The Brandt Farm Dismantled

       Dr. Logan Brandt’s Farm stood at the base of Cedar Mountain below Reverend Philip Slaughter’s home which was situated up the slope of the mountain, and between the Crittenden Farm.   During the course of the war the farm suffered the loss of crops, animals, fences, and eventually,  buildings, to the soldiers of the Union army.

       Mr. Morgan Pierce, the previous director of the Culpeper Museum of History received the following depositions of Dr. Brandt’s neighbors documenting the slow dismantling of the farm.  Karen Quaintance of the museum staff transcribed the documents.  I have made slight changes in the transcriptions by spelling out abbreviated words and other minor changes, for easier reading.

       The documents may be Southern Claims Commission depositions.  They are clearly post-war but no date is attached to them.  They mention some specific Union regiments felling trees on Brandt property to use for firewood during the long winter encampment of 1864.  These regiments belonged to the First Brigade of Brigadier General John C. Robinson’s 2nd Division of the First Army Corps, camped nearby doing outpost duty for the Army of the Potomac, at Mitchell’s Station, from January through April, 1864.  The brigade included the following volunteer infantry regiments:  16th Maine, 13th Massachusetts, 39th Massachusetts, 104th New York, and 107th Pennsylvania.

Cedar Mountain, 1863
This picture of Cedar Mountain, ( cleaned up and contrast adjusted in photoshop ), is attributed to the year 1863. The Rev. Philip Slaughter House is visible in the upper left, snuggled into the mountain mid-way up the slope. I believe the house in the trees directly below, and possibly the out-buildings in the center of the image are the Dr. Logan Brandt Farm.

       Here are the testimonies:

Deposition of Garnett Hudson concerning property.

My name is Garnet Hudson. I am 47 years old, a miller by occupation live in Culpeper County near Cedar Mountain adjoining the farm of the late Dr. Brandt where I was living most of the time during the war. I was near by and saw a large portion of his property taken.

Items 1, 2 & 6 Houses
        In the Summer of 1863 when General Pope’s army came to this country Dr. Brandt had several horses and mules which were missing from the place when the army left there and it was reported by Mr. Stewart who lived on the place that they were taken by the army. I did not see any of them taken and can’t tell the number there was on the place.

Items 3 & 4 Corn
       I did not see the corn taken but I know they had corn and that they reported it as taken by the army. They had a field of corn taken besides that taken from the corn house. I have no idea as to the quantity taken from the place. I can’t say that I saw the troops take the corn but they were camped all around it and the whole of it was gone when the army left. The troops laid around there 9 days after the battle.

Item 5 Hays
       The farm usually produced a large quantity of hay and I know there was a good lot gathered that year, a little before the army came there and that it was taken and gone when the army left. I did not see the troops using it however. There was a small

Item 7 Oats
       There was a small crop of oats grown but I can not tell what quantity nor what became of them, they disappeared while the army was there and I suppose were used by the army.

Item 8 Cattle
       I cannot tell about the cattle only that there was a large stock of them on the place when the army first came there and but few of them when it went away. I was told by Mr. Stewart and others that they were used by the army. I don’t know the number of them.

Item 9 Wheat
       I know there was a good sized yield of wheat grown that year and I think it was in stacks when General Pope’s army came but there but there was none when the army left. I saw the troops using this wheat for feed and for bedding. I don’t know how many much wheat the stacks would yield probably 225 to 250 bushels.

Item 10 Hoggs
       I know there was a large stock of hogs on the place when the army came there, which were all missing when it left but I have no knowledge of their number nor quality and I did not see many of them killed. I have no doubt but the army used them however.

Item 12 Wood
       There was a tract of 50 to 60 acres of heavy timber land on the place which was cut by the army of General Meade in the fall and winter of 1863-64. It was not cut off clean probably not over half of the wood was cut off but the best of the timber was cut. It was used for building winter quarters and for firewood. The 16 Maine, the 39 Mass. the 104th N.Y. and one or two Penna. Regiments, were camped very near the timber and used it during the Winter. The timber was very heavy and I should think would yield from 20 to 25 cords per acre — about ½ the timber was cut from the whole tract.

