One Sunday afternoon, back in early October, Hubby and I decided to take a short ride to take advantage of the still-mild temperatures as Fall settled in in Central Virginia. It was my turn to plan a route, so I chose the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County National Military Park as a destination, of sorts.
Meg, our 15 1/2-year-old furbaby, was still with us back then, and couldn’t be left alone for long periods. So, unless we planned ahead to line-up a dog-sitter, we couldn’t go very far or be away from home for any significant length of time. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
For me, ride planning is rarely about specific destinations as much as it is convenient waypoints on a map. Occasionally, places of interest will draw me in, but usually only for a quick rest break and/or potty stop. The battlefield seemed like it’d be a promising picnic spot, and it was.
We don’t ride south much. The terrain is flatter, so the roads are a bit less-interesting. But it’s still a lovely area. After enjoying the lunch I’d prepared at home — we sat on the grass in the middle of a battlefield — we continued our loop.
There’s a distillery I’d planned to visit, but we somehow missed the turn. No problem, though. We can always go back to the distillery. We did , however, stop at The Graffiti House.
Located near Brandy Station, Virginia, The Graffiti is believed to have served as a field hospital for the South during the Battle of Brandy Station and other local Civil War battles. It also served as the Federal headquarters during the 1863-64 winter encampment.
Soldiers from both sides signed their names on the walls, left notes, and/or made drawings on the walls. This graffiti was rediscovered quite by accident in the early 1990s when the then-owner of the land was preparing to demolish the house and sell the property.
The Battle of Brandy Station was one of the greatest cavalry engagements in history. There were about 20,000 troops, of which 17,000 were cavalry, engaged in battle. That’s a lot of men and horses!
Following are images I captured inside of the structure. I tweaked them a bit to make it easier for you to see the actual graffiti.
You really should take a quick look to see how the house looked when acquired by the Brandy Station Foundation.
If you’d like to know more, here’s an interesting article about restoration efforts.
We’re surrounded by Civil War history here in Virginia. Neither of us are real history buffs, but we still appreciate visiting places like this.