Expert research team supporting ABPP grant

We are very pleased and honored that the following two individuals, well known for their expertise in historic research and preservation, will complete the research related to our Rapidan Front Landscape Study. The study is supported by an American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) grant, term 2020-2022. Grant research will look at the 1863-64 Union Winter Encampment that brought more than 100,000 soldiers to Culpeper County and covered almost half of the county. Research will also look at Somerville, Raccoon and Morton’s Fords, critical Rapidan River crossing points for both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Please refer to the map at the end of this post for the preliminary project study area.

Grant research team:

John S. Salmon, Project Historian for the Rapidan Front Landscape Study

John S. Salmon has been researching and writing about Virginia history for more than forty years. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and an M.A. from the College of William and Mary, both in American history. He was an archivist (1972–1987) at the Virginia State Library (present-day Library of Virginia), where he compiled finding aids and guides to state records. In 1987, he joined the Virginia Landmarks Commission (now the Virginia Department of Historic Resources) as staff historian and state historical highway marker manager. He surveyed Virginia battlefields for the Shenandoah Civil War Battlefield Survey and the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (1990–1993) and wrote The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide
(Stackpole Books, 2001) to 123 of the state’s battlefields including Cedar Mountain, Kelly’s Ford, and Brandy Station in Culpeper County.

After retiring from state employment in 2001, Mr. Salmon served as staff historian for the Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation, helping draft plans for a national Civil War museum and learning center. Since leaving that position in the summer of 2004, he has served as a historical consultant. Mr. Salmon writes and edits marker and brochure texts for Virginia Civil War Trails, Inc., a nonprofit educational corporation. Since the mid-1990s, VCWT has created and installed more than 1,000 markers along driving trails linking Civil War sites in six states (Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee).

Mr. Salmon has written more than seventy National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations in four states. In Virginia, his Civil War battlefields and sites nominations include Beaverdam Depot (listed 1988), Fort Riverview (1989), Brandy Station (1989), Bristoe Station (1991), Belle Isle (1995), Fort Pocahontas (1999), Milford (2004), Unison (2011), and Rose Hill in Culpeper County (2020).

Mr. Salmon also wrote a Multiple Property Documentation form, “The Civil War in Virginia, 1861–1865: Historic and Archaeological Resources” (2000). In addition, he wrote a Preliminary Information Form (DHR) for “Rappahannock River 1862 Northern Virginia Campaign Rural Historic District, Fauquier County” (2011). He also wrote the historical narrative for “The Upper Rappahannock River Mapping Project: The Civil War in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, 1862–1864” (2014) for Rivanna Archaeological Services. For the same firm, he wrote the historical narrative for the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery Boundary Expansion, Loudoun County (2016).

Glenn Stach, Preservation Landscape Architect and Planner, Stach PLLC.

Mr. Stach is a subject expert practicing within the narrowly focused field of cultural landscape preservation and planning, with concentrated expertise in battlefield preservation. His ten-year involvement supporting battlefield preservation in Culpeper and Orange counties (with projects at Wilderness, and all six nationally recognized battlefields in Culpeper) afford him a healthy grasp of the cultural landscape and its many Civil War era features.

Mr. Stach recently completed a comprehensive analysis of Confederate Encampment sites across the Rapidan from the study area on Clarks Mountain and in the process collected compelling contributing source material investigation for this study area. Additionally, Mr. Stach led a viewshed study encompassing much of this study area that demonstrates the interconnectedness of the wartime wig-wag signal station network across this region and historic and contemporary relevance to viewshed integrity and preservation. In 2014 Mr. Stach was hired by VDHR to lead battlefield friends development efforts across the commonwealth, a project funded by the ABPP that has had a profound effect on the organizing and support for battlefield resources in Culpeper. Mr. Stach will support John Salmon in mapping the resources of the grant study area, bringing his analysis and cultural landscape perspective (KOCOA) to the study.


Dedication of the 28th New York Monument at Culpeper National Cemetery

In the relics room at the Friends of Cedar Mountain meeting house, there hangs a laminated newspaper.  It is an original edition of the Culpeper Enterprise, dated August 15, 1902.  The dedication of the 28th New York Monument in the Culpeper National Cemetery is the subject of the entire issue.  Thinking it might be  of interest to our visitors, I transcribed the paper and post it here.

A few notes on the transcription:  Some obvious typos have been corrected.  In one or two places the newspaper was torn, but if I was able to discern a name in the torn section, specifically N.E.G. Wadhams, I added it to this transcription.  Also, regarding Horatio King’s poem, read at the ceremony,  I found a printed version of the poem on line at the web  archive, and added the lines that were illegible in the newspaper due to folds in the newsprint.  And, I included a few extraneous things from the banner, and the advertisement at the very bottom of the newspaper page, just for kicks.  –Bradley M. Forbush.


Published by The Enterprise Publishing House
The Enterprise has the Largest Circulation of any paper in this location ––with possibly one exception–– (The Warrenton Virginian.)
Devoted to the Interest of Culpeper and Adjacent Counties.
Price 75 Cents Cash;  TRADE —-$1.00 per year.

Survivors of the 28th Reg’t.    New York Volunteers
Held Their Annual Reunion in Culpeper, Virginia.

At which Meeting they Dedicated a Handsome Monument to the Memory of those of their Comrades who fell in the Battle of Cedar Mountain.  The monument constructed of great blocks of Granite, weights 40 tons, stands 25 feet high, and cost $2,500.  A perpetual testimonial to the valor of those in whose honor it was erected.

Business Meeting of the Association.
28th New York, at Culpeper, Va.

At the annual  business meeting of the Association, held at the National Cemetery on Friday the 8th, the following reports were made.


