Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, Early Preservationist

The following newspaper articles detail the efforts of an early pioneer of Culpeper Battlefield Preservation.  Visitors to Cedar Mountain Battlefield today can view the results of Judge Grimsley’s efforts, manifested in the small stone markers placed around the grounds.





Memorial Stones to Be Reared at Cedar Mountain and Other Battle-fields—An Appeal to Confederate Veterans for Co-Operation.

CULPEPER, VA.,— July 13.—(Special.)—

The Board of Supervisors of Culpeper county have appropriated a small sum for the purpose of marking the lines of the contending armies in the battles of the civil war fought on Culpeper soil.

The work is under the supervision and direction of Judge D. A. Grimsley, and in explaining this work Judge Grimsley says:  The plan is to erect suitable granite stones or blocks at the position occupied by the brigades, regiments and batterie of artillery engaged, and at other spots where the chief incidents of the battle occurred.  These blocks of stone will be numbered in consecutive order.  There will be a survey and plat of the field carefully made, on which will be designated, the location of these stones with full explanatory notes.  This map will be recorded in the County Clerk’s office to be stored up in the archives of the county.

The amount appropriated by the county is insignificant for the accomplishment of this historical work, but it is hoped that the troops engaged will feel sufficiently interested to contribute something to this end.  The Judge also said that the work will begin with the battle-field at Cedar Mountain, and the Confederate troops prominently engaged at that battle were the following:

Artillery — Carpenter’s,  Dement’s, Brown’s, Poague’s, Caskie’s, Fleet’s, and Pegram’s batteries.

Infantry — Early’s Brigade:  Thirteenth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-first, Fifty-second, Fifty-eighth Virginia  regiments; Garnett’s Brigade:  Twenty-first, Forty-eighth, Forty-seventh, and First Virginia regiments; Stonewall Brigade:  Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Thirty-Third Virginia regiments; Ewell’s Division of Trimble’s and Hays’s brigades;  Branch’s North Carolina Brigade, and Thomas’s Georgia Brigade, and perhaps others.

Judge Grimsley would be very glad for representatives of any of the commands engaged on either side to meet him on the field on the 9th of August, proximo, the anniversary of the battle, and assist in the work of locating with accuracy the positions of the respective commands.

To do this work completely and accurately, as it will be done by Major Grimsley, means a vast deal of work and considerable loss of time, and the small amount appropriated by the county will hardly be sufficient for the purpose contemplated.  If the commands mentioned above should feel sufficiently interested in this undertaking to preserve these historical lines of the armies to make a small contribution of a few dollars each, it would be gladly accepted, and it would greatly facilitate the work.  A contribution of $4 or $5 would be sufficient to purchase a stone, and it can be secured of Mr. Gordon Thomas, of Culpeper, who has been engaged to do the work for the county.

Our people hope the Dispatch will push this work with its characteristic zeal to the ends that knowledge of the undertaking will reach localities of the various commands, and a sentiment of sufficient patriotism for the glorious Lost Cause and the memory of their own immortal and heroic defiance will sufficiently interest them to aid Judge Grimsley in this commendable work, and perhaps for them to contribute a stone or tablet to mark their respective positions.  Especially desired is it that the papers of Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana also publish this announcement.

Judge Grimsley lives at Culpeper, Va., and any and all communications addressed to him will have prompt, careful, and considerate attention.

Daniel A. Grimsley

Here is a follow-up article.



The Movement to Mark the Lines.

CULPEPER, VA., July 27.—(Special.)—
Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, of this town, who has been solicited by our County Board of Supervisors to locate the battlefields and positions of the contending armies of the civil war in their several engagements in Culpeper county and to have the sites marked with stones and tablets, has been faithfully at work. Already he has had much success, and flattering promises have been received. Our people are loath to see the historic lines of the battlefields, with their silent witnesses of breast-works and other fortifications, lost in the ever-changing tide of time, but their financial resources are limited. To complete this work, as it must and will be done by Judge Grimsley, will require a corps of assistants and the expenditure of some money. The Supervisors have made an appropriation, but it is not near enough to meet the demands of the undertaking, and Judge Grimsley has signified that if any of the division brigade’s or regiment, desire to contribute a stone or tablet to mark their respective positions, the same will be gratefully accepted and properly placed, or any individual contribution will be acceptable. On August 9th, which marks the thirty-ninth anniversary of the battle of Cedar Mountain, there will be quite a gathering of the veterans of both armies and others interested in this work upon this battlefield. General James A. Walker, of the Thirteenth Virginia and General J. G. Fields, who lost a leg on this battlefield, will be present, as well as a delegation of prominent men from the Union side. The ladies of the neighborhood are making preparations and will serve refreshments on the grounds, the proceeds of the sale of which will be appropriated to the work in hand.

And here is yet another follow-up article on Judge Grimsley’s efforts. He didn’t waste any time getting the ball rolling…





Eating, Speaking, and Hand-Shaking—Major Grimsley’s Efforts to Preserve the Lines and Locate the Positions.

CULPEPER, VA., August 9.—(Special.)—
Thirty-nine years ago to-day, the battle of Cedar Mountain was fought in this county. As time is thinning the ranks of those who participated in that sanguinary engagement, and the lines showing the positions of the contending forces in the awful battle are fast fading away and in few years may be altogether lost, our county, at a recent meeting of its Board of Supervisors, appropriated a sum of money to mark the lines and locate positions of the various commands in this battle.

This important work was entrusted to the competent and faithful charge of Major Daniel A. Grimsley, and as a preliminary step in this undertaking, Major Grimsley gave notice that he wished all interested to meet with him on the battlefield to-day, and assist him, that he might intelligently accomplish the county’s wishes.

His request was generously responded to and a thousand people were at Cedar Mountain to-day.


Veterans of both armies were there with their wives and daughters, and in place of war and hatred all was merry and peaceful.

The ladies of the neighborhood had a magnificent dinner, and all partook of our Virginia hospitality.

Quite a delegation of the old veterans of the Federal forces came up from Washington city, were royally entertained, and enjoyed themselves hugely. They journeyed all over this interesting field, fighting the battle over again, and in the cool and shady grove of Cedar Run church, adjacent, the “Blue and the Gray” lined together.


Addresses were made by General James A. Walker, commander of the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry in this battle, and afterwards commander of the Stonewall Brigade; Dr. Laurence Wilson, of the Seventh Ohio Infantry, now a resident Washington; Major R. Courtney, of Richmond, Chief of Artillery, of Ewell’s Corps, Confederate States of America; Mr. John Bresnan, [Bresnahan––B.F.] of the Twenty-seventh Indiana Infantry; General James G. Field, of A. P. Hill’s Corps, who lost a leg in this battle; Mr. A. J. Drewry, of Galveston, Tex., of the Purcell Battery, of Richmond.

Some of the others present from Washington were L. B. Brown, Martin Barringer, William Smith, and M. T. Drewry. Major D. A. Grimsley has received many assurances of financial aid, and some contributions and the widespread and enthusiastic interest shown to-day in this undertaking guarantees that a sufficient fund will be raised to complete the work as it should be done.

Transcribed by Bradley M. Forbush June 21, 2021, for Friends of Cedar Mountain. Downloaded from Chronicling America, Library of Congress.