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The Lady

When the Union army occupied Culpeper during the winter of 1863-4, it was common for female visitors to come to the camps. At the times, the roads through Brandy Station were deep in mud. People would cross the roads on wooden planks, which could be pulled out of the way when a wagon needed to pass.

This lady below has pulled up the hem of her dress to keep it out of the mud as she gingerly makes her way along a plank.

To the left of her head, she gives us a message: “I am turned over to Lieut Gale.” Since issues of security as well as personal safety would need to be addressed in a Civil War Army camp (the army provost marshal was concerned over Confederate spies), perhaps Lieut.

Gale’s job was to ascertain the exact circumstances of the visit, the intended host of the lady and the length of time of her visit. Or, more likely, this is a drawing of Lieut. Gale’s wife who had received a pass to visit her husband’s camp.


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