J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Brandy Station

Tomorrow marks the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station in Virginia. It was the largest cavalry battle to ever take place on American soil, and yet, it is obscure in that most people have never heard of it. The battle was a confrontation between Confederate cavalry commanded by General J.E.B. Stuart, and Union cavalry under General David Gregg. It was considered a Confederate victory, even though it was more like a draw, and the Rebels were taken by surprise, which nearly cost them the battle. For more information, read my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire.

On the battlefield is a fascinating piece of history that was nearly lost. The Graffiti House stands near the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. After years of neglect, the building was almost demolished, but in 1993, a discovery was made. Under layers of paint, signatures of both Union and Confederate soldiers, along with drawings they made, were written in charcoal on the walls, one of which was by General Stuart himself. Since that time, the structure has become part of the Brandy Station Foundation, and is in the process of being restored.

Another significant event taking place tomorrow is a staged secession debate to be held at the Scottish Rite Building in Memphis at 7:00 p.m. The building is across from Nathan Bedford Forrest Park on Union Avenue. Discussion will center around whether Tennessee should secede or not, and afterward, refreshments and live music will be provided. (Tennessee actually seceded on June 8, 1861.)

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