The Grand Review
- December 2008
Graffiti House - Where the Handwriting is on the Wall'
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Mark Your Calendars
On December 6, from 1–4 PM at the Graffiti House, the Foundation
will hold its Old Time Christmas Party featuring the dulcimer
music of the Wilderness Run Players, Santa Claus, “Robert E. Lee”
and a book signing by Carolyn Reeder. Be sure to get to the Graffiti
House early on December 6th. There will be lots of delicious food &
drink. There will be great opportunities for filling your gift list:
KARLA'S GOODIES will be for sale again, Carolyn Reeder’s book (see
below) will be for sale; and Journey Through Hallowed Ground:
Birthplace of the American Ideal and other books will be
available in the gift shop! Also T-shirts, ornaments, and more!
Door Prizes and Poinsettias will be given away. Come enjoy ! All are
so very welcome and no RSVP is necessary.
special feature of the party is a book signing by Carolyn Reeder of
the new publication of From a true solder and son: The Civil War
letters of William C. H. Reeder. Thirteen of young William's
letters to his parents were datelined either Encamped near Culpeper
or Brandy Station. He wrote that he was close to the railroad 'where
we can see the iron horse as he goes snorting by.' Besides
describing daily life in winter camp, William's letters give a
first-hand account of the Mine Run Campaign, fought near here.
Three years of young William's
letters to his parents in Indiana—plus commentary, maps, and
illustrations—have been compiled by Carolyn and Jack Reeder. (Many
Virginia readers are familiar with their books about the people who
lived in the area that is now Shenandoah National Park.) Proceeds
from the sale of this book are dedicated to the Graffiti House
Restoration Project; the book is available in the gift shop.
Join us at the Graffiti House
for this annual Christmas celebration on December 6!
19484 Brandy Road, Brandy
Station, VA 22714 (Phone 540-727-7718)
March 20, 2009 – Brandy Station Foundation Annual
Dinner. Join us as we
celebrate 20 years (1989-2009) of effort by dedicated volunteers to
conserve and protect the historic rural character and the Civil War
battlefields of the Brandy Station area within Culpeper County,
Virginia. The dinner will begin at 6:30 PM in the Brandy Station
Fire Hall, 19601 Church Road, Brandy Station, Virginia.
The special guest speaker will be Dr. Daniel Beattie
who recently published a book: Brandy Station 1863: First step
towards Gettysburg (Campaign)
published by Osprey and is volume #201 of the Campaign Series. The
author, a generous supporter of the BSF, will be signing copies of
his new book.
Orange Blossoms members visit Brandy Station and the
With members of the BSF, the Orange Blossoms
walked the hallowed fields where the soldiers whom they recreate
fought and died. What made the experience more enlightening
was the unit brought pertinent letters, diaries and reports from the
engagement. With these in hand, they were able to accurately
mimic the movements on that fateful day. After leaving the
battlefield, they journeyed to Culpeper National Cemetery to view
the grave of Private Henry Appleman. Appleman died on February
26, 1864, during the Winter Encampment. They also saw where
the 124th New York Infantry wintered on what was formally
the Dr. Samuel Rixey farm. The day ended at the gates of
Auburn, where they were fortunate enough to meet Bill Barron, owner
of the historic farm, who invited them onto the grounds for a closer
Very impressed with
what the Foundation is doing to preserve the unique history of the
Graffiti House and portions of the battlefield, the unit plans a
return visit to the house next spring. Information concerning the
124 New York State Volunteers can be found at their website:
House Hours of Operation to Change in 2009
to a recommendation by the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce and Culpeper
Department of Tourism, the 2009 hours of operation for the Graffiti
House will be changed to:
January through March 2009
11am to 4pm
April through October 2009
Sunday and Monday
11am to 4pm
November and December 2009
Saturday and Sunday
11am to 4pm
Closed Easter and between Christmas and New Year’s Day
Wedding at the Graffiti House
On October 11th, three generations of
David Guinns gathered for the first time in many years in the
historic house that had once belonged to their family. The eldest
Guinn, the previous homeowner, came from Fairfax to celebrate the
marriage of his son, David, the boy who discovered the graffiti on
the house's walls hidden behind years of plaster and paint.