Col. E. F. Brown, New York city; S.S. Marvin, Phila., Pa;  F. B. Seeley, Lockport, NY; C. W. Boyce, Buffalo,, J.W. Little, Lockport, N.Y.;  B. B. Brown, Cooperstown; N. Dakota; E.H. Ewell, St. Louis, Mich; Jas. Taylor, Vassar, Mich.; Jas. Phillips, Buffalo, NY;  N H. White, Chesaning, Mich;  G. B. Swick, Ramsonville, NY; Thos. Granville, Lockport;  L. A. Brace, Eau Claire, Wis; Ziba Roberts, East Shelby, NY;  E.B. Whitmore, Rochester; D. L. Raynolds, Rushville, NY; S. H. Beach, Jersey City;  C. H. Liscom, NY city; G. H. Boker,[?] Brooklyn;  E. A. Newbury, Westen, Wash;  F. W. Morse, Garwood, NJ;  N.E.G. Wadhams, Niagara Falls; T. Fitz?? (torn)  Washington, DC;  Capt. J. Waller, Monticello, NY:  W. McIntyre, Mangalup Valley, NY  M. Warfield; Hampton, Va.


Number of comrades supposed to be surviving at last reunion, 280.  Six names added this year, of comrades whose addresses were not previously known, vise: Edwin A. Newberry, Sgt-Major, Weston, Mass.; Edward S. Newman, Co. B.  N.S. Home, Milwaukee, Wis; Patrick Lavelle, Co. E, Columbus, Mont; Leonard B. Taylor, Co F, Athens, Maine; Ed. St. John, Co. G, Noroton Heights Conn; Edward J. Watts, Co. F, Wellington, Ohio.   286.

We have lost by death 8 members –– see obituary report.

We have been compelled to drop the names of the following comrades, whose correct address couldn’t obtained;  Frank F. Church,  Lawrence Metzger, Homer H. Fields, and Henry Dykeman. Leaving names now on Roster, 224.

The Secretary has received personal responses from 204 of these, leaving 20 whose address, as recorded to his book must be incorrect, as no response has been received from them.  But letters addressed to these comrades have not been returned, showing that either they, or their friends, had received them; or that their mail had been forwarded to some other address and had not been received.  If received, no attention had been given it.  The names and lost addresses of these 20 comrades, are as follows:

Henry Reparsz, Lockport, NY.
Wm. Winthrop, Lockport, NY.
Alvin A. Eaton, Portis, Kansas.
Lucius Stickney, Alabama NY.
Wright Rodger, Lockport NY.
E.S. Newman, NS home Milwaukee
Samuel Davis, Edgerton, Mich.
John Kempter, E Saginaw, Mich.
John Kugler, Lockport, NY.
Eugene Shepard, N Ridgeway, NY
ML Parkhurst, Canandaigua, NY
Wm H. Brown, Hillsdale, Mich.
Geo. W. Thayer, Pembroke, NY.
Owen McAlister, Clarendon, NY.
Wm A. Lovett, Newark, Ohio.
James Coddington, Wurtsboro, NY.
George Young, Elleville, NY.
John J. Sullivan, Niagara Falls, NY.
William H. Frank, St Paul, Minn,
Byron C Anderson, Wissington, So. Dakota.

The Secretary has also received the following names of comrades who are reported to be surviving, but letters to them at the addresses given have met with no response:

W A Thomas, leader of band, Athens, Maine.
Henry Burk, Co B, N S Home, Dayton, Ohio.
James Gay, Co E, N S Home, Milwaukee, Wis.
James Fox, Co F, 510 Fowler street, Milwaukee, Wis.

The new Roster, thus revised, has been sent to each comrade with the invitation to the reunion.  It has been prepared with great care and may be relied upon as being very nearly correct.  If the comrades would co-operate with the secretary in correcting changes in the addresses where necessary, the Roster would be more reliable.  All of which is respectfully submitted.      C.W. BOYCE,    Secretary.

The report of the Treasurer shows the association to be in good financial condition.  The voluntary subscriptions of the comrades being sufficient, with the State appropriation, to dedicate the monument free of debt, and leave a balance in the treasury to pay all obligations fo the Reunion for the present year.


Reports of the death of the following comrades have been received at the Secretary’s office since our last reunion :

John Quinton, Band, died in 1898.
John H Smith, Co K, died in Aurora, Ill. April 26, 1898.
Leander Hamilton, Co F, died Fairport, NY, 1900.
Erastus R Peek, Co F, died Brockport, NY, June 10, 1901.
Joseph H Camp, Co I, died in Nyack, NY, November 13, 1901.
W H Withey, Band, died in Sioux Falls, SD, December 19, 1901.
Alexander Simpson, Co I, died in Lewistown, NY, October 14, 1901.
John D Woods, Co I, died in Lockport, NY, May 4, 1902.

It is with sorrow we are compelled to drop these names from our list of surveying comrades; and no longer call their names at our yearly roll call.

They were our associates on the weary march, in the camp and on the battle-field; and were endeared to us by the strong ties of comradeship.  We cherish their memories and pay this last tribute of respect to them our heartfelt sympathies to their relatives and friends.  Singed

C.W. Boyce,    F. B. Seeley.  E.B. Whitmore.        Obituary Committee.

The following Officers were elected :  George Irish, President;  N E G Wadhams, Vice-President, and C W Boyce, Secretary and Treasurer.

The place selected for the next reunion is “Olcott Beach, New York.”  The date :  May 22d 1903.

The Dedicatory services were presided over by the colonel of the 28th, Col. E. F. Brown, who lost an arm on Cedar Mountain.

The Colonel made an address of welcome and informed his comrades and the visiting hosts that they had assembled for the purpose of dedicating that imposing block of stone, erected to the memory of their fallen comrades.  A silent sentinel, yet its presence will forever perpetuate the memory of those to whom and over whose ashes it stands; a fitting tribute to the bravery of man.

Col. E. F. Brown, at the monument dedication ceremony, 1902.
Colonel E. F. Brown, seated, center, at the actual ceremony, 1902.

