Brandy Station, VA

Civil War graffiti saying "Yanks caught hell" is the oldest graffiti found in this rare 1850s house

Anita Durairaj

The Graffiti House is one of the few Civil War-era buildings that has still survived intact to this day. It is located in the town of Brandy Station, Virginia.

The house was believed to have been constructed in 1858 and served as a residential and commercial property. It had a prime location adjacent to the village depot and on the railroad. Thus, it was used by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

The house also served as a Confederate hospital at the time of the Battle of Brandy Station in 1863.

In 1993, during renovation of the house, it was discovered that the plaster walls on the second floor were covered with charcoal and pencil graffiti that were drawn by both soldiers in the Union and Confederate armies.

According to Atlas Obscura, this is one of the largest intact collections of military graffiti. The graffiti included autographs, pictures of men and women, and inscriptions commemorating the units and battles fought.

The oldest graffiti in the house dated back to April 1863 and it was written by a member of the Confederate Brigade who wrote "Yanks caught hell." This was in reference to a skirmish by the Confederate Brigade.

The Graffiti House changed hands frequently between both the Confederate and Union armies which accounts for the graffiti written by both armies.

The Graffiti House is now owned by the Brandy Station Foundation and it is open to the public. There is a visitor's station and a small museum at the site.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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