Sixth-plate ambrotype of Virginia Military Institute Cadet Cyrus Miller Parkins, Class of 1864
Posed in the fatigue uniform of the famous Lexington corps complete with white cross-belt and prominent “VMI” brass letters on floppy kepi. The identification is marvelous. Pressed into the thin brass sheet of the preserver folding over the back of the plate is: “C. Milton Parkins/A Rebel Soldier/And a Dear One Too/That’s So.” “Mr. Parkins” is also penciled in the back of the case. Parkins is shown with an early Manhattan Pocket Model revolver and M1841 “Mississippi” rifle, a weapon probably acquired when the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry was captured on April 18, 1861.
He was paroled at Winchester, Virginia on April 15, 1865 not yet 24 years old. Post-war Cyrus Parkins settled into farming and became a member of the local Henry Heth Camp of United Confederate Veterans. He lived until April 26, 1922 and is buried in the Augusta Stone Presbyterian Cemetery in Augusta County, Virginia.