Rev. W. T. Williams made a very touching prayer.  An oration by Judge Oren Britt Brown, of Dayton, Ohio, son of Col. E. F. Brown, who proved himself a worthy son of his much-loved sire.  His remarks were interesting and appropriate.  “We are here,” he said, “to dedicate this beautiful monument, expressive of the gratitude, affection and appreciation of the citizens of the great Empire State, by unanimous vote of its representatives in the General Assembly, to the memory of the volunteers of the 28th New York, as an enduring mark to the bravery and loyalty of its officers and men, both living and dead.”  He spoke of the terrors of war and declared that of all battles of the war, Cedar Mountain stands forth as one of the bloodiest, and that the 28th New York, his father’s regiment, suffered most severely on that bloody field.  This regiment marched upon the slope of Cedar Mountain on the morning of the ninth of August, 1862, 357 strong, and ere the setting of the sun  57 were killed, 61 wounded and 92 were prisoners; total loss, 210.  Every officer was either killed, wounded or taken prisoner, and “your colors captured.”  Yours it was to do and to die.  We are in the midst of the scenes where that dreadful conflict between brothers occurred.  The conscientiousness of the men who participated in that war is not now questioned.  The men who took part in the civil war, ever since the surrender at Appomattox have accepted the decree of that day as an expression of the final settlement of the principles and issues involved.

“Since the late war with Spain many have proclaimed that the conflict served to reunite the nation; that the bitter feeling engendered by the civil war had given place to the fraternal love engendered by the companionship of a Nation’s Common Cause.  This may have strengthened the ties of friendship between the two sections and may have made still firmer the foundations of our nation as they existed at the termination of the civil war in 1865; but in-so-far as the soldiers of either side were concerned, this had been accomplished at Appomattox.”

Then followed this beautiful poem read by the author, Gen. Horatio C. King of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Come here my boy, and sit down upon my knee,
How old are you?  you say you’r twelve and three?
Why bless my heart, how fast the time does fly !
It seems less years than that since crippled I
A gawky stripling lad, no taller than you be
Shouldered my trusty gun and fought for liberty.
Just see me now with my old wrinkled head,
Near bald as that round ragged ball of lead
The surgeon dug from this poor limping leg,
( Though stiffened, better than a wooden peg ),
In old Virginia, on that August day,
When Stonewall Jackson brought our boys to bay
At Cedar Run –– Ah me, who could forget
That bloody fight, its memories haunt me yet.

I guess you’ve heard –– No?  Well I declare
And you’re fifteen”  Say tell me when and where
You’ve been to school, and who my boy’s your teacher
I can’t believe there lives a single creature
Who hasn’t heard of Slaughter’s famous Mountain;
Perhaps he doesn’t drink straight from the fountain
Of real history –– not the pre-diluvian kind
Of Rome and Greece; why boy he must be blind
To skip what’s done and doing here at home
And waste his time on ancient Greece and Rome.

I’ve seen of more than forty years that fight
Since first though Shenandoah’s valley bright
We marched in old Virginia, noble State
But then embittered with unreasoning hate.
And just because we loved our brethren so
We wouldn’t let them from the Union go.
And so we boys put on our uniforms of blue,
And tramped that sacred soil just through and through
“Twas mighty rough, but then you ought to know
That war is hell:   Pap Sherman told us so.

And yet I hear some foolish people say
That war’s not war; and that the proper way
To fight those devils in the Philippines
Is just to feed them bibles, junk and greens,
To send them flags of truce and tracts galore,
And while they fight to send them more and more––
And if those friends go in for nameless slaughter
To shoot them down with squirts and violet water
What bally rot!  If I could only see
Those valiant jays in Congress and without,
I’d give them facts to jog their thoughts about,
And you can bet I’m not afraid to speak and tell
The President to give those fellows hell.
Excuse my swearing, but you see when I
Just hear our boys abused, I’d rather die
Than shut my mouth.  Why bless your heart
My boy is there a fighting for the flag,
He’ll do his duty while his tongue can wag,
And when I hear men call him what he is not,
I don’t deny it makes me piping hot!

When I was just a little older than you be,
I joined the 28th New York in Lockport:  see?
As fine a lot of boys as ever fired a gun,
And quite as fond of fighting as they were of fun.
The ladies, bless their hearts!  of Lockport town
Lent willing hands and did us royal brown,
Presenting us with colors just as fine
As ever fanned the air.  No golden mine
Could buy that flag when we left home and all,
And marched away to heed our county’s call.

We had our ups and downs like other boys,
And many troubles, though a share of joys;
Thro’ dust and mud, in rain and sleet snow,
We went, no kicking, where we had to go,
Until in August eighteen sixty-two
We pitched our camp, a likely sight to view
Among Culpeper’s green and shady hills.
and filled our canteens from its sparkling rills,
the tents they shone like silver in the sun,
the stacks of muskets and each frowning gun
Stood ready, for a mile or two away
Was Stonewall Jackson, waiting for the fray.

Our flag, ah me!  it never looked so bright
As on that summer morning in the growing light|
When we fell in, and felt it in our bones
That bloody work was coming and the stones
On Cedar Mountain would be red with gore
And hundreds sleep the sleep of never more,
We asked not questions; all we soldiers knew,
Was, Banks was there to tell us what to do:
And wherefore wasn’t ours to think or ask
But just to buckle to the awful task
Of fighting twice our number (that’s no lie)
’Twas ours, in face of all to do and die.

’Twas a’most noon.   We heard our Colonel shout
“Charge old 28th; drive the Johnnies out!”
A ringing cheer swelled all along the line,
And with a rush that stiffened every fellow’s spine
We sent the Johnnies flying like the wind
And left their dead and wounded far behind.
Our Gallant Colonel, Dudley Donnelly fell,
And bleeding died there in that mouth of hell;
And Lewis too, who bore our flag that day
Fell on the field and while he wounded lay,
Brave hands to rescue, held the banner high
Till each and all were stricken down to die;
Our Lieutenant Colonel Brown, God bless him!  he
There lost his arm –– a fighting for the free.
He’s here, but Sprout  our Adjutant was shot,
And breathed his last upon that fearful spot.

