The Grand Review
- June 2008
Graffiti House - Where the Handwriting is on the Wall'
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145th Battle of
Brandy Station Anniversary Ball at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford
(Please RSVP by May 24th)
Celebrate the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Brandy
Station at a Historic Ball on June 7, 2008 from 6:30 pm to midnight
at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford. The well-known 2nd South
Carolina String Band will play music from the Civil War Era with a
Dance Master guiding guests through waltzes, polkas, the Virginia
Reel and other dances of the period. Dinner will be provided by the
Inn. There will be a silent auction of many interesting articles as
well as a live auction featuring the original oil painting of the
Battle of Brandy Station by Andrew Knez from which our popular
t-shirt is modeled.
your opportunity to enjoy a lovely evening in support of the
Foundation and its continued goals of preservation of the
battlefield and restoration of the Historic Graffiti House.
Includes reserved table for 6
Includes reserved table for 8
Includes reserved table for 10
Sponsors, and Patrons receive recognition in the program. From those
unable to attend, donations will be gratefully accepted.
dress or Black tie—Both are optional
your reservation now or for more information contact Helen
Geisler at (540) 399-1637 or mail your request to:
Foundation, P.O. Box 165, Brandy Station, Virginia 22714
along with the following information.
Names (s) _________________________________________________________________
________ Friends of
Brandy Station (table for 6) @ 750
(table for 8) @ $1,250
________ Patrons (table
for 10) @ $2000
____Enclosed is a check payable to: Brandy Station Foundation.
my credit card #_____________________________ Exp. Date__________
VISA or MasterCard
for $ __________ My billing address is:
I am unable to attend but
enclosed is my donation of $_____________________________
Station Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation – all
donations are tax deductible.
Brandy Station Foundation
Remembers Two Volunteers
Sandford Leon Martin II died on
March 26, 2008. In addition to his interest in the Civil War, Sandy
was an avid golfer and a Cavaliers fan, traveling with his father to
27 football stadiums in 18 states. His parents presented a
nineteenth-century New Testament and hymnal to the Foundation in
their son’s memory at the Annual Dinner in April. Sandy’s wife,
Amy, said that Sandy’s donation of time to the Graffiti House and
the Brandy Station Foundation was a commitment that he wanted to
make for his community.
Colonel Ken Purks (Ret.) died on
Wednesday April 2, 2008 after losing his fight with cancer. He
served three tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and flew over
600 combat missions. His decorations for bravery include: Legion of
Merit, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars,
and 25 Air Medals. Ken had a lifelong passion for history and became
a leading expert on Civil War maps and ballooning. He presented
lectures about these subjects at the Graffiti House and for Civil
Civil War Preservation Trust Preserves Brandy Station Battlefield
The CWPT announced in April that it has signed a contract to
purchase 26.2 acres on the northeastern slope of Fleetwood Heights,
the site of the Civil War’s largest cavalry battle on June 9, 1863.
This is in addition to an adjoining 23 acre parcel purchased in
December. CWPT spokesman Jim Campi told the Culpeper Star Exponent
that the CWPT will pay $785,000 for the land using private
donations and federal money from the American Battlefield Protection
Living History at the Graffiti House
February 9th, the Little Fork Rangers held a winter
encampment at the Graffiti House. The cavalry drilled and banjo
music was heard around the campfire. 1st Lt. Steven B.
Dunn is one of fifteen members of the group which is one of the few
reenactment groups that is actually from the same locale as the
unit which they portray. He told the Culpeper Star Exponent that
reenactments provide the Little Fork Rangers with an opportunity to
show their pride in their Virginia heritage and to keep history
Living History Events at the Graffiti House
Graffiti House – 19484 Brandy
Road, Brandy Station Virginia 540-727-7718 Donations to the Brandy
Station Foundation are welcomed and will be used for the operation
and restoration of the house.
May 17th – Living
History Program at the Civil War Graffiti House: The Twenty-Third
Regiment of Virginia Volunteer Infantry Companies A-K will be camped
in Brandy Station.
