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The Grand Review

Spring 2007

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A Heartfelt Thanks….. however….


The Brandy Station Foundation would like to thank Virginia Senator Edd Houck and Delegate Ed Scott for their Legislative support which resulted in the BSF being awarded a $15,000 grant with which to conduct a Historic Structure Evaluation Report on the Graffiti House.  This report will provide baseline data on current exterior and interior conditions, including recommendations for restoration and appropriate cost estimates.  These monies will provide the first step in the process to protect and save the Graffiti House and its invaluable historic contents.


However, in order to receive grant funding from the Commonwealth’s Historic Preservation Fund it will have to be matched.  Before the BSF will be able to use any of these monies, the Foundation will be required to submit documentation that we have generated $15,000 from other sources and that those monies are available to match the grant funds.


Therein lies the rub – we need to raise money to get money! Once again the BSF must rely on your generosity to achieve the goal of preserving and restoring the Graffiti House.  Please help!  Send a check to the Brandy Station Foundation and note “Save the Graffiti House” in the memo line or, better yet, buy a brick!


The Graffiti House has made available for purchase a limited amount of historic bricks from the original fireplace that provided the writing materials for the House’s graffiti.  Each brick can be purchased for $500 and the majority of that cost is tax deductible.  Please support the Graffiti house and protect history.


This can be yours!



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Coming Events


April 7                                     Battlefield Tour - Beverly’s Ford and St. James Church

April 21                                   Yard and Craft sale at Graffiti House

April 21                                   Battlefield Tour - Kelly’s Ford and Stevensburg

April 28                                   Kelly’s Ford work day

April 29                                   Sunday Lectures - Role of Civil War Artillery

May 5                                      Culpeper Days

May 5                                      Battlefield Tour - Fleetwood Hill

May 19                                    Battlefield Tour - Buford Knoll and Yew Ridge

May 27                                    Sunday lectures - Unwavering Unionism of John Minor Botts

June 2                                     Battlefield Tour - Beverly’s Ford and St. James Church

June 7                                     Culpeperfest

June 9                                     144th Anniversary activities at Graffiti House

June 16                                    Battlefield Tour - Kelly’s Ford and Stevensburg

June 24                                    Sunday Lectures - John Buford

June 30                                    Battlefield Tour - Fleetwood Hill

December 8                             Christmas at the Graffiti House

October 6, 2007                        Fall festival at Rose Hill

June 6, 7 and 8, 2008               145th Anniversary Weekend of the Battle of Brandy Station


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Sunday Lecture Series Begins with a Bang!


Our first lecturer for this year’s series will be Stacy Humphreys and her topic will be Artillery and its significance to the Battle of Brandy Station and the Civil War!

Stacy graduated from West Virginia University in 2000 with a BA in History and in 2002 with a MS in History with emphasis on 19th Century American history.  She is currently posted at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park thus fulfilling a life-long dream of working at a Civil War park.  She provides tours and special programs to visitors and groups and is the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitors Center Supervisor, Assistant Education Coordinator, and Historic Weapons Supervisor where she specializes in artillery. She is an excellent speaker and I am sure will be an excellent “date” for a Sunday Afternoon!


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A “Crafty” Person


You are all invited to drop by the Graffiti House and view a fine piece of craftsmanship currently on display.  Gary Wilson has provided a beautiful handcrafted dulcimer that he built as well as an exquisite display cabinet.  As you are probably aware, the dulcimer instrument was brought to the civil war by many soldiers and Gary’s piece is a fine example of that style.  Gary does sell his works of art, so give him a call if you are musically inclined.


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Annual Meeting a Success!


Seventy-one members and friends of the Foundation ventured to the Brandy Station Volunteer Fire Hall on March 2 for a festive evening of good food, times and friends.  The evenings entertainment was provided by Joe McKinney, who gave an informative and often-time humorous portrayal of events during the June 9, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station. His book, Brandy Station, VA, June 9, 1863, The Largest Calvary Battle of the Civil War, was in high demand with the audience.


                Joe McKinney spins a tale                       Richard Deardoff - Volunteer of the Year



Art Larson - Citizen Emeritus



We were honored to have VA State Senator Edd Houck and Delegate Ed Scott attend and announce that a $15,000 matching grant to the Graffiti House had been approved for the budget by the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for his approval by end of this month.  Honors and thanks were also bestowed on Richard Deardoff as Volunteer of the Year and Art Larson as Citizen Emeritus.