Item 13 Fence
       The farm was well fenced and divided a good many fields with good rails. These were all used by the army during the winter 1863 — 64. I saw the rails being hauled away in army wagons many times they were used for firewood and to build a corduroy road to Mitchells Station. I should suppose there are at least 25,000 to 30,000 rails taken from the place by the army.

Items 14 to 20 Buildings
     There was on the place a fine large dwelling house, a large barn with sheds around it, a tobacco house, a corn house and some quarters for servants. All these buildings were pulled down & used for building winter quarters by the troops of General Meade’s army in the winter of 1863 – 64 and further deponent saith not.

(signed) Garnett Hudson

Deposition of Nathaniel Yager concerning property of Dr. Logan Brandt of Culpepper, viz

       My name is Nathaniel Yager. I am 62 years old, a farmer, live one mile from Mitchells Station near Cedar Mountain. I am not related to the Brandt family and have no interest in their claim. My farm joins the Brandt estate which I am well acquainted with. The farm contains 333 acres I think. About 53 acres was in timber when General Meade’s army came to this country in the fall of 1863.

       It was all enclosed except the timber land and divided into 5 fields with a good rail fence. There was on it a good dwelling house with 6 rooms well finished off, a good sized barn with sheds for slaughtering, a tobacco house, a corn house, smoke house, and several small houses for servants. There was on this farm a good stock of horses, cattle and hogs and a quantity of grain always on hand. The house was in plain view from mine.

       Soon after the war began the Dr. joined the Confederate army and left his place in charge of Charles Stewart, a distant relative of my wife and I used frequently to go and see him. Dr. Brandt had lost his wife before the war and his two children with his own mother remained on the place until after the battle of Cedar Mountain in August of 1862 soon after which she went with the children to Alex. [Alexandria, VA] and has never returned  here. After the battle of Cedar Mountain a portion of the army of General Pope were camped on and around the Brandt farm for some 10 days during which time most of the personal property on the place was appropriated by the army. I was at the house every day and my attention was called to the fact of the property disappearing from day to day by Mr. Stewart and I noticed it myself as some of my property was taken at the same time.

Items 1, 2, & 6 Horses
       I know that Dr. Brandt had 3 good horses and 2 good mules which were on the place when General Pope’s army came there and were not there when it left. I did not see these horses taken but I missed them after the army left, and was told by Mr. Stewart the army had taken them.

Items 3 & 4 Corn
       I don’t know about the taking of the corn taking in named in items 3 & 4 but presume it was some taken from the corn house.

       I know there was a field of at least 40 acres of most excellent corn taken by this army while in the wasting ear state.   I could see the troops gathering it from day. I think the field would yield at least 5 bbls per acre.

Item 5 Hay
       I don’t remember about the hay. I know the farm produced good crops & hay every year but don’t remember where any was secured tho I have no doubt the hay was secured and taken by the army which was there soon after haying time.

Item 7 Oats
       I don’t know the quantity of oats taken nor the going of them. I know there was a crop grown that year and saw none after the army left.

Item 8 Cattle
       There was quite a large stock of cattle on the place and many of the best ones were butchered and eaten by the army but I can not tell the number of them. The cattle were not all killed a good number were left still.

Item 9 Wheat
       There was a crop of wheat grown also I should think there was about 20 acres. It was not a good crop however not over 100 to 120 bushels. I saw it growing but did not see it taken. It was all gone when the army left.

Item 10 Hogs
       There was a large stock of hogs on the place when the army came there and many were killed of the best ones. I don’t know how many. I saw some of them being butchered.

Item 12 Wood
       There was a large quantity of timber cut. There was 53 acres of heavy timber that would yield at least 25 cords to the acre, and I should say about ½ of the timber was cut down out.

       I saw the timber taken every day.

Item 13 Fence
       The farm had 280 acres well fenced and cross fenced with good oak rails. I saw them taken and used daily. There could not have been less than 30,000 destroyed.