As period music was heard through the 150–year-old
building, a young ring bearer dressed as a Confederate soldier led
the wedding procession. He was followed by the Matron of Honor, and
the Bride, Barbara Shellito, both adorned in beautiful lace dresses
with billowing hoop skirts, one in ivory and the other in pale blue.
Barbara was presented to her future husband, David, by her brother.
These men, the best man and the military guard were
all dressed as Confederate cavalry officers. The ceremony was
officiated by Michele O'Halloran. A wedding cake prepared by
Knakal's and cider was served to guests by Brandy Station Foundation
volunteers also dressed in period attire. Approximately forty
family and friends observed the ceremony, including a few tourists
who joined in the ceremony. (The Graffiti House is open to the
public on Saturdays from 11-4.)
The elder David Guinn reminisced about the days when
his father, another David Guinn, operated an antique store in the
building together with Mr. Hitt. David Guinn, the groom, recalled
his amazement when he revealed the name of JEB Stuart on the walls
of the house. He used a glass shard to remove old layers of wall
paper and paint. The youngest David Guinn remembered the day his
father was lowered into a dry well, looking for Civil War artifacts.
The disappointed boy was not aware that the real treasure was in
plain view--the Civil War charcoal writings covering the walls of
Music for the wedding was
provided by the Wilderness Run Dulcimer Players. They performed
music popular during the Civil War. The musicians were Jan Moore,
Sandy Wemmerus and two Directors of the BSF, Bob and Shirley
National Geographic Society Book
On Saturday, August 23rd, photographer Kenneth
Garrett signed his new book, Journey Through Hallowed Ground:
Birthplace of the American Ideal. The book includes photos from
the Graffiti House and Cedar Mountain battlefield as well as others
illustrating four centuries of American History along U.S.15 from
central Virginia to Gettysburg, PA. Copies of the book signed by the
Mr. Garrett (pictured at left) are available in the Graffiti House
LOW 'Tiques Donate Furniture to the Graffiti House
Lake of the Woods Wilderness 'Tiques Antique Club, using funds from
a grant from the International Questers Club, has donated a writing
desk, chair and table to recreate a setting within the house
depicting the use of the building as an administrative office during
the Union army’s 1863-64 winter encampment. We still need a Federal
officer’s uniform to complete the exhibit. Please contact Della
firstname.lastname@example.org if you can
assist with this project.
Graffiti House Restoration Project – Update
first step of the Graffiti House Restoration project was taken in
early October. Before any significant work could be done on the
structure, four small areas of the plaster wall needed to be
secured. According to Gregory Cowan, of Tidewater Preservation Inc.,
“Some of the sections were literally hanging by one horsehair”. To
secure the plaster, small holes were drilled through the wall and a
custom adhesive was injected behind the plaster to rebind it to the
the future, all of the plaster will need to be bonded to the lath
because the 150 year old keys that hold the plaster in place are
crumbling. To accomplish this task without drilling more holes, the
outside clapboard will be removed. But for now, the worst areas are
secured, including one section that referred to the first shots of
the war. “How Are You Fort Sumpter? Signed the 2nd N(ew) Y(ork)
S(tate) M(ilitia). The next step in the project is to develop plans
for a new foundation and reinforcing the floors and to raise the
funds to carry out the work. If you would like to contribute to
this project, please send a check to the Brandy Station Foundation
and write Graffiti House Restoration in the memo line.
Work Day at the Graffiti House and Kelly’s Ford
Richard Deardoff, his Fauquier
High School students and a handful of BSF volunteers worked on
October 18th to clear the Kelly’s Ford trail and spruce
up the Graffiti House for the winter season. Trees were planted in
the Graffiti House yard and the picnic area was mulched. In addition
to the work day activities, three young men moved over two tons of
books (the new Reeder book) from temporary storage to their
permanent location. Thanks to all who helped out that day!
