The Grand Review
- September 2008
Graffiti House - Where the Handwriting is on the Wall'
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article of interest.
was written by Catherine Amos and published in the Culpeper Star
Exponent on August 18, 2008 (reprinted by permission.)
Charcoal drawings and signatures cover the walls inside the Graffiti
House, buried under layers of paint. But that is not the only
evidence of the Civil War buried in Brandy Station. Boy Scout
Scott Johnston, 13, uncovered a bronze Union Army belt buckle last
month while working on his brother Glenn’s Eagle Scout project. The
project comprised 15 members of Troop 198 installing a drainage pipe
along the road outside the Graffiti House.
president of the Brandy Station Foundation, said an artifacts
collector confirmed the Union buckle to be from 1851 — 12 years
before the Battle of Brandy Station. The buckle is actually a
sword/belt plate, used to hold a soldier’s belt as well as suspend
find a piece like that,” Luddy said, “it’s priceless with its
historical value. But with the state of its condition, it could
easily be worth $400. It’s a really nice find."
Along with the buckle, Scott and others found a small green glass
gin bottle and pieces of a ceramic plate. He was able to determine
the buckle was from the Civil War because of the eagle, 13 arrows
and 13 leaves pictured — symbols similar to the ones on the $1 bill
he learned about in class at Epiphany Catholic School. “I
wanted to keep it,” Scott said, but instead opted to turn it over to
the BSF. The buckle sits in a glass display case inside the
Graffiti House, alongside a handful of reproductions. Scott and
Glenn, 17, who will attend Catholic University this fall, beamed as
they showed off their finds.
“It’s a perfect example of being a good citizen,” Luddy said of
Scott’s decision to turn in the artifact. “I’m really very proud of
Glenn goes before the Boy Scouts’ Board of Review tonight to
determine whether he will get his Eagle Scout badge.
Scott Johnston, left, and his brother, Glenn, display
their finds inside the Graffiti House. Scott uncovered a
Union Army belt buckle last month, which an artifacts’
collector verified as a genuine Civil War piece.
Battle of Brandy Station Anniversary Ball at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford
hundred people gathered to celebrate the 145th
anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station at an Historic Ball on
June 7, 2008 at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford. The 2nd South
Carolina String Band played music from the Civil War Era with Dance
Masters guiding guests through waltzes, polkas, the Virginia Reel
and other dances of the period. A delicious dinner was provided by
The BSF is forever
appreciative of the outstanding support given to the foundation by
the generous and charming Linda & Bill Willoughby, owners of the Inn
at Kelly’s Ford and long-time friends of the Foundation. Our thanks
also go to Clark B. “Bud” Hall for graciously filling the job of
Emcee of the evening as well as his excellent ability as the event’s
auctioneer. Attendees enjoyed a silent as well as a live auction
and the Board of Directors of the Foundation is very grateful for
the many and varied donations that made up the auction.
chairs of the event, Ms. Jane Brookins, Mrs. Helen Geisler, and Ms.
Peggy Misch, extend their thanks to the volunteers without whom an
event like this would not come off.
surprise of the evening was the appearance of the battle re enactors
in their full Civil War era regalia and accompanied by their
charming ladies in their period evening gowns. Col. Darrell
Markijohn, USV, and Col. Joe Ferguson, CSA, delighted the crowd by
presenting President Bob Luddy with a check from the Union forces
for $1000 and the Confederates made a pledge to the BSF in the same
amount. These funds were given for the express purpose of aiding in
historic land purchase and preservation. The re enactment community
and the BSF delight in supporting each other in our united goals of
honoring and preserving our history. It was a wonderful evening in
support of the Foundation and its continued goals of preservation of
the Brandy Station battlefield and restoration of the historic
Deborah Fitts - A lifetime Legacy of Achievement
Deborah (center looking at camera) standing in the rain
during the 140th Anniversary activities on
the Brandy Station Battlefield.