Major Sprout's Sword
Major Charles Sprout’s Sword

The rank and file went in three hundred strong,
And more –– I guess you’ve heard that famous song
Of Balaklava, and old England’s braves
Whom blundering orders sent to heroes graves.
Well ! Balaklava was like children’s play
And wasn’t in it with the desperate way
The 28th went down like soldier toys,
And lost two hundred of its noble boys
The fight was worse than useless.  Who’s to blame?
Don’t ask; no good !  We won a glorious name,
But not the field;  we lost and worst of all
Our cherished flag; the Johnnies had the call.

Like sheep they packed us in the cattle cars,
’Til Libby found us penned behind its bars,
With one small piece of our shot-riddled flag,
A precious, frayed out little bit of rag,
But full of cheer day after weary day,
While pain and hunger wore our lives away.

But wars like all things else must have an end,
Though still for three years more twas fight and spend.
But blood and money flowed in storms away,
Until upon that fateful April day,
At Appomattox, Southern flags were furled
And peace our peace was hailed throughout the world.

We boys had had enough of fights and [and repeated] gore
And glad were we to see our happy homes once more
We’d saved the Union; not a silvery star
Was blotted from the flag, no single scar
Defaced the stripes of lovely red and white;
But stars and stripes reflected freedom’s light.
Our angry foe became our loyal friend,
Til in another war we both contend
To see who’ll fight the hardest for the land
Whose life was threatened once by brother’s hand.

Well twenty years went by and not a sign
Of our old flag except that six by nine,
That little strip held fast by Colonel Brown
When we were captives in old Richmond town,
Till eighty-two, perhaps ’twas eighty-one
He spent a happy day in Washington,
When searching in the pile with eager air
Of captured flags, he found it lying there.
He dragged it from its dusty hiding place’
Our flag once lost, but lost not in disgrace,
He matched the missing fragment to a T,
And you may well believe when told to me
I cried for joy, I threw my cap on high
And cheered until I thought I’d surely die!

But that’s not all; we’ll not forget the day
When these brave men who took that flag away ––
The 5th Virginia, traveled North to give
it back; I‘ll not forget it while I live.

We’ve got [have] it yet; and when my time shall come
To shuffle off this coil and go up home,
I hope my comrade who may linger there
Will lay that tattered flag upon my bier,
And when the preacher’s had his final say
I want some comrade who was there that day
At Cedar Mountain just to read this song
I’ve writ below:  And let him read it strong!
Then bugle sound “lights out”;  perhaps I may
Just hear;  for heaven can’t be far away.


All hail our starry banner
The emblem of the free,
Whose stars and stripes forever
Shall stand for liberty.
The world beholds thy glory,
‘Bright banner of the stars,
And nations held in bondage
Shall break their prison bars.

In thee the blue of heaven
Proclaims thy purity,
And peoples plunged in sorrow
Shall fondly turn to thee:
To lead the world in honor,
The weak to cheer and save,
These are thy tasks forever,
Dear banner of the brave,
To thee our holy pledges
We solemnly renew,
Until our hearts are silent,
To thee will we be true.
The centuries shall claim
Till time here? shall end,
And all the world proclaims thee
Protector, savior, friend.


Private S. S. Marvin in a few well chosen remarks presented to the government  for its “care and keeping, the beautiful granite shaft that adorns the sacred spot we now occupy.

Gen. T. E. True of the Quartermaster General’s Department of the Army, received the monument for and in the name of the United States.

At this juncture the vast throng was thrilled by the voice of Mrs. Arthur Stilson as she sang “Annie Laurie” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

And last, but not least, was the address of Gen. M. N. Curtis, ex-Congressman, from New York, who said in part:  “In many ways I claim fellowship with you, my brave Virginians.  In all the glory given the 28th today you are silent participants of honor.

“Happy, indeed, are the American people that on both sides they met as they did this conflict which was necessary.  It had to come; the question whether the Union or State was sovereign was not one for courts or legislatures.  And we are glad it was fought to the end, leaving nothing to our children but to love and honor the Union which remains.”

The benediction by Rev. W. T. Williams, closed the annual reunion of the 28th N.Y.   A memorable meeting it was –– one that will be long and pleasantly remembered by every one present.

A vast throng had gathered from our little city and surrounding country to join in hearty sympathy and co-operation with those from the North, who had journeyed here to do honor to the memory of their dead.

The sun shone beautifully bright.  The little birds chanted solemn requiems o’er the sleeping heroes.  No cloud in the sky.  No word, or act, to mar the unsullied pleasure of the solemn occasion.


At night–– Friday, Aug. 8th,––  there was a “Camp-fire” in Rixey’s Opera House, around which were assembled veterans of both the Blue and the Gray.

Major Grimsley presided, and many stories and incidents of camp-life were related.  General King’s jokes carried the audience by storm.

Judge Grimsley has done all in his power to make this a memorable occasion and we feel confident that the cordial reception we have extended to our visitors  is duly appreciated by them.


On a hot Saturday, August 8, 1862, [August 9th is correct – B.F.] Cedar Mountain was the scene of one of the many bloody combats that drenched the soil of old Virginia with the blood of contending armies.

Last Saturday, the 8th, just 40 years thereafter, there met upon that fatal spot, survivors of those who participated in that fearful drama.

Last Saturday they met not as enemies, but as friends and brothers.  Together they tramped over the ground and talked the stirring scenes that they witnessed on Cedar Mountain 40 years ago.

The positions the several commands occupied to various times during the engagement, have been marked with huge blocks of granite which bears the same of each command.  The credit of this work is due to our honored townsman, Judge D. A. Grimsley.

