Military Academy Museum is located in the AMA Alumni House in Fort
Defiance, Virginia. The museum sits among stately old trees and
expansive lawns on the grounds of the now-closed military
academy. Fort Defiance is located eight miles north of Staunton
on U.S. Route 11, the historic Valley Pike.
Charles S. Roller
founded Augusta Male Academy in 1874. In the Civil War, he served
in Confederate General J. E. B. Stuartís cavalry and during
Reconstruction, he was elected to the Virginia General Assembly,
the stateís legislative body. He introduced military instruction
and discipline to his students by 1879, and changed the name of
the school to Augusta Military Academy in 1890. AMA was the first
of several secondary-level, military academies in Virginia, and
one of the first schools in the country to adopt a Junior Reserve
Officers' Training Corps program. The school had a major
educational, social, and economic impact on this area of the
Shenandoah Valley for over 100 years.
Alumni House was
built in the 1870s by Roller for his family. The original house
has been completely and carefully renovated. By using photographs
taken in the 1880s as guides, the restoration/renovation returned
the exterior of the house as nearly as was possible to its
original appearance. A small display inside Alumni House shows
the basic construction techniques of the period, and stones from
part of the original foundation line an outside garden area.
One of the first
floor rooms of Alumni House has been decorated and furnished as a
late 1800s Victorian Parlor,
it contains displays showing the early days of the military
rooms on the first floor contain a recreation of a typical cadet
barracks room and a
examines the athletic programs
In one area of the
first floor there is a display featuring AMA graduates who became
in the museum houses
at the school from 1900 until the institution closed in 1984.
display features an impressive collection of
uniforms and artifacts.
The renovation of
this Augusta County landmark was accomplished by hundreds of
alumni and friends of the Augusta Military Academy through the
non-profit AMA Alumni Foundation, Inc. The museum opened to the
public in May, 2000. It is open Tuesday thru Sunday, 10
a.m. - 4 p.m. It is closed on major holidays. The museum can be open at
other times by appointment. There is no admission charge.
The facility is
Phone 540-248-3007 for additional information,
or send an email to
Click here to go to the AMA Alumni Foundation home page.