Deborah Fitts passed from this world on July 26, 2008. She was a
remarkable person. She was born into a distinguished New England
family, accomplished professional achievement with the Civil War
Times and the Civil War Trust, shared a loving life with her
husband Bud Hall and was a friend to many within the Civil War
of us knew her through her many year association with the Civil War
Times. We could always count on Deb’s diligence in following a
story, her rooting out of details from the most unlikely locations,
her courage in refusing to back down in the pursuit of the truth,
and her ability to write the story in terms that were simple,
direct, and understandable. I tried to find some pictures of Deb
during those times when she was with us at Brandy Station events but
had little success – and then I realized why. The pictures I had on
file were of the event and Deborah had scrupulously tried not to be
part of the event – she was there to record the story not to be the
Anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station
This past June,
over 200 Union and Confederate re-enactors from up and down the
eastern seaboard and the Midwest descended upon the very fields
soldiers fought over and camped on 145 years ago. Today’s soldiers
were invited to camp and fight on the Brandy Station battlefield by
the Civil War Preservation Trust, who owns the land.
The Federal forces
were led by Colonel Darrell Markjohn and the Rebels were under the
command of Colonel Joe Ferguson. Conditions were not unlike events
of June 1863; hot, muggy and hazy but the Federals passed over both
the Rappahannock and Hazel Rivers and were entertained and briefed
by leading Civil War historian Bud Hall at Presque Isle, a private
residence on the Little Fork. Later, Mr. Hall met with the
Confederates at Farley, headquarters to both sides during the
conflict. A mounted ride to the Buford’s Knoll area of the
battlefield was made ,where Mr. Hall spoke of the
fighting on that spot. Bud
not only talked of the momentous events of June 1863, but also of
the fighting that took place in the 1980s and 1990’s as the CWPT and
BSF successfully fought to preserve the land we have today. Many of
the re-enactor leadership journeyed to the Inn at Kelly’s Ford and
participated in the Ball held there by the Brandy Station
Bud Hall, in
speaking of the difficulties of coordinating the weekend's
activities, said it best, “We came to
Brandy Station not to be entertained … but instead we came to honor
our Civil War ancestors, who fought
and died here 145 years ago. And in accomplishing that noble
objective, we thoroughly succeeded.”
Let it be noted
here that is now less than five years until the 150th
anniversary! The Brandy Station Foundation looks forward to a
fitting commemoration of this milestone and hopes to join with the
re enactors and the whole of the community of Culpeper and more in
honoring the remembrance of the four years of internal conflict
fought over the very. lands that we strive today to preserve for
future generations to appreciate and understand.
Luddy, BSF President, presenting Donna Crone , Program
Chairman of the Susquehanna CWRT, with a copy of Joe
McKinney’s book (Brandy Station, Virginia June 9, 1863;
the largest Cavalry battle of the Civil War) and a
bottle of Graffiti House wine.
activities continued at a brisk pace this quarter. Talks were given
and information exchanged with the Anne Arundel Maryland Civil War
Round Table (CWRT), the Susquehanna, Pennsylvania CWRT and the
Maryland Artifact Recovery Society of Lithicum Heights, Maryland.
Subjects presented included the Battle of Brandy Station, the
Graffiti House and the Winter Encampment. Our members and volunteers
enjoyed hosting and educating the children of the 'Summer Day Camp
Culley' put on by the Museum of Culpeper History. It was a delight
to have them at the GH. The Foundation has also been busy this
summer in supporting the Brandy Station Volunteer Fire Department
Carnival and the Bluemont Concert Series.
you seen the new Graffiti House Signs?
Five new signs
point the way to the Graffiti House. Two are located on Route 29,
one on Alanthus Road and two are on Brandy Road. These now show the
Graffiti House on the Civil War Trail signs and maps. Della
Edrington worked on this project for three years!
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 Telly
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.
volunteers qualified for the Presidential Service Award: Bronze:
Robert Pfile, Shirley Pfile, Mike Block, Barry Atchison and Peggy
Misch. And Gold:
Robert Luddy and Della Edrington.
People continue to
come by the Graffiti House to sign the Wall of Honor. Most recent
visitors include Frank Markham signing for William Markham of the 9th
New York Cavalry, Darrell Griffiths and his grand-son Tyler Costa
signing for John Woll of the 4th US Battery, Mark Dempsey
signing for John Dempsey of the 2nd New York Cavalry, and
Virginia Clay Pannill for J.E.B. Stuart.
