Owned by Virginia Military Institute (VMI; RB18) in Lexington, the 280-acre park of rolling terrain is where Confederate and Union forces clashed on May 15, 1864, in the Battle of New Market. Confederate brigades under the command of General John C. Breckinridge, supported by the 257-man cadet corps of VMI, repulsed Union forces under the leadership of Major General Franz Sigel. The Confederate victory preserved supply lines between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley while allowing General Robert E. Lee to halt the Union advance on Richmond.
Visitors to the battlefield first encounter the Hall of Valor Museum, a one-story building attached to a large inverted cup-shaped Cor-Ten steel and concrete structure that dominates the complex and contains a circular auditorium with surrounding exhibition galleries. Richmond architect Moseley stated that he wished to “deck the Hall of Valor with rugged, weathered steel—bold enough to help symbolize the courage of the young men the New Market Battlefield seeks to honor. The steel will literally paint itself a rich, dark rust color, through oxidation, to blend with its rustic Shenandoah Valley surroundings.” At the center of the battlefield, the two-story frame Jacob Bushong House was used as a hospital by Confederate and, later, Union forces. The house was renovated in the 1960s as a typical middle-class farmer's house of the mid-nineteenth century to educate the public about Valley farm life during the Civil War.