Our thanks go to the many people who worked together to make the evening a success – such as:

            Prince Michel Winery and Brad & Christian Hansen

            Angus Green for again donating 'the Bar' and to Jens & Philip Tholand for bartending.

            BVFD Auxiliary for the delicious food and hard work providing the dinner.

            Bob & Shirley Pfile for the exuberant running of the 50/50 Raffle and the GH gift shop

            Helen Geisler and Mary Tholand for all their work in organizing the event.

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A New Partnership Begins


On March 14th the Brandy Station Foundation initiated discussions with Ms. Kari Saavedra of the National Civil War Medicine Museum (NCWMM) to identify areas of potential partnership.   Ms. Saavedra had earlier been contacted by Gardiner Mulford, a BSF Board member, who believed that a partnership opportunity existed given the similar charters of the two organizations.


On March 14th, Ms. Saavedra traveled to Brandy Station and was given a tour of the Graffiti House and then spoke at length concerning the education program of the NCWMM.  Various BSF outreach programs currently underway were then discussed by Della Edrington who also noted that both organizations had similar outreach activities. Ms. Saavedra agreed and then offered to assist the BSF in future outreach activities.  She also extended an offer for the BSF to visit the National CWMM in Frederick Maryland.


That offer was accepted and on March 27th, Della, Gardiner and Bob Luddy traveled to Frederick for further discussions.  The trip was a complete success.  The NCWMM agreed to loan the BSF eleven medical information sheets for the use of the BSF.  The NCWMM also agreed to support BSF activities with staff as required for future events.  The Director of the NCWMM, George Wunderlich also provided invaluable guidance and information concerning contacts relative to funding sources.


                Kari Saavedra, Della Edrington and Gardiner Mulford in Complex Negotiations 



Della guides Kari on a tour of the Graffiti House


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Pelham Visit


On March 17th, the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, the Graffiti House was visited by the John Pelham Historical Association.  The Association, composed of members from across the United States, had gathered in Culpeper for a tour of historic sites associated with John Pelham and the famous battle.  With Jim Flanagan acting as guide and host, the Association had chosen to end its tour with a visit to the Graffiti House and its most famous relic – the Maryland Scroll.  The Association members some fifteen strong (bad weather had reduced their number) enjoyed the warmth of the House, asked many questions of the scroll and generally seemed to have a good time.  Thanks Jim for being a great representative for the Foundation.

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Remembrance Weekend Shines Bright!


March 31-April 1 marked the third annual Culpeper Remembrance weekend.  Although worthwhile events were located in several places around Culpeper, events around the Graffiti House particularly shone.  Nearly 300 people attended living history demonstrations conducted by the 17th Virginia Infantry – Fairfax Rifles and the 4th Virginia Cavalry – Little Fork Rangers as well as attended tours conducted by the Graffiti House staff, notably Mike Block, Della Edrington, Bob Luddy, Bob and Shirley Pfile and Jim and Alice Drabant.


Other highlights of the weekend were two bequests granted to the BSF.  One was a loan by Mrs. Betsy Cicilese of her great grandfather’s (John Stevens Cooper) diary of service to the Confederacy in 1863.  The diary will now undergo analysis and transcription so that it may be shared as an exhibit at the Graffiti House in the not too distant future.  The other was a donation by Dusty and Karen Rhodes of a ladies hoop skirt dress made from fine green material and completely hand stitched.  This dress is currently being authenticated to determine if it could originate in the Civil War era.


The BSF would also like to thank the members of the Little Fork Rangers and the Fairfax Rifles for their tremendous support and educational activities with the many children who attended the weekend’s activities.


17th Virginia Infantry - Fairfax Rifles


4th Virginia Calvary -  Little Fork Rangers  


The Little Fork Rangers On the Move



                                   Steve Dunn Narrates                                           The Littlest Rebel



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Paying the Man!