Having erected a monument to the memory of their dead, the survivors of the 28th New York determined to hold their annual reunion in Culpeper for the double purpose of dedicating the monument and to again visit the Cedar Mountain battlefield to satisfy themselves that the granite markers had been properly placed, and invited the Confederate veterans, especially the members of the 5th Virginia, to join them;  but Colonel (Judge) Grimsley determined to capture his old adversaries, and to this end called upon the good people of the town and county of Culpeper (holding the old vets in reserve) to constitute themselves a committee to entertain the members of the 28th New York and their comrades and friends.  Nobly did they respond to Judge Grimsely’s request.  It reminded the writer of an old-time Virginia picnic.

Our people came for many miles around and most of them brought bountiful supplies of eatables.  A veritable feast, such as one only gets at an old Dominion picnic  Fully six thousand people were on the grounds.  

The beautiful grove in which is situated Cedar Run Church, was thronged with those who came in honor of the occasion whose presence demonstrates the good fellowship that warms the hearts of true Virginians.

Cedar Run Baptist Church
Cedar Run Baptist Church

It was an ideal day.  A day that will remain green in our memory; a day where our beautiful girls (of which Culpeper is justly proud) vied with each other in their efforts to entertain their new made friends.

The presiding officer, Judge Grimsley, selected some of Culpeper’s fairest daughters and assigned to them the pleasant task of pinning a badge on the lapel of each veteran’s coat.  It was a beautiful sight to see those gray haired warriors, standing in two long columns, while these pretty young maidens bestowed upon them a badge of honor.

Forward, march! was the next order of the day.  And the veterans marched either side of the long tables that fairly groaned ‘neath the weight of viands.  This sumptuous feast was served by the dainty hands of our sweet girls, which added no little to the enjoyment of the repast.  After the old soldiers had been served, a general invitation was extended to all.  Everyone present was bountifully provided for, and so generous was the supply that there was enough left to have fed as many more.  Surely the hospitality of Culpeper (of which we are proud) was fully sustained last Saturday.

Our business men, many of whom could not spend the day with the visitors, yet wished to contribute to their pleasure, so they procured Staley’s Band from Washington, which proved a very pleasing feature of the day.

Dinner over, Judge Grimsley introduced Capt. C. M. Blackford of Lynchburg, of the 2d Va. Cavalry, who was temporarily attached to Gen. Jackson’s staff at the time of the battle.  Capt. B told of one incident of the battle:  The Confederate troups faultered;  old Jack seeing his columns wavering rushed into the breach, drew his sword and waved it for the first and last time during the war.   Capt. Blackford’s able and instructive address was greatly enjoyed;  at the close of which he introduced Gen. M. N. Curtis, saying Virginia owed much to the General; that he had proven her friend.  General Curtis is a pleasant speaker and his friendly remarks were highly appreciated.

The others who spoke were:  Col. E. F. Brown, 28th N.Y.;  Capt. W. P. Pendleton, Col. J. W. Williams of the 5th Va. Infantry;  Brig.-Gen. J. T. Taylor of Penn., who was a Captain in the battle of Cedar Mountain and led a cavalry charge, and Col. Wm. Penn Loyd, Adjt-Gen’l of Gen’l Taylor’s brigade.  The writer was very pleased with Col. Loud’s remarks,  And also Mr. John Bresnahan.

The crowning feature of the day was a song by Mrs. Arthur Stilson of Detroit, Mich., daughter of Adjutant Sprout of the 28th New York, who was killed in the battle of Cedar Mountain.  Standing within view of the spot where her father sacrificed his life for the flag, his daughter in her unusually sweet voice sang the song of the South, “Dixie.”  It was indeed a most touching incident; one that should convince the most skeptical of the changes 40 years have wrought.

A number of patriotic songs was rendered by a chorus composed of the different choirs of the town, with band accompanyment, which added to the enjoyment of the occasion.

With one accord all agree that the Veterans Reunion Picnic was a success.  Too much credit cannot be given Judge Grimsley, for to his untiring energy and unceasing efforts, all are indebted for such an enjoyable time.

Before leaving the field the members of the 28th unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That the hearty thanks of every comrade of the 28th New York Regiment, and of every Northern citizen visiting the city of Culpeper at this time, be, and the same hereby is, extended to Judge D. A. Grimsley and his citizen and Confederate associates, who have so ably arranged all the details for our pleasure and comfort at this reunion ; and to the ladies of Culpeper, who have so kindly opened their houses for our entertainment;  also to the ladies and citizens who have provided the very generous lunch on the battlefield; and to all, who have in so many ways, aided in making our stay among you so very delightful.

We are deeply moved by the fraternal spirit that prompted you to decorate the stores and many of your homes, an unexpected evidence of our welcome to your beautiful city, and the hospitality of your lovely homes, will ever remain with us, a most pleasant memory.  The hearty welcome we have received have made a deep impression upon us, a most pleasant memory.  The hearty welcome we have received has made a deep impression upon us.  We shall take our departure from your city with regret, feeling assured that our visit has been more than simply a day’s pleasure.  To us, at least, has come “The new dispensation of Peace,” which is blinding the North and the South together, in one common brotherhood.

Our dead comrades, lying so peacefully in your beautiful cemetery, are ties that will ever bind our hearts to Virginia. Your kind hospitality for which Virginians have always been so justly famed –– assures us that the  same feelings of kindness and brotherhood which you have shown us, will prompt you to remember the graves of our comrades, when, on each decoration day, you cover with flowers those of your own heroic dead.

And when you give your
“Love and tears for the Gray,”
You will also have
Kind thoughts and flowers for the Blue.

I Know One Sure Remedy
for an obstinate cold. Its name is Pyny-Balsam.

*NOTE:  The flag of the 28th NY was captured at the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862.    

