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2008 Lecture Series at the Graffiti House


2:00 pm - 3:15 on the last Sunday of the month
Lectures are free. Donations will be used for operation of the Graffiti House.
Click for directions

March 30: “The Music of the Civil War” as performed by Evergreen Shade.

Enjoy old favorites like Dixie , Battle Cry of Freedom, the Bonny Blue Flag, Just Before the Battle, Mother, and the Empty Chair. John Tole and Anne Howard will wear period dress and talk about the origins and meaning of the music. Guitar, banjo, and a variety of percussion instruments accompany their songs. (Return)

 April 27: Marc Leepson will be speaking on “Desperate Engagement – Jubal Early’s Threat on Washington , D.C. ”

This is the story of the Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, when 12,000 veteran Confederate troops led by Jubal A. Early fought and defeated 5,800 Union troops under Lew Wallace four miles south of Frederick, MD, and then marched his army to the outskirts of Washington , D.C. , and was poised to invade the North’s capital.

Marc Leepson is a journalist, historian and author of six books. A former staff writer for the Congressional Quarterly, he has written for many newspapers and magazines. After graduating from George Washington University in 1967, he served in the U.S. Army from 1967 – 1969, including Vietnam.  Marc earned a Masters in history from GWU in 19971. He has taught U.S. History at Lord Fairfax Community College . He currently lives with his wife and their children in Loudoun County , VA.   (Return)

 May 25:  Richard Deardoff will talk about the “Atlanta Campaign”.

 General U.S. Grant’s plan to defeat the Confederacy in 1864 involved maintaining continuous pressure on the South in the various war theaters to prevent the South from sending reinforcements to threatened areas. While Grant directed the campaign against General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, his friend and commander of the Western theater, General William Tecumseh Sherman, went after General Joe Johnston and the City of Atlanta . Richard will describe the series of maneuvers and the counter maneuvers between Chattanooga and Atlanta , and the eventual Union victory that will assure President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election and mark the start of the “march to the sea”

 Richard Deardoff is a transplanted New Yorker. He received his Bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University and his Masters from George Mason University . After serving in the Coast Guard, Richard settled in Virginia in the 1970s. For the last 33 years he has taught U.S. History and a class on the American Civil War at Fauquier High School . Richard is a member of the Fauquier County Civil War Roundtable; member of the Board of Directors, Brandy Station Foundation; Longstreet Society; and the Civil War Preservation Trust. He and his wife live in Culpeper County.  (Return)

 June 29:  Our friend Joe McKinney returns to tell us about the “Cavalry Fights in Fauquier County – Coffee Hill and the Buckland Races”.

In October 1863, General Robert E. Lee began his last offensive campaign with the Army of Northern Virginia. Moving north through Culpeper and Fauquier Counties , Lee hoped to force the Union’s Army of the Potomac into a decisive battle, just as he had in August 1862 at 2nd Manassas . Instead, Lee’s army was defeated at Bristoe and forced to withdraw back into Culpeper. During the Southern advance and withdrawal, JEB Stuart’s horsemen were active in Fauquier, fighting two unique battles. Auburn – today known as Coffee Hill – was fought on October 14, 1863. And, the battle at Buckland was fought five days later, and was Stuart’s last victory as a battlefield commander. Today, Stuart's victory over Union General Judson Kilpatrick is known as the “Buckland Races".

Joe McKinney lives on the Brandy Station battlefield and is a longtime Civil War historian. A graduate of West Point, he retied as a Lt Colonel after serving in Vietnam and the Army's Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth , KS. In 2006 he wrote and had published the only thorough history of the June 9th, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station. (Return)

July 27 – Brian McEnany joins us for the first time to share with us a history of “ West Point at the Outset of the War – Class of 1862.”

 With the secession of the southern states and the firing on Ft. Sumter , the cadets in the West Point class in 1862 had divided loyalties. Should they choose to defend their families and states or bear allegiance to the Union they had sworn to uphold?  Brian will tell the story of the Class by describing how it reacted to the beginnings of the War, the impact of resignations by half of the class, and how these events created a group of cadets with strongly held beliefs in support of the Union . This extraordinary group of young men would have a continuing impact on the U.S. Army  for years to come.

 Brian was born in Cornwall , NY . He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1962. While in the army he served in Germany, Korea , and Vietnam and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received a Masters degree in Operations Research & Statistics, and an MS in Management. He retired as a Lt Col in 1984. For the next 22 years he worked for Science Applications International Corp. in McLean , VA. Now that he is again retired his full-time avocation is writing a narrative history of the West Point Class of 1862.  Brian is married, has three daughters, and lives in Vienna, VA.  (Return)

August 31:  Melissa Weeks Delcour will speak on "Jeb Stuart, an American Knight"

In addition to information on his Cheyenne Campaign, copies of letters and poetry composed by General Stuart will be shown and discussed.

Melissa Weeks Delcour is a teacher at Rappahanock High School and a Culpeper County Resident. (Return)

September 28:  We are honored to welcome back to the Graffiti House Colonel J. Egbert Farnum and his wife Amanda to talk about his life and reminisce about his Civil War experiences.

Colonel Farnum became a Brig General in 1866 for his gallantry at Gettysburg and other Civil War battlefields leading the Excelsior Brigade of the 70th New York Volunteers.  During his Civil War adventures Colonel Farnum signed the wall on the second floor of the Graffiti House.

Ed Kelley is directly related to Colonel Farnum and he and his wife Mary have been portraying his ancestor and wife for many years. Ed has researched family history and in 2001 a vast amount of family information was obtained when a relative’s basement flooded. Old trucks that had not been opened for at least 40 years contained Civil War documents and old pictures. Ed and Mary are members of the Civil War Heritage Foundation and Ed belongs to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The Kelley’s participate in historic events, reenactments, parades, and dedications. Natives of NE Massachusetts, they now live in Haverhill , MA.  (Return)

October 26:  Dale Brown will be with us to speak on “Recovering the Remains of Captain William Downs Farley: An Archeological Perspective”.

Dale will describe the process of exhuming Captain Will Farley’s remains from the Culpeper Fairview Cemetery in April, 2002. Will Farley, South Carolinian and graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, was one of JEB Stuart’s key scouts. He was mortally wounded at Stevensburg during the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, dying only hours after losing a leg resulting from a ricocheting Union cannonball. Will Farley was returned to and re-interred in Laurens , SC , his home.

Dale grew up in western Pennsylvania . He graduated from Bethany College with honors and distinction and earned a BA in Psychology. He did graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and George Washington University . His professional career was spent doing social science research, serving as Research Director for Human Sciences Research, Inc. Research Director for the Police Executive Research Forum, and in 1983 co-founded Decision Data Collections, Inc. from which he retired in 2005. Dale volunteers for Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield; in the Archeology program at George Washington’s Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg , VA ; and implements field archeology tasks for the Smithsonian’s Forensic Anthropology Program. He is also the Graffiti House Santa Clause (December). (Return)