Conducted by

 Virginia Morton

 Author of

 Marching Through Culpeper


$8 per person for groups of 6 to 20 adults

Contact Virginia Morton for price quotes for smaller or larger groups
(540) 825-9147, morton

This popular two-hour tour will be narrated by Virginia Morton, author of the civil war novel Marching Through Culpeper. Come learn about the fighting that took place in the town and hear the stories of Culpeper's citizens. Culpeper County witnessed the movement of more troops than any locale in the nation.

Tours will begin at the Visitor's Center located in the depot. Please arrive fifteen minutes early to purchase tickets.

Stop 1: The Depot

You will learn why Culpeper's strategic location made it a favorite camping ground for both armies, and hear stories of the famous people who passed through the railroad station. A detailed description will be given of the Battle of Culpeper Court House which raged around the depot on September 13, 1863, and the role played by General George Armstrong Custer, U.S.A.

Stop 2: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

The oldest church in town was used as a hospital by both sides, and was frequented by General J.E.B. Stuart and General Robert E. Lee. Hear what happened to the minister during the occupation of the town by the Union army under General John Pope, and learn how some clever young ladies saved the bell.

                     "Extra Billy" Smith            George Armstrong Custer                          Robert E. Lee
John Pelham                          A.P. Hill                                     Ulysses S. Grant                         J.E.B. Stuart


Stop 3: The Virginia House Hotel and site of the Shackelford House

The Virginia House Hotel was frequented by J.E.B. Stuart and the gallant Major John Pelham, commander of the Stuart Horse Artillery. They were frequent visitors at Henry Shackelford's house across the street, and it is believed that John Pelham had a romantic relationship with Shackelford's daughter Bessie.

Stop 4. Site of the home of "Extra Billy" Smith

"Extra Billy" Smith was two time governor of Virginia and one of the oldest generals in the Confederate army. His former home served as Grant's headquarters during the Winter Encampment of 1863-64.

Stop 5: The Courthouse

The tour will proceed to the current courthouse with the site of the original courthouse and the boyhood home of A. P. Hill pointed out en route. Once inside the newly remodeled courtroom, visitors will have an opportunity to sit and listen to the events that occurred at the courthouse during the Civil War, as well as hear about the life of General A. P. Hill, C.S.A.

Stop 6: National Cemetery and Hill Mansion

Hill Mansion was the home of Edward Baptist Hill, older brother of A. P. Hill. It was frequented by A. P. Hill and his wife, Dolly, throughout the war, and Robert E. Lee visited his middle son, Rooney, here when he was recovering from wounds received at the Battle of Brandy Station. The womens' side of the war will be discussed here, as well as the Winter Encampment of the Union Army 1863-64.

The National Cemetery was established in 1866 and remains an active cemetery today.  Union soldiers were re-interred in this cemetery, primarily from the Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

Stop 7: The Depot

The tour concludes with a story about the "Gray Ghost," John Singleton Mosby, that took place at the depot.

Virginia Morton is also available by appointment to narrate tours of Culpeper's battlefields and other Civil War sites including the Cedar Mountain Battlefield and the Brandy Station Battlefield.  Tour details can be found at   Please contact Ms. Morton for price quotes and available dates, and to discuss customizing a tour to your interests.  She can be reached at (540) 825-9147 or


Praise from tour participants:

"Members of my Civil War Round Table were awed by the depth and scope of Virginia Morton's knowledge. Her descriptions were incredible and standing where so many icons had stood gave me goose bumps."

- Mary Kuczek, president of the Phil Kearney  Civil War Round Table of Northern NJ

"Taking Virginia's tour allowed a much better understanding of the dynamics of the battles along with personal familiarity of those who fought in them. T heartily recommend each Civil War student come to Culpeper more than once."

- Bill Brown, chairman of the Rockville, MD  Barnes & Noble Civil War Group

"I spent a week in Virginia attending Civil War seminars and touring sites. My all-day Culpeper tour with Virginia Morton was the highlight of my trip. I highly recommend her book and tours."

- Dr. William Sheehan, Santa Barbara, CA

Last modified: February 23, 2009