Darrell Griffiths and Tyler Costa
Land Saved on Fleetwood
The Civil War Preservation Trust recently has purchased additional
land on the eastern slopes of Fleetwood Hill (see map below)
saved by the CWPT is shown on the right (east) side of the map and
consists of two parcels totaling 49 acres. This land, in concert
with the 33 acres (far left of map) previously saved by the BSF
gives the forces of battlefield preservation most of both east and
west slopes of Fleetwood Hill and over 82 acres of land. Your
donations and dedication have made both the BSF and CWPT land
purchases possible. You have succeeded in the preservation of
America’s history and should take a deep bow!
On October 18th, volunteers of the BSF
will be working around the Graffiti House to prepare the house for
the winter and clearing trails on the battlefield. If you can lend
a helping hand, please meet at the Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy
Road, in Brandy Station at 9AM. Bring gloves, chainsaws, clippers
and your interest to help preserve Culpeper’s history.
to upcoming events)
On the evening of October 25th
the Brandy Station Foundation will again be hosting a “Spirited
Evening at Brandy Station.” The Graffiti House will be open from 7
pm until 9 pm for those brave enough to hear ghost stories from the
past and present. Civil War ghost stories, from during the war until
now, will be told in the rooms of the Graffiti House. If any of our
visitors can survive the tales of the paranormal and perhaps an
opportunity to become a ‘permanent guest’ of the Graffiti House’ a
bonfire and hot cider and snacks will be available in our back yard.
Besides the story-tellers, a few other surprises guests have been
invited. No, the ghosts are already here! A fortune teller will
set up a table for those who seek to know their future on our front
porch. And inside, we have invited the Virginia Paranormal
Investigators, a regional group of ghost hunters. They will be
displaying equipment and discussing how they investigate sites and
find the ghosts that reside along with us. Donations are gladly
to upcoming events)
(Return to home
March 25, 2009 (yes next spring), Fauquier County will be
hosting a Civil War Symposium. The lectures will be centered on the
twelve primary engagements which took place in or through Fauquier
speaker is scheduled to be Robert Krick, retired Chief Historian,
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Mr. Krick is
the author of numerous books and articles and is a member of many
boards such as Civil War Preservation Trust and the Central Virginia
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
Generous Gift Indeed!
Stuart Room in 1993-1994
Station Foundation was the recent beneficiary of a generous gift
from Greg Hebler as part of the 150th Birthday
celebration for the Graffiti House. Mr. Hebler donated to the
Graffiti House his collection of pictures taken of the Graffiti
House in the 1993-4 time period. The pictures show desolation in
the extreme and make even more meaningful the actions that Mr.
Hebler took to save the building at that time. Thanks Greg for your
generous gift of the pictures and your actions to save the
building. At right is one of the pictures showing the condition of
LOW 'Tiques Receive Grant for
of the Woods Wilderness 'Tiques Antique Club was awarded a $2,000
grant from the International Questers Club to be used towards
purchasing antique furnishings for the Civil War Graffiti House in
Brandy Station. Funds from the grant will be used 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. The club will be coordinating with Graffiti House
volunteer, Della Edrington, as well as Sarah Hayes - the owner of
the Quail at the Wood Antique Shop – to purchase a writing desk, a
table to hold the desk and a chair. All items will be circa 1863.
conjunction with the Brandy Station Foundation, the LOW 'Tiques will
be holding an antique appraisal show with 4 professional appraisers
on Nov. 8, 2008 (10AM to 2PM) at the Graffiti House with all profits
going toward the restoration of the house. Verbal appraisals will
cost $10 each or $25 for three. Bob & Shirley Pfile will be hosting
this event. The Wilderness 'Tiques is one of 900 chapters of
Questers International and the purpose of the club is to study
antiques and donate funds to the preservation of existing historical
to upcoming events)
Leverage Grant awarded to Culpeper Tourism, Museum and BSF
The Brandy Station Foundation (Della
Edrington), Museum of Culpeper History (Lee Langston Harrison) and
the Culpeper Department of Tourism (Beth Burns) have been awarded a
grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to lay the foundation
for locally generated tourism. The three partners have developed
“Think Locally”, a campaign to introduce the public to the Culpeper
region. A key component of this activity will be the development of
an audio tour. This tour will be available on CD, allowing visitors
to tour downtown Culpeper and the Civil War battlefields at their
own pace. BSF volunteer Joe McKinney is writing the script for the
3 major battle engagements in Culpeper for the audio tour.