A wounded member of the color guard, knowing he would be captured,  tore the flag from its staff and tried to hide it in his jacket.  But it was discovered by a soldier of the 5th VA Inf., of the Stonewall Brigade.  In the evening, while waiting to be marched away, a member of the 28th NY secretly cut out a small piece of the flag as a keepsake.  Months later, when he returned from captivity, he gave it to Colonel Brown, who kept it for 20 years.

In 1882, Col. Brown found the regiment’s lost flag in Washington, D.C., among a collection of recaptured Union Colors retrieved from Richmond after the war.  The scrap piece of flag he carried on his person, fit perfectly into the missing piece of the discovered flag.  He immediately contacted the Secretary of War to reclaim the flag on behalf of the 28th NY Vols.  The request was granted, and the flag was returned to Col. Brown.  The veterans of the 28th NY, then invited veterans of the 5th VA to their annual re-union in upstate New York.  The Virginians accepted, and in a ceremony conducted May 21, 1883, at Niagara Falls, an officer of the 5th VA returned the flag to Col. Brown.  The crowd cheered.  It was the first re-union attended by veterans of both sides.

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The Civil War in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties

The Upper Rappahannock River Mapping Project: The Civil War in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, 1862-1864 documents the broad and complex historical landscape that extends across much of Virginia’s Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, anchored along the Rappahannock River. During 1862-1864, nine battle engagements – including Cedar Mountain – took place in this area, and its strategic importance during the Civil War is supported by this report’s in-depth analysis that includes a wealth of current resources as well as historic photos and maps. An excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the historical landscape of Culpeper and Fauquier Counties.

Click on the image below to read the full report on

Cedar Mountain in Summer 2019 Hallowed Ground magazine

One of the benefits of membership in the American Battlefield Trust (ABT) is a subscription to Hallowed Ground, the Trust’s award-winning quarterly magazine filled with beautiful photography and interesting articles. Each issue takes readers into an exploration of American battlefield history, preservation successes and challenges, special events, planning a battlefield visit, and much more.

The Summer 2019 issue of Hallowed Ground features an article about Cedar Mountain penned by our own Mike Block, vice president of Friends of Cedar Mountain. The ABT has generously shared Mike’s article on their website: please read Under a Deadly Sun at Cedar Mountain

Rich history is just one of the contributors to the vibrancy of our area. To learn about all that Culpeper offers, take a look at  Make Some History This Weekend: Explore Culpeper

We hope that after reading both articles you’ll be inspired to come visit!

The 21st Virginia Infantry: A difficult first year

The following review of the 21st Virginia Infantry’s first year of battle was prepared by FCMB board member Bradley Forbush. This review was prepared in conjunction with a tour of Cedar Mountain in August 2018 by Mike Dove, a descendant of five 21st Virginia Infantry members. Read the tour report.

The 21st Virginia Volunteer Infantry was organized in July 1861 at Richmond. The regiment spent a couple of weeks training in Richmond before it was ordered to the Allegheny mountains of Western Virginia. At 11 a.m. on July 18, 1861, the newly minted soldiers, 850 strong, boarded a slow train to Staunton, on the Virginia Central Railway, and arrived early the next morning. From Staunton they proceeded westward on foot, arriving July 26 at Huntersville where they joined Brigadier General W. W. Loring’s command. #1

Loring’s army was then battling Federal troops for control of the mountain roads and passes that led east to Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley. They had recently lost ground to the increasing number of Federals in the region. The 21st Infantry was part of the badly needed reienforcements hurried forward to help out.

Unfortunately, the 21st would not provide much aid in the coming campaign. As soon as they arrived a measles epidemic broke out in camp effecting 75 percent of the men. By August 6 only 25 percent of the men were fit for duty. Those that were well enough helped clear land and build roads for the impending military operations.

The poor condition of the men caused the 21st Virginia to be assigned a lesser role in the Cheat Mountain Campaign, September 12 -15, 1861.

The Cheat Mountain Campaign
To defeat the Federals, General Robert E. Lee and General W. W. Loring devised a complicated plan for 5 Confederate columns to simultaneously attack two strong Union Forts, 8 miles distant by bridle path over the mountains, but 15 miles distant by road. Three columns attempted to assault the Federals at their Cheat Mountain fort, while 2 columns waited to attack the Federal stronghold at Elkwater. The debilitated 21st Virginia was held in reserve guarding a road far from the intended action.

Rain, fog, bad roads, and poor communication between the columns doomed the campaign. The lead column was repulsed before its assault on Cheat Mountain fairly began, and the entire affair was called off. It was a fiasco for General Lee. The army returned to their camps at Valley Mountain, while General Lee tried to formulate another plan. He left the area on September 24.

The soldiers of the 21st Virginia remembered him fondly as a kind and fair leader during this time, and the regiment could later boast about being among the earliest troops commanded by the future great general.

The 21st Virginia continued picketing different mountain roads in this region until early December 1861. Their next assignment was with General “Stonewall” Jackson at Winchester, and what was to become the brutal Romney Campaign.

Hancock and Romney Campaign
The already legendary “Stonewall” Jackson was anxiously awaiting reinforcements for which he had been pestering authorities at Richmond ever since he received command of the Shenandoah Valley in November 1861. He planned an assault on the Federal Garrison in the Allegheny Mountains at Romney, VA, 43 miles west of Winchester. General W. W. Loring reluctantly agreed to reinforce Jackson and began slowly shuffling his command to Winchester from Staunton in early December.

The 21st Virginia reached Winchester on December 27 after a slow and exhausting sixteen day march. They were the last of General Loring’s men to arrive. That evening, Brigade Commander, Colonel William Gilham, a friend of Jackson’s, paid him a visit, and brought along Lieutenant Colonel John M. Patton, then commanding the 21st Virginia.

Patton explained to Jackson, “Both my regiment and myself are ready to execute your orders, but I feel it is my duty to say to you that my men are so foot sore and weary that they could just crawl up barely and if they have any double-quicking to do from the character of your orders, I suppose they will.”

