Graffiti House
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
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Location: 19484 Rd., Brandy Station, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°30′15″N 77°53′27″W / 38.50417°N 77.89083°W / 38.50417; -77.89083Coordinates: 38°30′15″N 77°53′27″W / 38.50417°N 77.89083°W / 38.50417; -77.89083
Area: 0.9 acres (0.36 ha)
Built/Founded: 1862
Architectural style(s): Greek Revival
Governing body: Private
MPS: Civil War in Virginia MPS
Added to NRHP: November 17, 2005
NRHP Reference#: 05001274[1]

The Graffiti House was built in 1858 in the village of Brandy Station and is one of few pre-Civil War dwellings to survive intact to this day. Because of its location — on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad and the Carolina Road, as well as less than a quarter mile to the train depot — the house was used extensively by both Union and Confederates armies throughout the Civil War. The earliest known graffiti date to the Second Manassas Campaign in August 1862, as the armies transited Culpeper County.

The house was witness to the opening shots of the Gettysburg Campaign. The largest cavalry battle in North America took place at Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, in the fields adjacent to the Graffiti House. After the fighting ended, the house was used as a Confederate field hospital. Later that year, Federal troops occupied the building when the Army of the Potomac camped in Culpeper County during the winter of 1863-64. The house was headquarters to Army of the Potomac Third Corps Division Commander Henry Prince.

The plaster walls on the second floor of the house are covered with an outstanding and unique collection of charcoal and pencil graffiti left by soldiers from both armies. In addition to their autographs, the soldiers drew elaborate pictures of men and women, and wrote inscriptions commemorating their units and their battles. After the war, the graffiti were painted and papered over and forgotten — until it was discovered during a renovation in 1993. The Brandy Station Foundation purchased the house in 2002. In addition to the graffiti, the house includes a small museum and serves as a visitor center for the Brandy Station battlefield.

Graffiti that have been identified[edit | edit source]

Below is listed the names and units of those who have been identified in the Graffiti House:

  • Sergeant Allen Bowman, Co. E, 12th Virginia Cavalry
  • Private Michael Bowman, Co. H 7th Virginia Cavalry
  • Private Hamilton Boyd, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private George Washington Butt, Norfolk Light Artillery (Huger’s Battery)
  • Private James A. J. Cooper, Co. A, 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (White’s Comanche’s)
  • Captain Edwin Dillingham, 10th Vermont Infantry
  • Private C. Benton Evans, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private William Evans, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Colonel John Egbert Farnum, Commander, 70th New York Infantry
  • Lieutenant Lyman C. Gale, Co. K, 10th Vermont Infantry
  • Corporal Fayette Gibson, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Thomas ‘Herb’ Greenwell, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Uriah Haller, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private William J. Haney, 24th Battalion Virginia Partisan Rangers
  • Private Henry ‘Hal’ Hopkins, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private William Hopkins, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Bob Lewis, Norfolk Light Artillery (Huger’s Battery)
  • Private George McCabe Jr., Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Lieutenant William J. Marshall, Co. E, 12th Virginia Cavalry
  • Lieutenant Joseph Moore, Norfolk Light Artillery (Huger’s Battery)
  • Private Edward Moreland, Norfolk Light Artillery (Huger’s Battery)
  • Private A Muth, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private George W. Orrison, Co. C, 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (White’s Comanche’s)
  • Private David Owens, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Robert Peed, Norfolk Light Artillery (Huger’s Battery)
  • Private David Owens, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Dan Quinlan, Massachusetts Light Battery ‘C’
  • Private Elijah Russell, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, Commander, Army of Northern Virginia Cavalry
  • Sergeant Henry Thomas, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Harry Wagner, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Harry Wickes, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Private Thomas ‘Frank’ Yates, Breathed’s Battery, Stuart Horse Artillery

Below is listed the names of those who have not been identified in the Graffiti House:

  • Lewis Metta
  • E Kelly
  • M Rown
  • T.E. Kelly
  • Emanuel

Notes on the names[edit | edit source]

  • All the names of Breathed's Battery are found on the Maryland Scroll, created on March 16, 1863, the day before the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, in which these artillery units participated.
  • William Haney is believed to have served in four separate units

It is likely that he signed the walls of the Graffiti House while serving in the 24th Battalion Partisan Rangers.

  • Robert Peed also identifies himself with Gannett’s Artillery Battalion. Peed signed the walls in five locations.
  • Allen Bowman signed the walls in two locations

Units separately identified[edit | edit source]

  • 2nd New York Militia
  • Louisiana Tigers
  • 2nd Division 3rd Corps
  • 10th New Jersey Infantry
  • Stuart Horse Artillery
  • Army of the United States of America
  • Hill’s Corps
  • Gannett’s Battalion

Events and locations identified[edit | edit source]

  • Battle of Beverly Ford, April 16 1863 (likely done by a member of either the 9th or 13th Virginia Cavalry)
  • June 8, 1863 (possibly done by a member of the 1st SC Cavalry)
  • "How are you Fort Sumter” (done by the 2nd NY Militia)
  • Petersburg
  • Rappahannock
  • March 16, 1863
  • August 7, 1863
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Loudoun County
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Richmond
  • Baltimore

Drawings[edit | edit source]

Of the drawings found, only two have been identified:

Other drawings[edit | edit source]
  • 5 horses (one may be a mule)
  • a male civilian in coat and tails
  • an eagle/bird
  • a fort
  • a soldier in a slouch hat and mustache
  • a soldier in a slouch hat and beard
  • a young women in a fancy dress, hat with ribbons, walking on a board or plank, saying "I am turned over to Lt. Gale"
  • a older women smoking a long pipe
  • a young women in a straw hat riding side-saddle
  • a young women wearing a scarf carrying a basket
  • a bald man
  • a pair of women in coats and hats, with their arms in a muffler, saying "I am turned over to Capt. Dillingham"
  • a male civilian wearing a hat with a sword in his left hand. In the body of the man "President J. Davis good on the boots"
  • a man in a bowler (or derby), with mutton chops, saying he "smells a rebel." He is facing the rear of a horse.
  • a Federal soldier in a kepi

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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