Virginia Trails: "At the Crossroads of Conflict" A Civil War Culpeper Tour
Start your Culpeper Civil War tour with a visit to the Graffiti House in Brandy Station. Built as a residence for a local family, the Graffiti House was converted into a hospital after the Battle of Kelly's Ford in March of 1863. Wounded Union and Confederate soldiers, using charcoal from the central fireplace, wrote their names, units, hometowns, messages, and drawings of men, women, and animals on the walls of the home The building contains over 200 pieces of original graffiti. Through the years, the Brandy Station Foundation has tirelessly worked to preserve the structure, and volunteers help to point out the various graffiti and share the stories behind it.
When you conclude your tour at the Graffiti House, schedule one of the local historians meet you on your journey to discuss historical facts over the well-preserved Brandy Station Battlefield. Make sure to include on your day or weekend battlefield tour, Kelly's Ford and Cedar Mountain battlefields. Both are close and easily accessible. All the battlefields welcome visitors and are marked with descriptive signs and walking trails.
The Inn at Kelly's Ford is a perfect choice to experience a delicious lunch or dinner offering a choice of pub fare in Pelham's Pub or elegant dining in the Main Dining room, both offer outdoor dining overlooking the Ford and historic marker of the Rappahannock River. When finishing your day in Brandy Station drive in to historic downtown Culpeper for a visit to the Culpeper Museum of History which offers a large variety of state-of-the-art exhibits regarding Culpeper's rich Civil War history.
Adjacent to the Museum is the Burgandine House (c.1800), one of the oldest standing structures in the town of Culpeper, which is also open to visitors. The Burgandine House is a Main Street landmark and a very rare example of a working-class home. The lot on which it stands was part of the Spotswood tract which sold in 1754 to Robert Coleman, then to General Edward Stevens. Of log construction, many of the house's original features have been maintained. Although it was long believed to be the oldest house in the Town of Culpeper (circa 1749), more recent research indicates that it was probably constructed circa 1800.
Culpeper County is arguably the most hotly contested area in the country during the Civil War and was continually occupied by either side because of its location at the crossroads of the North and South. Four major battles were fought here including the Battles of Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, Kelly's Ford, and Culpeper Court House. This is why Culpeper is a must-see stop for any true Civil War enthusiast!