Jackson replied, “Colonel, if that is the condition of your men, I will not send them on this expedition. Take them back and report to your brigadier.” Patton quickly back-tracked his opinion in front of Jackson but his comment reveals something of the health of his men. #2

The truth is, the troops in General Loring’s command were not ready for the hardships of a winter campaign.

The March to Hancock
The first march of the campaign got off to a balmy start on an unseasonably warm New Year’s Day, 1862, causing many inexperienced soldiers to leave their tents and overcoats behind for the supply wagons to carry. In the afternoon the weather changed. The temperature dropped and the wind kicked up. It turned very cold. Men without coats or blankets tried to sleep at night out in the open on frozen ground. The supply wagons would not get up for another full day. The second day’s march was worse, continuing in a snow storm in “bone-numbing cold” without food or proper clothing,

Snow and cold crippled Jackson’s force during this campaign yet he pushed the men hard, ever onward. By January 6, Jackson had accomplished his first strategic objective. He drove Federal pickets out of Bath Hot Springs and across the Potomac River to Hancock, Maryland. The Federals reacted quickly and sent reinforcements to Hancock forcing Jackson to abandon plans to take the town. But, with his rear guard now cleared of Federal troops, he turned his attention to his main objective; capturing the town Romney.

On January 7, he marched his troops south. To quote Jackson’s biographer James I. Robertson, this was the worst day of the campaign: “The region was in the throes of a major snowstorm.” Henry Kyd-Douglas of the 2nd Virginia wrote in a letter after the campaign, “The road was an uninterrupted sheet of ice … 3 men in our Brigade broke their arms by falling, several rendered their guns useless. Several horses were killed & many wagons were compelled to go into night quarters along the road, being unable to get along at all.” #3 The army camped at Unger’s Store for 4 days to put winter shoes on the surviving horses. About one third of the troops were sick or disabled.

The four day delay frustrated Jackson who was impatiently waiting to proceed, when suddenly, Confederate scouts returned to his camp with the astonishing news that Federal troops had abandoned Romney. The town was open for the taking.

Learning this, Jackson quickly moved to occupy Romney on January 14. He posted Loring’s troops there as a guard, and returned to Winchester with the Stonewall Brigade, January 23, satisfied he had obtained a strategic victory. But the officers and men of General Loring’s force saw things differently. Feeling vulnerable to Federal attack at Romney, influential officers of Loring’s command petitioned authorities at Richmond to order a return to Winchester. Their request was granted. Jackson was ordered, unwillingly, to bring Loring’s command back to Winchester in early February. The campaign had a devastating effect on morale. John Worsham of the 21st Virginia summed up the regiment’s experience in these words:

“We reached Winchester on the [Feb] 6th, and went into camp, after being away a little over a month, undergoing the most terrible experience during the war. Many men were frozen to death, others frozen so badly they never recovered, and the rheumatism contracted by many was never gotten rid of. Many of the men were incapacitated for service, large numbers were barefooted, having burned their shoes while trying to warm their feet at the fires.” #4

About 1,500 men out of 8,500 total were sick in hospitals around Winchester and surrounding towns as a result of the Romney campaign.

The Valley Campaign; Battle of Kernstown March 23, 1862
Union General N. P. Banks crossed the Potomac River into the Shenandoah Valley March 1, 1862, and proceeded to slowly move up the valley to clear it of Confederate troops. General Jackson had been reluctant to abandon the town of Winchester to the approaching enemy, but his small command was no match for the number of advancing Federals. He vacated the town on March 11. Ten days later, he learned a large part of General Banks’ army was leaving the Shenandoah Valley for Manassas. Jackson decided to strike.

The battle of Kernstown was a Confederate defeat, but it was the first stand up fight for the soldiers of the 21st Virginia and they did well. During the engagement they rushed to the aid of the 27th Virginia “and restored their broken line.” #5 It was also the first time many of them saw a man struck by an enemy shell. John Worsham wrote:

“A gun or two of the Rockbridge battery now joined us, we marched under a hill, and they to the right on top of the ridge. These guns were occasionally in their march exposed to the view of the enemy’s battery, and they fired at them, the shells passing over our regiment. One of them struck one of the drivers of the guns, tearing his leg to pieces, and going through the horse. Both fell; the shell descended and passed through our ranks and struck a stump not far off, spinning around like a top, and before it stopped one of the company ran and jumped on it, taking it up and carrying it along as a trophy. This is the first man of the war I saw struck by a shell; it was witnessed by the majority of the regiment.” #6

After the defeat at Kernstown, the eccentric general Jackson led his small force 100 miles up the valley in a slow fighting retreat, seeking to confront the enemy at any given opportunity. John Worsham described it this way:

“This was the boldest retreat I ever saw. General Jackson was defeated at Kernstown on the 25th of March by an overwhelming force, and the next day retired up the valley more slowly than I ever saw him march; and when we went into camp at night we tarried as long as possible. If the enemy did not hunt for us, General Jackson would hunt for them The regiments had orders to drill just as if no enemy was within a hundred miles of us. It can be seen that our movements were slow since it took us from March 24 to April 18 to march about one hundred miles, although we marched about half that distance in two days when we advanced to Kernstown.” #7

During the course of this famous campaign General Jackson sequentially defeated 3 independent Union commands and drove the Federals out of the Shenandoah Valley.

The campaign consisted of a series of stealth marches and surprise attacks that caught his enemies off guard.

Battle of McDowell, May 8, 1862
On April 30, General Ewell’s force of 8,500 men joined Jackson’s force, more than doubling his army. Jackson felt he still needed more troops than he had available to clear the valley of Federals. Meanwhile, Brigadier General Edward Johnson in the Allegheny mountains west of Staunton was pleading with Jackson to come help him confront General John C. Fremont’s advancing army. Leaving Ewell to watch Union General N.P. Banks to the north, Jackson marched his command west to Staunton, and then into the Allegheny Mountains (more than 100 miles) to help Johnson. Jackson and Johnson encountered the vanguard of Fremont’s army at the hamlet of McDowell on May 8, repulsed their repeated attacks, and forced the ill- equipped Northerners to retreat. Once again the 21st Virginia were fighting in the Allegheny mountains about 45 miles distant, by way of winding roads, from their initial camp at Huntersville.