– Living History Program at the Civil War Graffiti House: The 49th
Virginia Infantry will be camped in Brandy Station.
Sept 13-14 – Living History
Program at the Civil War Graffiti House: The 2nd US
Infantry will be camped in Brandy Station
Park Day at the Graffiti House
volunteers from Fauquier High School came to the Graffiti House on
"Park Day", sponsored by the CWPT and the History Channel. Using
funds raised from local businesses, trees and shrubbery were planted
both at the Graffiti House and on the battlefield. In addition, the
students weeded and mulched the garden, and mowed with a brand new
Pfiles Speak to Good
On February 20,
2008 BSF board members Bob and Shirley Pfile gave a presentation on
the Graffiti House to the Good Shepherd Group of
Springfield/Annandale. There were about 20 people in attendance at
the Wednesday morning “Adventures in Learning” session. There were
lots of questions and interest voiced in making a trip to visit the
Graffiti House. In fact, several members of the group have visited
since this presentation. Should you know of any groups who would
like to hear a presentation about the Graffiti House, please refer
them to Bob and Shirley at
Celebrating 150 Years at the Civil War Graffiti House
Soldiers found comfort in
me at the end of the day
And before the war was over
I helped both Blue and Gray
By Robert Payne
On the evening of April
18th, the Brandy Station Foundation celebrated the 150th
anniversary of the building of the Graffiti House. The event, which
was attended by 150 guests, was part of a County wide festival
During the course of the
evening, Master of Ceremonies, Clark B. Hall, introduced the
Graffiti House Remembers. Three descendants of soldiers who left
their mark on the walls were in attendance to tell about their
ancestors’ experiences during the war. The Foundation appreciates
the long distances traveled by David Bridges (Breathed), the Bowman
family (Sgt. Allen Bowman) and the Kellys (J. Egbert Farnum) to
share their stories with us.
More recent history was
presented by David Quinn, who discovered the graffiti in the late
1980s, and by Greg Hebler, who rescued the house from demolition in
the 1990s and restored the structure to what we see today. Helen
Geisler and Virginia Morton were recognized for the part they played
in purchasing the house for the Brandy Station Foundation.
To celebrate the evening,
Robert Payne wrote a moving song with words reflecting observations
that the house might make, if the walls could talk. Prince Michel
developed a Private Label Graffiti House wine which is
available for sale on their
website. Proceeds are directed to
the Graffiti House Restoration Fund. Patricia Lattin donated a
beautiful drawing of the Graffiti House for a live auction. And, as
always, the Brandy Station Fire Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary
served an excellent dinner.
Over the past year,
studies of what must be done to “Save the Graffiti House” were
conducted using funds provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia,
Department of Historic Resources. Results of these studies were
presented that evening by Della Edrington and Doug Gilpin. Further
information about the Graffiti Exposure and Preservation Assessment
conducted by Kirsten Travers is available in this edition of the BSF
newsletter. Information regarding the Architectural Report will be
presented in the next newsletter.
Graffiti Exposure and Preservation Assessment at the
Civil War Graffiti House
following summary was written by Contract Administrator, Della
Edrington. Please address questions to:
PURPOSE OF THE
INVESTIGATION: The purpose of this phase of work was to investigate
a variety of paint removal methods on site to determine the most
appropriate technique for removal of layers that would safely and
effectively reveal the underlying Civil War Graffiti. Nature of
paint layers and condition of layers were evaluated, measurements
were taken, and the rate of removal was noted and used to compile an
estimate for the overall Graffiti exposure and preservation
throughout the second floor. The exposure process was documented
before, during, and after treatment.
CONDITIONS: The Graffiti appears to have been written in pencil and
charcoal. Pencils, both lead and graphite, were a common writing
tool amongst soldiers in the mid-nineteenth century. It is believed
that the charcoal inscriptions were executed using a hunk of coal
from the stove or fireplace. While the properties of these materials
on plaster are not yet completely understood, testing indicates that
the inscriptions remain unchanged even after delicate swab cleaning
and/or the swift scraping action required to remove the brittle
whitewash layers that cover it.
