The Grand Review

Brandy Station


December, 2018



President: William Truitt Vice President: Paula K. Johnson Treasurer: Robert Jones Secretary: Dan Orr Board of Directors: Jane Brookins, Donald T. Carlson, Helen Geisler, Howard Lambert, Kimberly Lillard, Peggy Misch, Peter Mocarski, Denise Smith, Paul Warmack.



United States Colored Troops marching into Culpeper in May 1864 by artist Ashley Rorie


Holiday Open House & Unveiling of a new exhibit: Culpeper’s Forgotten Heroes: Black Union Soldiers of Culpeper County, VA
 Saturday, December 8th 1-4 PM. The Brandy Station Foundation is hosting its annual Holiday Open House at the Graffiti House (19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station) Please stop by to see Civil War graffiti and enjoy holiday fare.

The wilderness Run Players, pictured above, will be playing their beautiful music


This year, we are pleased to announce the unveiling of the first stage of a new exhibit, Culpeper’s Forgotten Heroes: Black Union Soldiers of Culpeper County, Virginia.

This exhibit was researched and curated by BSF Board Member Howard Lambert, who is extremely pleased that the Graffiti House will be hosting what he believes to be the first permanent exhibit dedicated to Culpeper-born United States Colored Troops. The Graffiti House is an appropriate location due to the fact USCTs were stationed at Brandy Station guarding the Supply Depot. Their story is all part of the history of Culpeper during the Civil War and the fabric of this country.

Often forgotten are the brave men from Culpeper who fought and died as members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). At the start of the Civil War, men of color were not officially authorized to bear arms in the Union Army despite the attempts of many in Louisiana and Kansas to support the Union cause. With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln, men of color were officially authorized to serve in the Union Army as armed combatants starting in January 1863 for the purpose of garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts. Men of color who identified Culpeper as their place of birth seized the opportunity to control their fate and determine the destiny for their loved ones still living in bondage.


Nimrod Burke, First Sergeant, 23rd USCT


One of the units in which men of Culpeper enlisted was the 9th Corps, 4th Division USCT under the command of General Edward Ferrero.  Two brigades comprised the division of 3,100 men including Culpeper men in the 30th Connecticut, 19th, 23rd, 30th and 43rd USCT Regiments.  A total of 17 Culpeper-born men served in the regiments including 12 in the 23rd USCT.  In late April 1864, the 9th Corps received orders to leave Annapolis, Maryland

and proceed toward Culpeper County.  Shortly after passing through Washington, the men crossed at Kelly’s Ford with some companies receiving orders to occupy the Supply Depot at Brandy Station.  After a daylong reconnaissance march to Culpeper Court House, the men received orders to guard the wagon train through the Wilderness and saw action for the first time at Aldridge Farm. 

The men fought with distinction and went on to fight at the Battle of the Crater and Battle of Appomattox Courthouse.  The bravery and self-sacrifice of the men from Culpeper were among the over 180,000 colored soldiers who fought in the U.S. Army.  They helped secure the Union victory and define the country as the United States of America.


Exhibit organizer Howard Lambert is an active participant in Civil War related activities and historical preservation. He is a member of Company B, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and has participated in numerous Civil War re-enactments, living history events, television productions, and movie projects including the feature films Glory and Lincoln. In recognition of his service, Mr. Lambert was awarded Company B’s President’s Award. Additionally, Mr. Lambert is a recipient of the Trail To Freedom’s William H. Carney Award in honor of his selfless service to society and commitment to the preservation of history. Mr. Lambert served on the Board of the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield and is a co-founder of the African-American Heritage Alliance. The organization sponsored the 150th anniversary celebration of the refugee crossing at Cow’s Ford. Additionally, Mr. Lambert held a 150th anniversary celebration of USCTs crossing at Kelly’s Ford.

Mr. Lambert was born in Culpeper and is a frequent visitor to Brandy Station. He currently resides in Fairfax Country, Virginia where he was an active supporter and participated in the preservation of the Battle of Chantilly battlefield site. He is a retired Contracts professional after many years of service in private industry, the Intelligence field and with the Department of Defense.