A Brief Summary of
the Architectural Report For the Historic Graffiti House
In 2007, BSF was
awarded a grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of
Historic Resources. A portion of this grant was spent last year when
Paint Conservator, Kirsten Travers, investigated a variety of paint
removal methods at the Graffiti House. This spring, an
Architectural Report was completed by the firm of Dalgliesh, Gilpin,
Paxton Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The purpose of
the Architectural Report was to review existing conditions and to
recommend restoration, rehabilitation, and interpretation strategies
for the structure. Restoration was defined as bringing a building or
portion of the building to its original appearance through the use
of recreating existing or removed finished and architectural
elements. Rehabilitation, on the other hand, would include alternate
materials and design concepts to modify the original structure to
meet a 21st Century “lifestyle”.
building’s foundations appear to have originally consisted of
individual stacked stone piers spaced around the building perimeter
with some interior piers spaced along interior beam lines. Evidence
of movements, settlement and rotation of the existing exterior
foundations walls and piers were observed. One option for
remediation of the foundations is to remove and replace the piers
with new concrete footings and walls.
SIDING: Weatherboards are to be carefully removed and numbered. An
inspection of the plaster keys is necessary and shall be conducted
at this time. An application of felt paper to the studs will be
attached. Flashing detail for windows and doors will be applied. All
weatherboards will be secured with stainless steel screws.
Weatherboards needing replacement will match existing.
computed live load capacities in the Interpretive Area and Media
Room are below building code requirements. On the upper floor,
significant sagging was noted. As a temporary measure, it was
recommended that install wood beam and post supports below the
existing floor joists in these areas.
SYSTEM: The existing un-insulated building is heated with a
combination of wall mounted propane heaters and electric baseboard
heaters. Air conditioning is supplied by window units. One option
would be to provide a split system heat pump with electric
resistance auxiliary heat for cooling and heating.
sensitive nature and historic value of the property, we recommend
that only contractors experienced in historic structure renovations
and stabilization should be considered for any type of work on this
building. Contact Della Edrington at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-825-4543
for more information about this report. Donations for the Graffiti
House preservation and restoration project will be gratefully
received at P.O. Box 165, Brandy Station, VA 22714-0165.
Station Foundation’s Living History Series
living historians, this time from the 49th Virginia
Infantry Regiment “Billy Smith’s own” set up camp at the Graffiti
House on July 20 as part of the Brandy Station Foundation’s living
men, women and children were at the Graffiti House for a day to give
visitors a taste of what is was like for both the Confederate
soldiers and their families as the war progressed. While having men
and women in camp was not uncommon, what made this visit different
was that many of the women, young and old, were in mourning garb.
War caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, not all due to
combat, and it was left to the women to show the suffering. The
women of the 49th presented a scene often forgotten
during this conflict, the home front. It was a unique opportunity
to speak with these re-enactors as they portrayed grieving family
not sad during the day, as there were firing and cooking
demonstrations as well as an opportunity for the house visitors to
visit with and learn from this fine group from Fauquier County and
history weekends are not over. On September 13 and 14, Sykes
Regulars from the Army of the Potomac’s Fifth Corps will be at the
Graffiti House and on October 17 and 18, the Orange
Blossoms, better known as the 124th New York will set up
camp in Brandy Station.
Series – At the Graffiti House from 2PM to 3:15
House – 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station, Virginia - (540) 727-7718
Reservations are not required. Donations to the Brandy Station
Foundation are welcomed. Free refreshments will be served.
31 – “JEB Stuart: American Knight” by Melissa Delcour
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.
26 – "Recovering the Remains of Capt. Farley – An Archeological
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
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