Although the graffiti is in good condition, the plaster walls are
not. Eyewitness accounts have observed rapid deterioration of the
walls since the BSF bought the house in 2002. Video and photographic
documentation taken at various times in the past decade confirm
these suspicions. As mentioned earlier, some sections that were
dangerously close to crumbling were skim coated with plaster,
reinforced with plastic mesh, and painted over with latex paint.
None of these areas were worked upon during this investigation, due
to their extremely delicate nature. It is recommended that these
areas be treated by a plaster specialist before any paint removal
Upon paint layer investigation, many walls in the house appear to
have been whitewashed first. This whitewash is the layer that is in
direct contact with the graffiti. The walls appear to have been
repeatedly whitewashed, and it is difficult to distinguish an exact
number of layers. The top layers are water soluble, blue-gray
indicates that most whitewash layers can be removed with a gentle
scraping with a single edge razor blade. All other paint layers
(distempers, whitewashes, latex), are removed at the same time as
this whitewash is scraped off. The surface to be scraped is misted
with water to keep the dust level down while scraping. This misting
also serves to soften any thin plaster skim coating that sits on the
surface, facilitating its removal with the blade.
on the whitewashed walls were very successful. A number of names,
regiments and dates were discovered, as well as some interesting
horse drawings in charcoal. The graffiti beneath the whitewash layer
is very well preserved and legible and further exposure efforts are
expected to yield a substantial amount of intact graffiti.
In one room, the
first layer of paint sequence is not a white wash and a light blue
layer of paint is in direct contact with the graffiti. This layer is
extremely hard, and the most effective method to remove it is to
shave it down, layer by layer, with a scalpel and/or razor blade.
The result of this scraping is not a clean, white wall as seen in
the other rooms. Much of the paint residues are left on the wall,
obscuring the graffiti. Some of these residues can be shaved down
until they are transparent, and graffiti can be viewed through the
is estimated that there is an additional 430 square feet of Civil
War Graffiti to be uncovered at the house. It is recommended to
remove all paint from the original plaster walls using the methods
found effective during the testing phase. Already exposed graffiti
may require a light cleaning with denatured alcohol to remove dirt
and grime. Once this is complete, all walls will be coated with a
coating that will minimize damage from abrasion and protect from
dust and dirt buildup.
Brandy Station Foundation volunteer recognition
Volunteer, Clint Robertson, was recently recognized for
his production of an outstanding video for the Brandy Station
Foundation. Clint was given a Silver Award at the 29th Annual Awards
in the 'Not-for-Profit' category for his video about the Graffiti
Exposure and Preservation Assessment that was conducted at the house
in July of 2007.
Service Awards. The Piedmont Volunteer Center and the Retired and
Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) announced the availability of the
President's Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national
honor given by the President's Council on Service and Civic
Participation on behalf of the President of the United States and
honors individuals, families and groups who have demonstrated a
sustained commitment to volunteer service over the course of 12
months. Adults may receive : Bronze Award for 100-249 hours; Silver
Award for 250-499 hours; Gold Award for 500 or more hours. Bronze
Awards: Robert Pfile, Shirley Pfile, Mike Block, Barry Atchison and
Peggy Misch. Gold Awards: Robert Luddy and Della Edrington.
Series – Graffiti House from 2 to 3:15 PM
Graffiti House –
19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station Virginia 540-727-7718
not required. Donations to the Brandy Station Foundation are
welcomed and will be used for the operation and restoration of the
House. Free refreshments will be served.
May 25 – The
Atlanta Campaign: Richard Deardoff will describe the series of
maneuvers between Chattanooga and Atlanta as General Sherman went
after General Johnston.
June 29 –
Cavalry Fights in Fauquier County - Coffee Hill/Buckland Races: Joe
McKinney will review the October 1863 actions at Auburn and
Buckland, which was Stuart’s last victory.
July 27 - West
Point at the Outset of the War – Class of 1862: Brian McEnany will
describe how these cadets, with divided loyalties, reacted to the
beginnings of the War.