October 25, the Brandy Station Foundation held its second annual
“Spirited Evening at Brandy Station”. While the heavy rain during
the day damped the bonfire, it did not dampen the spirit of the
Besides the wonderful tales of the beyond told by five story-tellers
in the upper rooms, we had with us members of Virginia Paranormal
Investigators (VPI), a Virginia based ‘ghost hunting group.’
demonstrated some of their unique equipment, display images of some
of their incidents and talked with the guests about the ghost
hunting experience in general and some specific tales of VPI’s own
members. They even received a few leads on potential future ghost
hunts. VPI has hunted at the Graffiti House on two separate
occasions. Both times they came away with inconclusive evidence.
special thanks goes out to William and Linda Lacy and Amy Beechler
from Company D, 17th Virginia Infantry (The Fairfax
Rifles), Ken Adam and Richard Girven for scaring our guests with
tales of re-enactors who were not, stagecoach rides and the dead who
were not quite dead yet – to the accompaniment of screams.
With just over 50 people (plus
our spectral residents) attending, the event was deemed a success.
What made it more enjoyable is that many visitors stayed long after
the demonstrations and stories were told and the refreshments were
eaten, just enjoying the company, location and evening, and the
Civil War Symposium
Fauquier County is sponsoring a Civil War Symposium on March 28,
2009 at the Fauquier High School.
symposium will focus on twelve battles and engagements that took
place of began in Fauquier County. Four of the fights have a direct
relationship to Brandy Station and northern Culpeper County:
first was the fight at Rappahannock Station in August 1862. It was
here the General James Longstreet with his artillery held Union
forces in their place as Stonewall Jackson’s men marched around
their right flank. Some confederate positions for that fight are
still visible today.
next action was the March 1863 fight at Kelly’s Ford, where the
‘Gallant’ Pelham fell. The Union Forces under Brigadier General
William Averell passing through Morrisville and crossed the ford to
initiate the fighting.
Gettysburg campaign and the Battle of Brandy Station have its roots
in Fauquier County. The two Federal Cavalry wings under Brigadier
Generals John Buford and David Gregg crossed into Culpeper County at
Kelly’s and Beverly Ford on the misty early morning of June 9 to
begin what was to become the largest cavalry battle during the Civil
War and ever in North America.
final action was the second Battle of Rappahannock Station in
November 1863. It was here where the Army of Northern Virginia was
forced from Culpeper County for the last time.
Author Gary Adelman, from Historic Associates Incorporated and a
Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide has been compiling the
majority of the information with input form various members of the
historical community. Michael Block from the Brandy Station
Foundation is serving on the committee that is overseeing the
More information and a complete
list of speakers will be available in early 2009.
Plan Now for End of the Year Donations
The Brandy Station foundation
traditionally receives a large percentage of our annual donations
for Graffiti House restoration and local battlefield preservation
during the last quarter of the year. There are several
opportunities to fulfill your philanthropic goals by making your
charitable gifts prior to December 31.
common method of a charitable donation to the Brandy Station
Foundation is cash, which is tax deductible if you itemize in
the year of your contribution. Many individuals and trusts make
annual year-end gifts, often in memory of a friend, a loved one,
or as a gift for an anniversary or other special event.
Many employers will match charitable
contributions made by their employees or retirees, enabling you
to double or even triple the amount of your donation. Speak
with your company’s personnel or human resources office about
its matching gift program.
MEMBERSHIPS: Today, instead of
purchasing another gift card or clothes or gadget, give a
Membership to the Brandy Station Foundation for a friend or
family member. 2009 memberships run April through March at $25
per household. Check with your financial advisor to verify if
all or part of this type of gift can be tax deductible.
The Board of Directors of the
Brandy Station Foundation is very appreciative of your
unwavering support of our preservation and restoration missions.
The Brandy Station Foundation Board of Directors has
enacted a long overdue new membership policy. As with all non-profit
organizations, the Foundation has been affected by the economy of
Effective immediately, the ANNUAL dues for the BSF
will be $25 per household. Our membership year will run April 1
through March 31. Any dues received between December 1, 2008
and March 31, 2009 will be applicable through March 31, 2010. Any
amount you wish to send over the $25 annual dues will be gratefully
received as a donation.
If dues are not received by April 1, 2009 your name
will be regretfully removed from our mailing list.
We hope that you will understand
the necessity of this move to annual dues, considering the cost of
utilities, printing and mailing, etc. We feel that we are well
within the range of dues charged by other similar organizations. We
hope that you will remain a member of the BSF and continue your
support of this vital organization because without contributions
from people like you, our efforts toward the preservation of the
integrity of the Brandy Station Battlefield area and specifically
the Graffiti House will be in jeopardy.
Click here for membership application