January 24, 2007 was a big day for the Brandy Station Foundation.  On that day, the final loan payment was made on the 2 acre tract of land opposite the Graffiti House on Brandy Road.  The picture below shows Helen Geisler handing over the final check to John Bossong of Highway Safety Corporation.  Urged on by Helen, the BSF originally purchased this tract to ensure the view of the Graffiti House from State Road 29.  However, after purchasing the land, subsequent research established that the land was very important historically for two reasons.  First, the land is the location of the roadbed of the Carolina Road, the main north-south travel corridor during the Civil War and second, that road was used by J.E.B. Stuart and John Pelham during their approach to the Battle of Kelly’s Ford.  Thanks to John Bossong for offering the foundation the opportunity to purchase the land and to Helen for the foresight to ensure the land purchase


Helen Geisler gives the final payment to John Bossong


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Channel 5 Films Graffiti House


On January 21, the historic Graffiti House gained regional attention when it was featured on Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 News Station during its 10:00 P.M. Sunday broadcast.  Reporter Patty Culhane visited the House earlier that day along with a camera crew and shot footage of the aging structure.  Fox 5 had received word that the artwork on the walls of the house was slowly crumbling to dust after reading an article within a Culpeper Times article earlier that month.  Della Edrington and Bob Luddy were both featured in the TV segment.


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“And, What’s Behind Door Number 3?”

The Graffiti House received a very significant gift recently – doors – eight doors!  The doors were provided by Jerry Jagdman and had been in the possession of David Guinn.  As some of you may remember, in the early 1990s the Graffiti House had been owned by the Guinn family.   The doors were removed and stored during the ownership transition from the Guinn family to Greg Hebler in the mid-1990s.  The next step will be to clean the doors, measure them and evaluate where in the house they may have been located.  Two doors are very narrow and are said to be flanking doors of a larger door leading from the second floor rear hall walkway to an exterior porch facing the railroad tracks.  No physical evidence of such a porch currently exists in the Graffiti House.  More research will be required.  Thanks Jerry and David.


Helen Geisler, Della Edrington and Gardiner Mulford hold a prize!


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Kelly’s Ford Face Lift


On January 13th, Richard Deardoff, concerned citizens (Mr. And Mrs. Ray Root, Larry Payne and Helen Geisler) and an intrepid group of high school students (Nick Baer, Justin Hats, Torrie Fasick, Drew Reynolds, Ashley Farley, Scott Nickens, Aaron Gray, Galen Gray, Hunter Kent, Marie Ayres, Mary Johnston, Kristine Amith from Liberty High School in Fauquier County came to work at Kelly’s Ford!  Under Richard’s direction, the students, part of a Civil War History class, labored to clear the 8 acre land tract of as much debris as they could.  This was the initial effort to improve the land and after a hard day’s work, much still remained to do.  However, with the future help of these students and other citizen volunteers, the future is bright. Thanks to all!


Richard Deardoff – Ray Root picture


Wilson Clatterbuck, Helen Geisler, Janet Jackson, Richard Deardoff and Larry Payne.  Wilson and Janet are representing the Remington Community Partnership – Ray Root picture


Students Nick Baer, Justin Hats, Torrie Fasick, Drew Reynolds, Ashley Farley, Scott Nickens, Aaron Gray, Galen Gray, Hunter Kent, Marie Ayres, Mary Johnston, Kristine Amith
Ray Root picture

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Spreading the Message

On March 19, Bob and Shirley Pfile spoke to over 100 American Association of Retired Persons at Lake of the Woods concerning the Brandy Station Foundation (BSF) and the Graffiti House.  Their presentation was very well received by the crowd.  How do we know this?  Two things – 1) a 50/50 raffle held following the presentation wound up with the raffle winner donating her winnings to the BSF and 2) the Graffiti House is now experiencing more Lake of Woods residents as visitors than ever before!  Keep up the good work Bob and Shirley!

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The Cavalry is on the Way!


March 17th marked a very hopeful day for the BSF as two more volunteers signed on to help at Foundation activities.  Three Board members, all recent additions to the BSF Board also attended to better learn the scope of Foundation activities.  All attendees certainly arrived in the nick of time!  This springtime’s schedule of events is heavy with opportunities for people to get involved. We have jobs for all interests so please volunteer!


Bob Pfile, Sandy Martin, Kayla Pelkey and Rich Gossweiler learn the ropes!


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Roll of Honor


This is a new, continuing feature of the newsletter.  Its purpose is to identify and thank those individuals who have made significant contributions, whether by donation and/or service to the Foundation during the previous calendar quarter.  We are very grateful for our friends and wish to honor them here!


