Monday, February 6, 2012

JEB Stuart Was Here

[caption id="attachment_1956" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Archeological Conservator Christopher Mills hard at work preserving the Brandy Station graffiti. "][/caption]

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

I came across this article on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website about the preservation efforts of a structure located at the Brandy Station battlefield.

According to the article, the "circa-1858 structure is believed to have been used as a hospital by Confederate and Union forces during the war. For unknown reasons, patrons decided to mark up the walls with signatures, drawings and anything else that crossed their minds. Mills' challenge is to remove the post-historic paint and whitewash that subsequent owners attempted to cover the markings with, as well as stabilize the fragile plaster."

What a great way to peer into the real lives of Civil War soldiers - and although without transcripts it is undetermined at this point exactly how different graffiti is from others means of communication such as letters, diaries, or post-war writing - I am going to bet that there are some very unique expressions inscribed on the building's walls.

I am looking forward to finding out exactly what these wounded and visiting soldiers thought about the 1863 cavalry battle or about the war in general. The article mentions that they have a JEB Stuart room, named so because of a signature. I am going to assume that it is indeed Stuart's signature, even though the article is kind of vague on this point.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the information. I wanted to let you know that if you are ever out this way (NVa/DC area), you also might want to check out historic Blenheim in Fairfax. The home contains a large number of pictographs and inscriptions from Union soldiers, and the museum there does a good job of interpreting what it all means. (Here is some info from a post I did a while back: ). I also understand that a few buildings in my neighborhood were used as Union Army hospitals during 1861-62 and have soldiers' inscriptions on the walls. I hope to someday visit and take a look for myself!