Items 14 to 20 inclusive Buildings
       All the buildings on the place and named in the petition were pulled down by the army and used for building Winter quarters. I saw them taken down and hauled aways and further deponent saith not.

(signed) Nathaniel Yeager

Detail from the photo above. I believe the house visible in the trees is the Brandt home.

Note: Nathaniel does sign his name “Yeager” but writes it “Yager” in the beginning of the deposition.–B.F.

Deposition of Mrs. Anna G. Smoot concerning property—

       My name is Anna G. Smoot. I am 34 years old live at Culpepper C.H. Va. I am not related to the claimant and have no interest in the claim.

       I am the daughter of Mrs. Catharine Crittenden and lived with her until June 1863 on her farm near Cedar Mountain, adjoining the estate of Dr. Logan Brandt.

       I was there during the battle of Cedar Mountain and witnessed the taking of a large portion of the property from the place by the troops of General Pope’s army both before and after the battle. Our house was in plain view from Dr. Brandt’s and we were very intimate neighbors.

Item 1 Horses
       I was present when the horse named in this item was taken and saw it taken, he was taken by a cavalry man of General Pope’s army before the battle. There were 3 men in the party. One of them took the horse and left his own in his place which was broken down. The horse of Dr. Brandt’s was a very fine one and highly prized by him. Mrs. Brandt was sent for when the soldiers came there.

Items 2 & 6 Horses
       I know that there was a mule and several horses taken from the place while General Pope’s army was there but I did not see either of them taken. I was on the place almost every day and knew when any of the property was taken but can not give dates.

Items 3 & 4 Corn
       I know that corn was taken from Dr. Brandt’s corn house to feed the horses of the pickets at various times but can not state quantities. There was a picket post near the house and generally 8 or 9 men and horses were there.

Item 5 Hay
       There [were] three or more stacks of hay used by the pickets and some hauled away to headquarters. I don’t remember seeing the hay taken but I missed it from day to day and I know the army used it for no one could get to it but the troops.

Item 8 Cattle
       I know Dr. Brandt had 13 head of cattle and I saw them all driven away by the troops of Gen. Pope’s army before the battle. I suppose they were taken for beef as the army was without supplies and foraged on the country. His cattle were all good. He kept improved stock.

Item 9 Wheat
       The wheat I did not see taken, but I know that they had wheat and that it disappeared while the army was in the vicinity. I don’t know what quantity they had nor where it was.

Item 10 Hogs
       I did not see the hogs taken but I was on the place the day after I saw the cattle taken and Mrs. Brandt told me the army had taken every hog she had and I saw they were all gone from the lot where they were kept. I had previously noticed the hogs a being a very fine stock and in excellent order. I cannot tell the number. There were 20 or more I am sure, good sized ones.

Item 11 Bacon
       I saw a quantity of bacon taken from the meat house by some cavalry men about 9 in the party. They were camped there. They put a guard over the meat house and came for it whenever they wanted it. Mrs. Brandt had made bacon from 22 large hogs weighing from 150 to 200 lbs each, and I should judge there must have been fully half of it on hand in August as she had sold none. The troops took all she had except three hams she had hid in a barrel.

Item 12 Wood
       The wood named in this item was standing timber which was cut by the troops of General Meade’s Army in the fall & winter of 1863. If I am not mistaken there was 53 acres of timber on the place and all the best was cut off during the winter by the army. I was not present to witness the taking of any property by General Meade’s army as I left there in June 1863 and returned immediately after the army left in the Spring of 1864. On my return in the Spring of 1864 all

Item 13 to 20 inclusive
      On my return home in the Spring of 1864 all the fencing on the place of Dr Brandt was destroyed and no traces of any left. All the buildings on the place were removed also and nothing remained of them but the chimneys. When General Meade’s army came there in the fall all the buildings and most of the fences were destroyed standing and when it left all the buildings and fences were gone and all the best timber was cut off —And further deponent saith not.

(Signed) Anna G. Smoot

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