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article of interest.
(2007 except where noted)
|| Battlefield Tour -
Buford Knoll and Yew Ridge
|| Horseback Tour of
the Brandy Station Battlefield
||Battlefield Tour -
Beverly’s Ford and St. James Church
||Sunday Seminar - “Frank
Stringfellow and Will Farley”
||Battlefield Tour -
Kelly’s Ford and Stevensburg
||Horseback Tour of the
Brandy Station Battlefield
||Battlefield Tour -
||Sunday Seminar - “Wade
||Battlefield Tour - Buford
Knoll and Yew Ridge
(10 AM & 1:30 PM)
||Homes School Student
Program: Civil War Medicine
||Sunday Seminar - “Jed
Hotchkiss - Mapmaker for Stonewall”
||Fall festival at Rose
(7 PM start)
||Ghost Stories and
Campfires at the Graffiti House
||Christmas at the Graffiti
|June 6, 7 and 8, 2008
Anniversary Weekend of the Battle of Brandy Station
Are you a PIP?
Many of us may have been called a Pip during
our lifetimes – but probably not in the context used recently by the
BSF! On June 14th, during a press conference held at the
Germanna College Science and Technology Center, the BSF announced
the Partners in Preservation (PIP) initiative. In a
few words, the initiative is designed to bring citizens,
companies, businesses and industries together into a coalition to
help preserve the battlefield at Brandy Station and the Graffiti
House. The goal of the campaign is to raise $3 million so that
the money can be used to preserve key battlefield locations on/near
Fleetwood Hill as well as provide key funding for the
preservation/restoration of the Graffiti House. Due to a
convergence of events, some fortunate and some not so fortunate,
opportunities and necessities have arisen which must be addressed
immediately. The PIP initiative is meant to provide the funding for
that exact purpose!
Relative to the battlefield, we have
been in discussion with certain landowners, or their
representatives, who control significant lands on/near the southern
portion of Fleetwood Hill. We have been told that if we can raise
the “appropriate” funding, some/all of these lands may be capable of
being bought. The amount required for the land purchase is high
(hence the multimillion dollar target for the campaign), but is
achievable. Each tract of target lands has never been offered for
sale within the last twenty years and may not be available for
another twenty! Our time in now – or the opportunity may never come
Relative to the Graffiti House, those of
you who have visited know that the house contains absolutely unique
graffiti artifacts from the Civil War period. You also know that
the graffiti walls are in a high state of deterioration and require
immediate preservation activities!. The BSF has received an
appropriation (which we are now fund raising to match) to provide
for the funding for a thorough evaluation of the total House by
professional historical architectural preservationists. This
evaluation will be completed by early fall and is certain to
recommend changes that will require a significant budget to
accomplish. Graffiti House monies raised through the PIP will be
used to create the initial working capital to begin the restoration
Please check out our website at
www.brandystationfoundation.com for more information on the
initiative and how you could best participate.
Virginia Approves Graffiti House Restoration Project
The Commonwealth of
Virginia, Department of Historic Resources, has awarded a $15,000
grant to the Brandy Station Foundation. Volunteers are working
diligently to raise the required matching funds. To date $12,000 has
been raised to restore the Graffiti House. If you would like to
contribute to the project, please send a check to BSF and write
“Graffiti House Restoration” in the memo line.
a recent graduate of Culpeper High School, has been helping to raise
these funds. As part of her Leadership Career Academy Senior
project, Kayla sent letters asking the descendants of soldiers who
have signed the Graffiti House “Hall of Honor” to support the
restoration project. In addition, Kayla spoke at the recent
“Partner’s In Preservation” press conference, asking those in
attendance to send their donations to support the project. Many
Once these funds are
matched, the Foundation will have an Architectural Report and a
Graffiti Conservation Report prepared. These reports will contain an
evaluation and analysis of the current conditions of all aspects of
the interior and exterior construction of the Graffiti House as well
as recommendations relative to the solution of any problems
discovered by the analysis. Recommendations will be accompanied by
appropriate cost estimates and necessary time frames for problem
Please email Della at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or
Graffiti on the Wall:
"June 8, 1863"
That's all it says. But it was a significant
day in the Confederate Calvary's history. On that day, none other
than Robert E. Lee, the General in charge of the Army of Northern
Virginia, reviewed JEB Stuart's troopers. It didn't have the
glamour or the pageantry as of some of Stuart’s earlier reviews, but
it still must have been a spectacular event to witness.