Jackson’s force chased the retreating Federals into the mountains for a few days but when satisfied they were no longer a threat he turned his attentions back to the more urgent task of defeating General Banks. Success in the Allegheny’s added General Johnson’s 3,000 men to his command. These troops would suffice for the reinforcements he needed to confront Banks in the Shenandoah Valley. Now General Jackson needed to quickly re-unite with General Ewell before the latter general’s force might be called away. In order to make good time, Jackson issued a strict marching regimen to his troops so they could cover 15 — 20 miles a day, under the most difficult of conditions. With little or no food, they marched over horrible mountain roads during a 5 day period of torrential rain, May 12-17, and covered the 67 miles they needed to reach the vicinity of Harrisonburg. The troops began to refer to themselves as Jackson’s Foot Cavalry.

On May 18, near Harrisonburg, Generals Jackson and Ewell met, and planned their next move. On May 19 the new military offensive began. The first objective was to defeat the Union garrison at Front Royal.

Again we turn to the pages of John Worsham’s memoir. He wrote, “On May 21st Jackson marched down the Valley pike. When we reached New Market we took the road leading to the Luray valley, and formed a junction on the 22d, near Luray, with the balance of General Ewell’s command… Jackson now had the largest army he had ever had. He had brought Gen. Edward Johnson’s force of six regiments and some artillery with him from the Shenandoah mountain, and had Ewell’s command, and his old command.

“On the 23d Jackson’s army left its bivouac near Luray, taking the road to Front Royal, the head of the column arriving about three or four o’clock in the afternoon. General Jackson as usual, made an immediate attack on the enemy, with the few men who were up. His eagerness all through this campaign was surprising, and his escape from death was almost a miracle.” #8 Front Royal was captured, although the 21st Virginia was not engaged there.

One of the more grueling marches for the regiment came the next day on May 24 and 25 as Jackson attempted for a second time to retake Winchester. The 21st Virginia suffered through an especially difficult 7 mile march from Cedarville to Middletown, followed by a forced night march to Winchester with only 2 hours rest.

Col. John Patton of the 21st Virginia reported, “As the men limped along with weary limbs and feet throbbing with pain, on what seemed to them an aimless march, I heard them denouncing Jackson in unmeasured terms to ‘marching them to death for no good.’ It was my duty no doubt to have rebuked these manifestations of insubordination, but, feeling that their sufferings in some measure condoned their offense, I took no notice of the breach of discipline.” #9

Battle of Winchester, May 23, 1862
The 21st VA supported the Rockbridge artillery during the attack on Winchester. They were under fire from enemy shells but lost no men during the engagement. General Banks men put up a heavy resistance with artillery fire, but before long, the Union line was outflanked and driven north through the town. Banks’ force continued retreating north, 35 miles to the Potomac river, which he crossed into Maryland.

Jackson’s continuing success caused many to forgive him the hard service they endured. John Worsham wrote, “Jackson lost a very small number of men, but he had led us for three weeks as hard as men could march. In an order issued to his troops the next day, he thanked us for our conduct, and referred us to the result of the campaign as justification for our marching so hard. Every man was satisfied with his apology; to accomplish so much with so little loss, we would march six months! The reception at Winchester was worth a whole lifetime of service.”#10

Three days after the battle of Winchester, the 21st Virginia was detached from Jackson’s main body to guard the large number of captured Union prisoners, estimated to be about 2,300 men. The regiment numbered only 250 men at this time. This is down from 600 men tallied in a report dated April 18. One factor that contributed to the drop in numbers was the muster out of Company B, the Maryland company. Its one year term enlistment expired during the Winchester campaign. Going forward, the regiment had only 9 companies.

Anxiety that the prisoners might escape was ever-present during Jackson’s hurried retreat up the valley from May 31 to June 5. The wagon train led the march. The prisoner escort followed. Once again, a pelting hard rain daily encumbered the move. The roads were muddy. Union Generals Fremont and Shields were threatening to close in and cut off the small Confederate army’s retreat. Things got a little dicey for a while around the village of Port Republic on June 6, but the 21st Regiment made the long journey with their captives, across the mountains, from the Shenandoah Valley to Lynchburg without serious incident. They marched beyond Waynesboro, to just south of Charlottesville where prisoners and escort boarded cars at the North Garden Depot of the Orange & Alexandria railroad, and made the last stretch of the journey by train. At the Lynchburg Fairgrounds, the Federal prisoners were turned over to the care of the City Guards. The 21st Virginia returned by rail to Charlottesville where they reunited with the rest of their brigade and General Jackson’s army on June 21 and proceeded with them to Richmond.

Battle of Gaines Mill
The regiment did well in Richmond, participating in newly appointed Commanding General Robert E. Lee’s largest attack of the war at Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862. They came out of the 7 days fighting around Richmond with only 1 man reported wounded. That luck would be absent at their next engagement: Cedar Mountain on August 9, 1862.


  1. John Worsham. One of Jackson’s Foot Cavalry, Neale Publishing Company, New York, 1912. p. 37.
  2. James I. Robertson, Jr. Stonewall Jackson. Macmillan Publishing USA, New York, 1997. p. 302.
  3. Robertson, p. 309. Footnote: Kydd-Douglass to Tippie Boteler, Jan. 12, 1862, Boteler Papers.
  4. Worsham,p. 63.
  5. Robertson, p. 342.
  6. Worsham, p. 67.
  7. Worsham, p. 74.
  8. Worsham, p. 82.
  9. Robertson, p. 401. Southern Historical Society Papers, 8 (1880): 141.
  10. Worsham, p. 88.

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