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

The 1863-64 Winter Encampment

The Calm Before the Storm

 
 
The 1863-64 Winter Encampment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 18, 2010
1. The 1863-64 Winter Encampment Marker
Inscription. The 1863-1864 winter encampment proved a busy time for the Army of the Potomac. "There was something fascinating about our winter city of 100,000 men," a staff officer recalled. "Many pleasant recollections cluster around the old camp at Brandy Station... history should know that our military service did not consist entirely of being shot at or trying to shoot at the other man."

Thousands of new recruits joined the army and learned how to be soldiers. For members of the "old" regiments, the issue of re-enlisting was of grant interest; those who decided to sign on for "three more years" - or until the end of the war - were treated to a 30-day furlough, a $300 bounty, and special veteran stripes for their uniforms. Soldiers grumbled over the unpopular abolition of the First and Third Corps and the transfers of their regiments into other corps.

In March 1864, following his appointment as general-in-chief of all the Union armies, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant came to Culpeper County. Although George Meade continued to command the Army of the Potomac, Grant chose to make his headquarters in the field with his army and directed operations until the end of the war.

Not two months later, in early May 1864, the men of the Army of the Potomac packed their knapsacks, fell into line, and left these camps for good. On May 4, they
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.
crossed the Rapidan River and marched to the Wilderness. Before the momentous and bloody Overland Campaign ended, nearly half of those who had spent the winter at Brandy Station would be dead or wounded.

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° 31.641′ N, 77° 51.91′ W. Marker is near Brandy Station, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Beverly Ford Road (County Route 677) and St. James Church Road (County Route 676), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located at the second 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
Close Up: Photo of "Farley" House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 18, 2010
3. Close Up: Photo of "Farley" House
walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Brandy Station (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); 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); St. James Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brandy Station.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a photograph of "The 1864 winter encampment of the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry was located near Brandy Station. Note the barrels used as chimneys." On the right is an inset captioned, "During the winter of 1864, many staff officers used nearby homes for their headquarters. Sixth Corps Commander General John Sedgwick used "Farley" house as his headquarters."
 
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
Stop Two on the St. James Church Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 22, 2007
4. Stop Two on the St. James Church Walking Trail
County. See the Battle of Brandy Station Virtual Tour by Markers linked below for additional related markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. Camp of the 18th Pennsylvania Cavarly. More detailed version of the photo used as the background on the marker. (Submitted on December 24, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Another photograph of the camp. In addition to the barrels used as chimneys, mentioned on the marker, note the proximity of the hitching rails to the camp and the saddles placed on the rails in front of the cabins (several men are seen leaning against them). A cavalry camp dressed out somewhat differently than an infantry camp. The primary requirement of the horse soldier in camp was care and maintenance of the mount, saddle and tack. Without which, he could not be considered a horse soldier after all! As many an old cavalryman would say, "The horse, the saddle, the gun!" (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
 
A View Around the Brandy Station Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 22, 2007
5. A View Around the Brandy Station Battlefield
The fields around this area were part of both the Battle of Brandy Station and the later Army of the Potomac encampment.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,607 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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