Most likely, the troopers went up at or near
dawn to prepare for the day. They spent the early morning cleaning
and brushing the horses, preparing their uniforms and cooking
breakfast. Then it was off to the review field. Of course, it was
John Miner Botts’ farm, Auburn; the same fields that Stuart's had
used for previous reviews. Botts, a Unionist, had spent time in the
jails of Richmond, for his convictions; and Stuart took every
opportunity to tear up the farm.
For the troopers of the Confederate Calvary, it
was typical hurry up and wait. As the morning progressed they
arrived on the field around 8 a.m. and aligned themselves Tradition
holds that the field is aligned senior brigadier first (Brigadier
general Wade Hampton) down to the junior brigadier (Brigadier
General ‘Grumble’ Jones). Stuart placed himself in center front of
the assembly, looking up and down the line to ensure all was in
order. He did however, notice Preston Chew’s (a horse artillery
battery commander) First Sergeant, mounted on a mule, with long,
floppy ears. You cannot have a First Sergeant, on a mule, with
long, floppy ears, be inspected by Robert E. Lee. The Sergeant and
his mule were pulled from the ranks.
Finally, Lee, and the remainder of the
entourage which included Lt. General James Longstreet, other general
officers from Longstreet infantry corps and officers from Stuart’s
and Lee’s staff were also part of the official party arrived at the
fields eastern end along the Orange and Alexandria railroad.
Hours later it was over. As with all reviews,
the reviewing officer passed down in front of all the troopers lined
up in the ranks to deep and around their rear back, up the same path
he came. Positioning themselves at the center of the field, Lee,
Stuart and their staffs watched regiment after regiment of the
South's finest cavalry pass by at a walk, a then, at a trot. This
should have been followed by a gallop, but Lee forbade it, not
wanting to tire the horses and men. The horse artillery, under the
command of Robert Beckham was also there, but their activities were
more subdued than on previous events. Again, Lee was showing
concern and prohibited the artillerists from exercising their guns.
Lee departed. Stuart too, heading to his
campsite on Fleetwood Heights near the Miller House. The horse
artillery traveled about 8 miles along the Beverly Ford Road and
camped in preparation of crossing the Hazel and the Rappahannock
River's the next day. Wade Hampton's South Carolinians camped
between the town of Stevensburg and Brandy Station. Other regiments
would camp in the surrounding fields between Culpeper and the
It is probable that members of Wade Hampton's
command spent the night in the Graffiti House. One of his boys from
South Carolina picked up a piece of charcoal from the fireplace, and
on the wall looking towards those fields where he rode and was
reviewed by his commander in chief, wrote "June 8, 1863".
His notation on the wall is all we have of this anonymous trooper,
who the next day would wake to find him and his comrades embroiled
in the largest Calvary battle in the Civil War. What was that day
like for him? Did he survive? Was he wounded? We will never know.
You will find the graffiti “June 8, 1863”
near the window in the large front room.
Brandy Station Volunteers
April 20, 2007, Brandy Station Volunteers, Ms. Della Edrington and
Mr. Bob Luddy, were honored by the President’s Council on Service
and Civic Participation. In a ceremony co-sponsored by the Piedmont
United Way Volunteer Center and the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community
Services Board, both were recognized for their 500 or more hours of
community service over the last twelve months. Thanks Della and Bob
for your past accomplishments!
