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Near Brandy Station in Culpeper County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The 1863-64 Winter Encampment

The Federal Army of the Potomac Rebuilds

 
 
The 1863-64 Winter Encampment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 22, 2007
1. The 1863-64 Winter Encampment Marker
Inscription. On the night of December 1, 1863, following its unsuccessful advance against Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Mine Run Campaign, a cold and tired Army of the Potomac withdrew across the Rapidan River and returned to Culpeper County.

On these fields and throughout most of Cupleper and part of Fauquier Counties, 100,000 Union soldiers set up a massive winter encampment that disrupted the lives of local residents

Union commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade (right) ordered that the army establish its camps in an enormous oval-shapped configuration. As protection, an outer ring of cavalry pickets stretched around the army, backed up by an inner line of infantry.

Supplies from Alexandria, Virginia rolled down the Orange and Alexandria Railroad into Brandy Station, the army's principle supply depot, and to Ingalls Station, 1.2 miles to the north.

The encampment, which lasted from December 1, 1863 to May 4, 1864, was described by one soldier as a time "when the shattered regiments regained form and fair; when the new men learned the ways of the old, and caught the spirit of the organization they had entered... and the new body, thus composed, was to be thrown into one of the most furious campaigns of human history."

"A man could walk for miles and never leave the camps around
Help Preserve Brandy Station image. Click for more information.
2. Help Preserve Brandy Station
Click here for details on CWPT's efforts.
Click for more information.
Brandy Station."

Anonymous Union Solder

"A few weeks ago it was a wilderness; now it is a city of log huts, hardly a tree to be seen."
126th New York Soldier

Help Preserve Battlefields call CWPT at 1-888-606-1400 www.civilwar.org The Hallowell Foundation generously contributed toward the interpretation of this site in memory of Carrington Williams.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
 
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
 
Location. 38° 31.379′ N, 77° 51.923′ W. Marker is near Brandy Station, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is at the intersection of Beverly Ford Road (County Route 677) and St. James Church Road (County Route 676), on the left when traveling north on Beverly Ford Road. Click for map. Located at the first trail stop for the St. James Church Walking Trail of the the Battle of Brandy Station. Marker is in this post office area: Brandy Station VA 22714, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Stop One on the St. James Church Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 22, 2007
3. Stop One on the St. James Church Walking Trail
of this marker. Battle of Brandy Station (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. James Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The 1863-64 Winter Encampment (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brandy Station.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a portrait of General Meade. In the center is a photograph of "The 1864 winter headquarters of the Army of the Potomac's commander General George G. Meade located near Brandy Station." On the right a map shows the "Army of the Potomac winter encampments, 1863-64."
 
Regarding The 1863-64 Winter Encampment. This is one of several markers interpreting the Battle of Brandy Station and the winter encampments of 1863-64 in Culpeper County. See the Battle of Brandy Station Virtual Tour by Markers linked below for additional related
The Battle of Brandy Station<br>St. James Church Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
4. The Battle of Brandy Station
St. James Church Walking Trail
Welcome to the Civil War Preservation Trust's Brandy Station Battlefield! The battlefield walking trail is a one-mile path that takes you past four wayside signs interpreting the 1863 fighting at St. James Church and the 1863-64 Winter Encampments. Allow one and one-half hour to walk this trail.

The trail has a mown walking surface; please do not stray from this trail. Beware of ticks and snakes that thrive in the fields surrounding the trail.

Most importantly, please enjoy your time in these beautiful fields and reflect that this experience would have been significantly different if this land had been paved over to build a shopping mall or subdivision. To help CWPT preserve other battlefields like Brandy Station, please call 1-888-606-1400.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
The Hallowell Foundation generously contributed toward the interpretation of this site in memory of Carrington Williams.
To the left of the text is a map showing the trail stops.
markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. Letters from the Winter Encampment. The Brandy Station Foundation has collected letters from soldiers written from the winter encampment. (Submitted on December 24, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. A Storm and the Consequences Thereof ... New York Times article written in December 1864 detailing incidents from the encampment. "During the last forty-eight hours a heavy rainstorm has prevailed, flooding all of the low land and soaking the ground so thoroughly everywhere that wherever a man or animal steps the track is instantly filled with the permeating element...." From an embedded reporter of a bygone era. (Submitted on December 24, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Battle of Brandy Station Virtual Tour by Markers. A set markers that document the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, and the Winter Encampment of 1863-64. Note the order of appearance is geographic and not chronologically aligned to the battle. (Submitted on January 1, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,596 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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