August 31 – The
Union Executions at Beverly’s Ford: Bud Hall will speak about the
August 29, 1863 execution of five men for desertion as the entire 5th
Corps observed from a nearby hill.
September 28 –
Colonel and Mrs. J. Egbert Farnum (portrayed by Ed and Mary Kelley)
will reminisce about their War experiences, including writing his
name on the wall at the Graffiti House.
–Recovering the Remains of Capt. Farley – Archeological Perspective
Dale Brown will
describe the process of exhuming Captain Will Farley’s remains from
the Fairview Cemetery that were reinterred in Laurens, SC, his home.
Farley was one of JEB Stuart’s key scouts
2008 Battle of Brandy Station Driving Tours
presenting a series of two-hour tours, one devoted to each of the
four engagements that comprise the Battle of Brandy Station on June
9, 1863. Transportation: Personal vehicle caravan will depart from
the Graffiti House at 10AM. No advance reservation required. Cost
Beverly Ford &
St. James Church – April 5, May 31, July 26
The first tour
in the series covers the early morning fighting between troops under
the command of Union General John Buford and those commanded by his
West Point classmate, Confederate General William E. "Grumble"
Jones. Incidents examined include the death of Union Colonel
Benjamin Franklin Davis in a one-on-one encounter with a Confederate
lieutenant on the Beverly Ford Road, and the charge of the 6th
Pennsylvania Cavalry against Confederate artillery at Saint James
Kelly’s Ford &
Stevensburg – April 19, June 14, Aug 9
The second tour
in the series begins with a discussion of the Union river-crossing
at Kelly's Ford, and then follows the route of march of the Union
cavalry division commanded by Colonel Alfred Napoleon Duffie, a
deserter from the French army, to Stevensburg. The fighting at
Stevensburg, a neglected aspect of the Battle of Brandy Station, is
presented in detail. This tour concludes with a description of the
mortal wounding of Captain William Farley, JEB Stuart's volunteer
aide de camp.
Fleetwood Hill –
May 3, June 28, Aug 23
The third tour
focuses on the fighting for Fleetwood Hill, the most intense and
prolonged combat on June 9, 1863. At one point 12 regiments -- 6
Union and 6 Confederate -- struggled for control of the hilltop.
Unlike most Civil War battles, the troopers fought from the saddle,
mostly with sabers. One frustrated Rebel was heard to shout at his
Yankee opponent, "Why don't you Yankees put away your sabers, draw
your pistols, and fight like gentlemen!"
Buford Knoll &
Yew Ridge – May 17, July 12, Sept 6
installment in the series of tours presents the fighting that took
place later in the afternoon of June 9 between General Buford and
General W.H.F. "Rooney" Lee's brigade. During the fighting, Rooney
Lee, Robert E. Lee's second son, was shot in the thigh and carried
from the field. Colonel Solomon Williams of 1st North Carolina
Cavalry, commanding his regiment in battle for the first time, was
shot in the head and killed. He had been married just two weeks
2008 Battle of
Brandy Station Horseback Tour
June 21, 2008
Horseback Tour of the Battle of Brandy Station
Volunteers Needed For Civil War Graffiti House
interested in Civil War History?
talk to people and share experiences?
Brandy Station Foundation is looking for you!
April through October, the Graffiti House is open four days each
week (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from 11AM to 4PM. This
requires 160 hours of volunteer service each month. One person is
needed downstairs to greet visitors, run the video and attend to the
gift shop while another volunteer is upstairs telling the stories of
are invited to join our team of dedicated volunteers who keep this
National Historic site open free to the public. If you have a few
hours to spare, please contact Della Edrington at (540) 825-4543 or
Positions available: Volunteer interpreters (tour guides) and
Greeters to welcome house visitors,
operate the gift shop and run the media center.
The Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station, Virginia
Become a Member
If you have not already done so, we'd love to have you as a member.
Click here, then print the application form. Fill
out the form and send it today with your tax deductible donation.
We depend on your support!!