson, Edward M., letter mss 00011

A Guide to the Edward M. Watson Letter, 1868

A Collection in
Virginia Military Institute Archives
Collection Number mss 00011


Virginia Military Institute Archives

Virginia Military Institute Archives
Preston Library
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304
Phone: (540) 464-7566
Fax: (540) 464-7279
Email: archives@vmi.edu
URL: http://www.vmi.edu/archives

© 2002 Virginia Military Institute

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Military Institute Archives Staff

Archives, Preston Library, Virginia Military Institute
Collection number
mss 00011
Edward M. Watson Letter 1868
Physical Characteristics
The collection consists of one item.

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Edward M. Watson Letter, mss 00011, Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, Virginia.

Biographical/Historical Information

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.

Scope and Content Information

The collection consists of one letter (September 17, 1868) written by Virginia Military Institute Cadet 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.