The Grand Review

Brandy Station


June, 2017




President: William Truitt Vice President: Don Carlson Treasurer: Gary Wilson Secretary: Erich Fritz

Board of Directors: Barry Atchison, Jane Brookins, Helen Geisler, Eugene F. Hankinson, Paula Johnson, Howard Lambert, Kimberly Lillard, Roger Mello, Peggy Misch, Dan Orr, John Orr, Denise Smith, Jim Woehr, Paula Woehr


Brandy Station Foundation & Christ Episcopal Church Join for Commemorative Service at St. James Site on Sunday, June 11th

Christ Episcopal Church, Brandy Station and the Brandy Station Foundation are pleased to announce that the 9th Annual Commemorative Church Service will be held at the site of the destroyed St. James Church on the battlefield at Brandy Station on Sunday, June 11th at 9:30AM. We will gather beginning at 9:00 AM.. Rev. Peter Way will officiate.

Rev. Peter Way from Christ Episcopal Church (pictured at right), with Mathew Fontaine

Maury Camp 1722 Honor Guard members (from left) John Martin, Carl Tomlin, and Roy Perry in 2014.


Christ Episcopal Church in Brandy Station and the Brandy Station Foundation invite you to attend the historic St. James site church service, led by the Reverend Peter Way, using the original Civil War Chalice with readings from the original Bible of St. James Church. Former BSF President Bob Jones will make comments on the history of the site and read his poem about the Battle of Brandy Station called “Listen”. The church was destroyed by Union troops during the winter occupation of Brandy Station in 1863. The site continues to be owned by its descendant church, Christ Episcopal of Brandy Station and the Brandy Station Foundation is the steward of the 2 acre property in the midst of the largest cavalry battle of North America.


It is asked that those attending park their cars at the designated Civil War Trust parking circle at the intersection of Beverly Ford Rd. and St James Church Rd. This is just before the entrance into the Culpeper Airport. It is a short walk down the road to the site entrance and then a shorter path leads us through the woods to the site of the church. It is suggested that you prepare for the woods with closed shoes. Some seating will be provided, but lawn chairs are welcome. Period dress is also welcome. After the service refreshments will be provided at the Graffiti House (19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station). In the event of rain, the service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 14586 Alanthus Road, Brandy Station.

The community is invited to participate in this recreation of a 1860's service of Holy Eucharist

The Cabin Raiders playing at the 2012 commemorative service



President’s Corner


As William Truitt indicated in his annual report, The Brandy Station Foundation had many stellar accomplishments in 2016 and included the following:


Joe McKinney, our former President and current Advisory Committee member, graciously offered his time and effort to complete a VDHR grant application in conjunction with the Civil War Trust which later facilitated the purchase of Hansbrough Ridge, a core area of the Brandy Station Battlefield.


The Brandy Station Cedar Mountain State Park Alliance has blossomed into 11 members under the guidance, expertise, and excellent leadership of Mark Coombs and Adam Gillenwater from the Civil War Trust who along with Glenn Stach, a very talented Preservation Landscape Architect, have spearheaded the efforts to promote the proposed BSCM State Park both locally and statewide to residents, public officials and the General Assembly in Richmond. The BSCM State Park Alliance now includes the Civil War Trust, Virginia Association for Parks (VAFP), Brandy Station Foundation, Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield, Culpeper Department of Tourism, Germanna Foundation, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, the Piedmont Environmental Council, Preservation Virginia, Presqu’Isle, and the Remington Community Partnership. The Alliance and the CWT have extensively promoted the proposed State park at various community events.  The CWT also produced promotion videos and along with the Alliance promoted the park “door to door” with informative brochures that were given to area businesses.  On the back of the brochure, is the BSCM State Park website.  We tell everyone we meet to visit the website and sign a letter of support for the state park. Over 6,000 letters of support were sent in by the end of 2016. The BSCM State Park Alliance continues to promote the proposed state park and anticipate meetings this year with some members of the General Assembly to gain legislative support for the 2018 session.

The one accomplishment that really put the proverbial cherry on a stellar year of accomplishments was the fund-raising effort of the BSF Members and others in donating funds to pay off the Graffiti House mortgage. I want to personally thank everyone for their donations and particularly our anonymous donor who made a matching donation of $22,000 to motivate all of us to accomplish this monumental milestone. The mortgage has officially been paid off and now our focus is on making some needed repairs to the foundation of the Graffiti House.


William Truitt, President Brandy Station Foundation 757-371-6451


Volunteer Appreciation Picnic


Please check the BSF for the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, tentatively scheduled for August. History buffs, retirees, college students, scouts, church groups - anyone and everyone is encouraged to volunteer. Free training provided.

To volunteer or for more information contact Denise Smith at:

Phone 571-426-2774


How can you help the Brandy Station & Cedar Mountain State Park Alliance?