Scouts Fly High with Eagle Projects
The Foundation is very pleased to have two
different scouts from Culpeper BSA Troop 196 doing projects on the
BSF lands. Each scout is working on his Eagle Project, which is the
final step in obtaining the highest level in the Boy Scouts of
America. One young man (Jeri Rij) is seeking assistance in
obtaining mulch to better define the path leading to the St. James
Church Historical Site. The other Scout (Gannon Blanton) is
taking on the similar job of better defining and mulching the path
along the river on the Kelly’s Ford acreage. Each project requires a
minimum of 100 hours of work by the scout and others that he would
supervise. He makes a plan of the project, which is presented to his
leaders; he then must obtain materials, aid in and supervise the
labor, and must see the project through to completion. This exercise
in leadership and community service is the crowning of a true
Scouting education. We look forward to showing you pictures of the
completed projects in the next issue. If you wish to help these
scouts with donations in money or in kind, please connect the
Graffiti House. We are honored that these bright young men have
chosen to benefit the Brandy Station Foundation and the Culpeper
community with their Eagle Projects.
Opening of Rose Hill
On October 6, 2007, the Brandy Station Foundation will hold its
2007 Fall Picnic at the Rose Hill mansion located on Batna Road,
just off Route 3 in Stevensburg, Virginia. The early 1800’s built
home has a lengthy history and was the 1863-4 winter headquarters
for Union General Judson Kilpatrick, This event will the one of the
first, if not the first event, held at the home since its lengthy
and successful restoration.
Come prepared for a fine afternoon of dining and enjoyment. Food
will be provided the Gentry Catering, living history re-enactors
will be on the grounds, period music and crafts will be also be
taking place. Tours of the Rose Hill mansion will also be given.
Additionally, the Rose Hill restoration team leader, Mr. Walter Bell
will give a a special talk on the history of Rose Hill.
For additional information call Ms. Helen Geisler at 540-399-1637.
For reservations, please send your check for $25 to the Brandy
Station Foundation, P.O. Box 165, Brandy Station, Virginia 22714.
Please note, children 12 and under are free of charge.
Rose Hill today –
note the front porch
Same front porch in 1864
More Families Come Home!
On April 22, 2007 the Graffiti House was visited by Wayne N.
Blattner. Mr. Blattner came to visit the Brandy Station
battlefield, but he stayed to sign the WALL OF HONOR in remembrance
of his great-grandfather, Trooper Enos Vaughn who rode with the 3rd
Pennsylvania Cavalry. Also visiting in April was Jerry Shea
who signed the wall in honor of his great-great-grandfather Pvt.
John Gallagher of Company K, 1st Maine.
Buy a Brick
The Brandy Station Foundation would like to thank all of you who
have already purchased chimney bricks from the Graffiti House to
provide funding to match the Virginia Legislature’s appropriation.
However, we are still short $3,000!!
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 -
a brick! The Graffiti House still has 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!
Roll of Honor
These individuals 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!
||Toshiba Laptop Computer
||Mr. Bob Luddy
|| “Victoria’s” Civil War
||The Steve Farkas
||Artifacts from Beverly Ford
||Mr. Sam Marshall
||Copies of Marshall family
||Mr. Steve Ritter
|| Period photos of James
Ritter and J. Ogden
||Mr. John Briar
III and Ms. Lynn Price
||Paper written by Ms. Price
entitled “The Graffiti House Soldier”
Infantry – Fairfax Rifles
||Living History support
||Infrared pictures of the
Graffiti House walls
||Graffiti House lawn
||Ed’s Awards and Engraving
||Gift Shop merchandise
Bob and Shirley Pfile
Gravel for the parking lot
Various gift-shop items
Battle of Brandy
Signed by the
$55.00 plus shipping
$7.00 plus shipping
at Beverly’s Ford
Print form (see below) fill out and mail with payment to:
(Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery)
Brandy Station Foundation, Graffiti House Gift Shop
P.O. Box 165
Brandy Station, VA 22714
SIZES (Please Circle)
L M S
L M S
Tri-Fold Battlefield Map
$50.01 or more
Shipping charges do not apply if items are picked up
at the Graffiti House.
Payment may be made by
Check, Money Order or Credit Card (Please do not
Three digit number on
reverse of card
Note: To print the order form in Microsoft
Explorer, highlight the area to be printed then click on "File" on
the command line at the top left of the screen then click on "Print".