Mr. Lambert is a member of the National Contract Management Association, with distinction as a Certified Professional Contracts Manager, and the American Battlefield Trust. He is a graduate of American University and the Antioch School of Law and holds certificates from the University of Virginia and Georgetown University.


President’s Corner
Written by Paula Johnson on behalf of William Truitt

Happy Fall to everyone!
The Brandy Station Foundation has had some fun events recently and more to come during the remaining days of 2018! On October 20th. the Spirits of the Graffiti House was held and included treats, toasted marshmallows, storytelling and displays of paranormal investigations from Culpeper Paranormal. The event had around 140 guests and over $300.00 was donated.

BSF participated in the Culpeper Air Fest, a one day event on October 13th. Mr. Robert Gilbert and I handed out Graffiti House and Park Alliance pamphlets to those arriving on the tarmac.

Brandy Station hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Day on November 10th. with a Thanksgiving meal prepared by Uncle Elders. Our volunteers are very much appreciated and we want to honor their volunteer hours and let them know how important they are to the Foundation.

Pictured above is volunteer Betty Franklin describing graffiti

to visitors at the Spirits of the Graffiti House event in October.

On Saturday, December 8th. the Brandy Station Foundation will host it’s annual Holiday Open House as detailed in this newsletter. I hope to see you there.

The Graffiti House will be closed December 23rd for the winter season and will reopen in March. However, we will be planning events and a new Sunday Seminar Series that will begin again in April.
Please consider joining us as a volunteer to be a greeter or tour guide during our Saturday and Sunday open hours of 11:00 – 4:00. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Denise Smith; her contact information is on our website. All ages are welcome. Students are encouraged to volunteer as a learning experience, or, if service hours are needed for your school.

Looking forward to 2019, “Travels with Darley” will be shown on PBS and be available to those subscribing to Amazon Prime. The Culpeper area program is scheduled to air this winter during the new season of the show; please check back with us for the exact date and time. Filming in May spanned several days and former BSF President Bob Luddy gave Darley a tour of the Graffiti House.
Hoping you all have a special time this fall and winter with the holidays almost upon us and wishing you a Very Happy New Year!

William Truitt


Jackson Van Ness completes Eagle project at BSF property at Kelly’s Ford

Jackson Van Ness was recognized at the BSF Board Meeting on November 7th. He was presented with a letter of commendation from BSF President William Truitt, along with an honorary membership and a dedicated copy of the book, “Brandy Station, Virginia, June 9, 1863: The Largest Cavalry Battle of the Civil War,” written by past BSF President Joseph W. McKinney.
William’s recognition, in part, read:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Brandy Station Foundation, I commend you for the completion of your “Rest and Reflection Site” at our Kelly’s Ford property.

Jackson Van Ness and his father E.S. at the Graffiti House


Your site is beneficial in two ways.  First, it enables us to more successfully bring in visitors to discuss generally how fords were historically used in Culpeper, and more specifically, the important role Kelly’s Ford played in the events of the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863.  And second, it makes the area accessible for people to enjoy the natural beauty of the Rappahannock River using your attractive additions.

We appreciate all of the planning, purchasing, coordination, physical labor, and leadership of your volunteer teams that it took to clear the area and install the sturdy benches, especially in light of all of the weather delays we experienced this Spring and Summer.  Job well done!


Thank you for all your hard work.



New Membership Year Approved by BSF Board

A restructuring of the BSF membership year was approved on May 2nd and was effective July 1, 21018. The BSF Corporation membership year was restructured to coincide with the BSF Corporation fiscal year that is January 1 to December 31 each year. The annual membership is $30 for a single membership; $40 for a family; and $10 for a student. Any new or renewed membership between July 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 will be at one-half of the revised annual membership rate. New members and renewals in 2018 prior to July 1, 2018 will have their membership year ending on December 31, 2018.



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Brandy Station Foundation,

PO Box 165, Brandy Station, VA 22714-0165


  _____Annual Membership (effective July 1, 2018) ($30.00 individual; $40.00 couple; $10.00 high school or college student)


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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: