• Deborah Newman

The Grand Review Brandy Station Foundation, September 2022

President: Howard Lambert; Vice President: Gregory A. Mertz; Treasurers: Peter Mocarski and Peggy Mocarski; Secretary: Peggy Misch (newsletter editor)


Board of Directors: Jane Brookins, Don Carlson, Helen Geisler, Larry Pullen, Rice Sumner Wagner, and Paul Warmack

 

Bowman Family Revisits the Graffiti House


(L to R) Broadus (Bo) Bowman, David Bowman, Jim Bowman, and Paul Bowman

Several stories in this September newsletter will be linked to one soldier who signed the upstairs wall at the Graffiti House, Allen Bowman. The first story recounts the story of the Bowman family visit to the Graffiti House and the Annual Dinner on May 1st of this year. The second story is the story of the Bowman family visit in October of 2016 and the role the former BSF President Bob Jones played in facilitating that Bowman family connection. The third story is the August dedication of a crepe myrtle at the Graffiti House in memory of Bob Jones.


Broadus (Bo) Bowman provided this description of his family’s visit to the Graffiti House in May:


Four Bowman men, along with their spouse’s, each man a descendent of Allen Bowman who signed his name in two places upstairs in the Graffiti House, revisited the house on May 1. Later that evening they also attended the annual Brandy Station Foundation dinner and business meeting. In the accompanying photo are (L to R) Broadus (Bo) Bowman, great grandson of Allen; David Bowman, a great-great grandson; Jim Bowman, a great nephew; and Paul Bowman, another great grandson. It was Bo and Paul that presented Allen Bowman’s “Bayonet converted to a Hoe” several years ago to the Graffiti House, and is on display at the house in the upstairs room in which Allen’s signature is the most prominent.

The group enjoyed refreshing their memories of the Graffiti House, and noting all of the additions and improvements since their last previous visit, followed by the very nice dinner and meeting that evening.


Sergeant Allen Bowman served with Co. E, 12th Virginia Cavalry. The 12th Virginia Cavalry fought at St. James Church and at Fleetwood Hill during the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863. In his book, Brandy Station 1863: First step toward Gettysburg, Dan Beattie wrote that Major Henry B. McClellan, General Jeb


Sgt. Allen Bowman signature at the Graffiti House

Stuart’s assistant adjutant general, “would always regret that the sacrifice of many brave men in the 12th Virginia was necessary to save the day”.


 

Wall Signer Descendants visit the Graffiti House on October 30, 2016


At the Graffiti House from left: Bob Jones, Graffiti House tour guide, Broadus and Peggy Bowman from Greenwood, SC; David and Elizabeth Bowman from Fulton, MD ;Jim and Carolyn Bowman from Newark, DE On Sunday, October 30, 2016, the Brandy Station Foundation welcomed some special visitors to the Graffiti House in Brandy Station. The Graffiti House served as a field hospital for the South during the Battle of Brandy Station and other local battles during the Civil War. It also served as a headquarters facility for the Federal forces during the winter encampment of 1863-64. Soldiers from both sides made drawings and signed their names and units on the walls.

One of the signatures upstairs at the Graffiti House is Sgt. Allen Bowman, from Company E of the 12th Virginia Cavalry. Shortly after the Graffiti House opened to the public in 2002, Sergeant Bowman's signature appeared in an Associated Press news story in South Carolina. Broadus and Peggy Bowman from Greenwood, SC recognized their Civil War ancestor’s name and subsequently visited the Graffiti House and the Brandy Station Battlefield. Broadus is the the great grandson of Allen Bowman. The family later donated Allen Bowman's hoe/ bayonet to the Brandy Station Foundation. It is on display at the Graffiti House along with a photo of Bowman after the Civil War. The ceremony took place at the site of the destroyed St. James Church.


Fast forward to 2014. Robert L. (“Bob”) Jones, a past Brandy Station Foundation president, is giving tours at both Montpelier, the home of James Madison in Orange, and the Graffiti House. A couple from Maryland are taking Bob’s tour at Montpelier and start asking about Montpelier during the Civil War. Bob subsequently tells the visitors about the Graffiti House in Brandy Station and learns that their last name is Bowman; they are James W. (“Jim”) and

Carolyn Bowman.


Bob tells Jim and Carolyn about the Allen Bowman signature at the Graffiti House. They visit the Graffiti House and learn that they have relatives in South Carolina that they were unaware of—Jim is the great grandson of John W. Bowman of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, Allen Bowman’s brother. Jim then went on to correspond with Broadus, but they had not met in person. They visited the Graffiti House and the Brandy Station Battlefield on October 30, 2016. David and

Elizabeth Bowman from Fulton, MD were the third Bowman couple; David is the great, great grandson of Allen Bowman.


 

Crepe Myrtle Dedication in memory of Bob Jones, August 14, 2022


At the Graffiti House crepe myrtle dedication in memory Bob Jones are, l to r,: Keely Hite, Doug Jones, Peg Jones, and Chris Jones.