In the print box click on "Selection" under "Print Range" and then
click on "OK". Other browsers may have different but
2007 marked the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Brandy
Station and that significance was not lost upon the many, many
visitors to the Graffiti House that day (and weekend). Nearly
150 people attended living history demonstrations conducted by
the 17th Virginia Infantry – Fairfax Rifles as well as
attended tours conducted by the Graffiti House staff, notably
Mike Block, Della Edrington, Bob Luddy, and Bob and Shirley Pfile.
The BSF would
also like to thank the members of the Fairfax Rifles for their
tremendous support and educational activities with the many children
who attended the weekend’s activities.
Learning comes early
Fairfax Rifles at Ease
Road Trip! Richard Deardoff travels
Recently Richard returned from the annual meeting
of the Longstreet Society in Gainesville, Georgia where the
restoration of a surviving section Longstreet’s Piedmont Hotel
was unveiled. Like the Graffiti House, this structure was in need
of massive repair when it was “rediscovered” in the early 90’s. The
day after the Longstreet Society purchased it the roof collapsed!
The building included the nine remaining rooms
of what had been a massive 95 room hotel built by Lee’s Old War
Horse in the 1870’s. While Woodrow Wilson was practicing law in
Georgia he and his wife were frequent quests and one of his children
was born there. Union General Dan Sickles would also come to
reminisce with his old adversary. However, time and a 1911 tornado
took their toll and the remaining section was slated for oblivion
when the Longstreet Society stepped in.
For ten years membership dues and an annual
seminar hosted in various cities associated with Longstreet helped
to produce sufficient money to pay the mortgage, but little more.
This past year retired federal judge Bill Norton stepped in and
established the Gainesville Historic Preservation Trust and
ownership of the Piedmont Hotel was transferred from the Longstreet
Society to this Trust.
This move has made all the difference in the
world! When Richard first saw the Piedmont a decade ago, it looked
quite like the 1993 photo of the Graffiti House. Now it has a new foundation,
roof, siding, floors, plumbing, etc. and is ready to be turned into
a museum to General Longstreet and to provide other community services.
The Piedmont is not on the List of Historic
Places because such a large amount of it is gone. However, if you
are interested, more information may be obtained on the web at
www.longstreet.org/about.html It is well worth a look!
Seminar Series Starts With A Bang!!!
April 29th: Robert Becham's Horse
Artillery and the Battle of June 9, 1863
Our first lecturer
for this year’s series was Stacy Humphreys and her topic was
Artillery and its significance to the Battle of Brandy Station and
the Civil War!
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.
Program Coordinator Gary Wilson and
Guest speaker Stacy Humphreys
May 27th: Southern Enigma-Unwavering Unionism of John Minor Botts
Bob Lapidus presented the second of the 2007 Brandy Station Sunday
Thanks to the
gracious hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Barron, Bob’s talk about
John Minor Botts
at Auburn, the home of Mr. Botts and now the home of the Barron's.
Mr. Lapidus wrote his masters thesis on John Minor Botts several
years ago and has maintained an interest in this fascinating
Unionist living in the midst of the Confederacy. We were not only
able to listen to Bob Lapidus’s very interesting talk, but we were
also enlightened by Bill Barron’s discussion of the history of
Auburn. Our thanks to both speakers for an informative afternoon.
June 24: The Devils to Pay
presented by John Tole.
An audience of
more than 25 people met at the Graffiti House on Sunday, June 24 to
give a short history of one of the heroes of both Gettysburg and
Brandy Station, General John Buford. From Buford’s early military
career out west to his courageous stand at Gettysburg, his story was
one of coolness under fire as well as sharp assessment of tactical
situations. John Tole, well known as one half of Evergreen
Shade, presented a well researched and interesting
perspective of this little known soldier.
TOLE TELLS THE TALE
For those who
wished to read further about General Buford, John recommended the
Devil’s to Pay, Gen. John Buford, USA by Michael Phipps
and John S. Peterson (ISBN 0-964-36321-6);
John Buford by Edward G. Longacre (ISBN 0-306-81274-6).
not already done so, we'd love to have you as a
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