  Mr. William Chase Civil War Times Illustrated magazines
  Mrs. Betsy Cicilese John Stevens Cooper diary
  Mr. Michael Green Cash gift
  Mr. David Guinn and Jerry Jagdman  Eight doors from the Graffiti House
  Ms. Ann Wood Cash gift
  Dusty and Karen Rhodes  Green Hoopskirt dress
  4th Virginia Cavalry – Little Fork Rangers Living History support
  Senator Edd Houck and Delegate Ed Scott  Support for the GH Eval. Report funding
  !7th Virginia Infantry – Fairfax Rifles Living History support
  Mr. and Mrs. Tony Seidita Hosts for 12th Night Volunteer Party

Nick Baer, Justin Hats, Torrie Fasick, 

Drew Reynolds, Ashley Farley,

Scott Nickens, Aaron Gray, Galen Gray,

 Hunter Kent, Marie Ayres,

Mary Johnston, Kristine Amith,

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Root and Larry Payne

  Kelly’s Ford Clean up
  Jerry Jagdman Graffiti House lawn maintenance

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The Officer and the Lady

                                        By Michael Block


I have always been intrigued by the art in the Graffiti House.  The “Dancing Lady” is our most famous.  But who is Lt. Gale?  Was he her lover; or maybe her father, or maybe her escort?  No volunteer or board member knew. 


Last summer, I had some time to really take a detailed look at the drawings in the large front room.  I started to notice there were similarities in six separate drawings in the room.  The drawings with similarities are:

     ● the the man with mutton chops,
     ● the dancing lady,
the lady with the straw hat,
the lady with a scarf,
the women in uniform,
and the partially revealed drawing of a woman (only the hemline and boot visible).

All are done in pencil, done in the same style and most have shadows on portions on their faces. The lettering of “I am turned over to Lt. Gale” and “I am turned over to Capt. Dillingham” appeared to come from the same hand.

It was at that point I realized that they were most likely drawn by the same hand.  But by who -- and when?  The answers I believed centered on identifying who were Gale and Dillingham were. I spent the better part of three months doing research, and it came together last November.


Research and diligence paid off. The 10th Vermont Infantry Regiment, which camped in the fields near the Graffiti House, had both a Captain Dillingham and a Lt. Gale in the regiment. The Captain Dillingham with the women in uniform was Captain Edwin Dillingham, son of a future Governor of Vermont.   Lt. Gale of Dancing Lady fame was Lyman Gale.  Both were present at Brandy Station late in the Winter Encampment.  In fact, Dillingham had been paroled from Libby Prison on March 21, 1864




This map, found in the National Archives, shows the location (top left quadrant)

of the 10th Vermont Infantry at Brandy Station


Not only did we identify two names on the wall, it significantly limited the window as to when the art was done. If Dillingham was released in late March, he could not have had anyone turned over to him until the first two weeks of April.  In mid-April, all women were ordered out of camp in preparation for what would become the Overland Campaign.


Corresponding with the Vermont Historical Society, they were able to provide wartime photos of both officers. . 


Dillingham, a lawyer before the war, was unanimously chosen as Captain of Company B of the 10th Vermont.  The 10th was assigned to the Second Division of the Third Corps. Promoted to Major in June 1864, Dillingham was commanding the regiment on September 19, 1864 at the Third Battle of Winchester, where he was struck in the leg by an artillery shell and died before the day was out.  He is buried in Hope Cemetery in Waterbury, Vermont.


Lyman Gale remains an enigma.  Very little is known about him.  He was originally in the 4th Vermont Infantry Regiment as the First Sergeant of Company F, He left the fourth, and was commissioned a Lieutenant in Company K of the 10th Vermont of August 12, 1862.  Gale would be mustered out of the regiment on July 30, 1864.  He died in 1869 and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Roxbury, Vermont.



 Capt. Edwin Dillingham - Vermont Historical Society     Lt. Lyman Gale - Vermont Historical Society  


 The question remains however, who did the drawings?  The most plausible scenario is that it was most likely an enlisted man in the 10th Vermont.  It is speculated that the regiment was detailed to augment the Provost Marshall at the Graffiti House in early April 1864.  Dillingham and Gale probably led the detail, and with a group of enlisted men to support them, spent the day in the house. One of those men was an artist.  Sometime during the day, most likely mid- to late afternoon, the passenger train arrived from Alexandria and, at least two women came into the Graffiti House to obtain passes to visit someone in the extensive union camps surrounding Brandy Station. 


Thanks to a soldier in the 10th Vermont, the six drawings including the names of the escorts of the two women have come to be part of the Graffiti House history!


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If you have not already done so, please renew or apply for your 2007 BSF membership.  Click here, then print the renewal/application form.   Fill out the form and send it today with your tax deductible donation.  We depend on your support!!


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