On August 14th, a crepe myrtle planted near the Graffiti House was dedicated in memory of Robert L. (Bob) Jones. Bob had served the Foundation in so many roles, from President, Treasurer, Board Member, Graffiti House tour guide, Brandy Station battlefield tour guide, author, and friend. Bob and his wife Peg had hosted conservator Christopher Mills while Chris did work at the Graffiti House, stabilizing the walls and revealing graffiti hidden beneath layers of paint.




At the Graffiti House crepe myrtle dedication in memory of Bob Jones are, l to r,: Don Carlson (BSF Board member and Bob Jones Dedication Committee member), Howard Lambert (BSF President), Chris Jones, Peg Jones, Doug Jones, Christopher Mills (Architectural Conservator), Helen Geisler (BSF Board member and Bob Jones Dedication Committee member), Gregory Mertz (BSF Vice President and Bob Jones Dedication Committee member), and Jane Brookins (BSF Board member).


Bob co-authored The Graffiti House Interpretive Guide, “Voices from the Past”, along with Bob Luddy and Joe McKinney. Bob also wrote a poem “Listen” which took the listener from dawn until dark on the day of the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863. At the crepe myrtle dedication, Bob’s wife and sons, Peg, Chris, and Doug were in attendance. In addition to remarks from the family, Bob was remembered by Bob Jones Dedication Committee members Don Carlson, Gregory Mertz, and Helen Geisler as well as long-time board member Jane Brookins who was at the Graffiti House when Bob Jones stopped in and offered

to volunteer. BSF President Howard Lambert recognized Bob’s importance to the work of the Foundation and architectural conservator Christopher Mills described his friendship with Bob and Peg and how efficient Bob was in researching names that Chris was uncovering under the whitewash and paint at the Graffiti House.


 

President’s Corner

Hello to all, It is an honor to come before you as the next President of the Brandy Station Foundation. I was elected by the Board of Directors to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Paula Johnson in August. I would like to thank Paula for 10 years of service to the Brandy Station Foundation. She spearheaded a number of highly successful projects and we owe her a heartful of thanks. I wish her nothing but the best in all future endeavors. I would also like to thank the Board of Directors for the opportunity to serve at a time when there are many opportunities and challenges ahead. I stand on the shoulders of all past Presidents and members who have spent countless hours devoted to making the organization what it is today. I will forever be grateful to those members of the community who in 1993 first discovered graffiti on the walls of a little house that I would pass many times on my way to and from school and serves as the genesis for our organization today. As a native of Culpeper County, I was exposed to the Civil War at an early age starting with attending my first re-enactment near the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises. My interest would steadily grow over the next four decades as a Civil War re-enactor, public speaker, Board member of Company B, 54th Massachusetts and the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield as well as the Advisory Board of John Brown Farm, Co-Founder of the African-American Heritage Alliance and Founder and President of the Freedom Foundation of Virginia. It is with great excitement that I bring the breadth and depth of those experiences to the Brandy Station Foundation. I would like to share with you some of my priorities in the months ahead. My highest priority is the Graffiti House which was occupied by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. We will continue with our effort to monitor the infrastructure and make necessary repairs.


The work requires the services of craftsmen with knowledge and experience repairing historic properties. We plan to fix exterior weather boards in the coming weeks. Additionally, we plan to continue with ongoing efforts to update the pictures and wall displays on the first floor while taking advantage of technology to improve the experience of our visitors.


We are also in the process of making improvement to our website. Another focus area are the grounds of the Graffiti House. We are making changes to the historic marker near the flagpoles and improvements to the overall landscaping to include making better use of the grounds for various activities and events. In the coming weeks, I would like to explore the possibility of working with our neighbors to create a walking tour of the area complete with signage, QR codes and possible APP. As a


long time re-enactor, I would like to engage a variety of speakers, the re- enactment community and artisans in supporting activities at the Graffiti House in planning our programs for 2023.


In closing, I would like to thank you for being a member of the Brandy Station Foundation and your continuing support. It is an exciting time as we look forward to the state park in the next few years. There are also challenges ahead with several major developments being considered for the Brandy Station area. I encourage you to take advantage of the various opportunities in the coming weeks to learn more about projects. Once again, thanks for supporting the Brandy Station Foundation and I look forward to meeting each of you in the months ahead.


Kind Regards, Howard Lambert

President, The Brandy Station Foundation


 

Spirits of the Graffiti House


BSF Board member Helen Geisler“in the spirit” on the porch of the GraffitiHouse at the Spirits of the Graffiti House event in 2017.


Saturday, October 22, 2022 from 5-9 PM is the date and time for the Brandy Station Foundation’s “Spirits of the Graffiti House” with Culpeper Paranormal at the Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station.This event is free & family friendly. Culpeper Paranormal will display equipment and share investigation findings from various locations. There will be treats, but no tricks!



The Grand Review Sept 2022
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