As you know, an effort continues to be underway to transform the Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain battlefields into Virginia’s next state park. The Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain State Park Alliance is leading the effort to establish the Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain State Park.


The Virginia Association for Parks at its October 1, 2016 meeting passed a resolution in support of creating a Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain Battlefields State Park. Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain battlefields in Culpeper County are among the most significant sites of the American Civil War. The state park would provide the Commonwealth with a unique opportunity to showcase our shared history, increase tourism, and promote outdoor recreation in a region currently underserved by the Virginia state park system.


To date, about 1,400 acres of proposed park land have been purchased and permanently protected at the BrandyStation and Cedar Mountain battlefields. Individuals interested in supporting the Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain State Park Alliance are encouraged to visit to sign and send a letter to the members of the Virginia General Assembly with the power to turn the Alliance’s proposal into a park — and a lasting legacy.


Give Local Piedmont’s 4th annual Day of Giving, May 2, 2017


Give Local Piedmont's 4th annual Day of Giving was May 2, 2017. Nonprofits from many sectors received the support of the community! Thank you for your contributions to the Brandy Station Foundation that were made by visiting


2017 Sunday Seminar Series at the Graffiti House


The Brandy Station Foundation Sunday lecture series began again this April. The lectures series runs on one Sunday of each month from April through September and begin at 2:00 PM. Everyone is welcome, the lectures are free (although donations are welcome), and free refreshments are provided by BSF board members and friends.


Sunday, June 25, 2017 "Raised from Obscurity": The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville on the Road to Gettysburg" by Kevin Pawlak..  The Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, fought in Loudoun and Fauquier counties from June 17-21, 1863, were sandwiched between the larger and better known Battle of Brandy Station and Battle of Gettysburg.  Despite their obscurity, they played a critical role in shaping the Gettysburg Campaign.  This talk will look at the bigger picture of the AMU cavalry battles, and will also put the human face on these incredibly well-preserved battlefields.


Kevin Pawlak is the Director of Education at the Mosby Heritage Area Association and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.  Pawlak is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, published by The History Press in 2015.


Sunday, July 30, 2017 "The life of Jacob Dolson Cox, Ohio Citizen-General" by Eugene D (Gene) Schmiel.  The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States, but also the men unexpectedly called to lead fellow citizens in this first modern example of “total war.”  Jacob Dolson Cox of Ohio was among those who rose to the challenge and he is recognized as one of the Union's best “citizen generals.”  He did so well that General Sherman offered him a brigadier generalship in the regular army at war's end.


Mr. Schmiel is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, who now works part-time at the Department of State.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he was an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis University (PA) before joining the Foreign Service. Schmiel has a Ph.D. degree in History from The Ohio State University, and he coauthored with his wife Kathryn a book about life in the foreign service. Mr. Schmiel’s book, "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press.  It is the first biography of this highly-respected Union general whose accomplishments


Sunday, August 27, 2017  "I Am A Good Old Rebel" by  Robert Houghtalen. Warrenton's W.H.F. Payne will be the subject of his talk.


Sunday, September 24, 2017 Harry Smeltzer, who writes the blog "Bull Runnings" will present the genealogy of Judson Kilpatrick.  While the talk begins and ends with the Civil War, the speaker does want to stress that it's widespread - including descendants Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper.


Brandy Station Foundation Annual Dinner & Meeting


Guest speaker Virginia Morton with BSF President William Truitt


At the Brandy Station Foundation Annual Dinner and meeting on April 21, 2017, the following Officers, Board of Directors, and Advisory Committee were elected: Officers: President, William Truitt; Vice President: Don Carlson; Treasurer: Gary Wilson; Secretary: Erich Fritz. The Board of Directors elected include: Barry Atchison, Jane Brookins, Helen Geisler, Eugene Hankinson, Paula Johnson, Howard Lambert, Kimberly Lillard, Roger Mello, Peggy Misch, Dan Orr, John Orr, Denise Smith, Jim Woehr, Paula Woehr.


The Brandy Station Advisory Committee includes Dr. Daniel Beattie, Edwin F. (Ed) Gentry, Robert L. (Bob) Jones, Robert (Bob) Luddy, Virginia Morton, Cecilia Schneider-Vial, and Tony Seidita.


Guest speaker Virginia Morton provided the very interesting history of two Culpeper County homes that still stand today: Beauregard, the home of James Barbour, a Virginia lawyer, politician, and Confederate officer, and Auburn, the home of Unionist John Minor Botts.


Mark Coombs from the Civil War Trust gave an update on the state park initiative.





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The Brandy Station Foundation is a 501(c)-3 non-profit group dedicated to preserving the natural and historic resources of the Brandy Station area of Culpeper County, Virginia.  It relies on tax-deductible donations to meet its goals. More information at: