Plate 48. Culpepper, Virginia

Description
Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
The village of Culpepper [sic] is situated on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, about seventy-five miles from Washington. Sheltered by the Blue Ridge, the surrounding country was very productive, and after the establishment of railroad communication, the place rapidly grew in size and importance. Its first serious injuries were received in General Pope's retreat from the Rapidan, when many of its buildings were destroyed, and nearly all stripped of their contents. Both armies alternately occupied it, and cavalry repeatedly fought about it, till the village, once the pride of its district, became a ruin, and the fruitful fields an area of desolation. Reviews, with all their "pomp and circumstance," made brilliant days for its memories, and weeks are numbered in the sorrowful periods when the requiem for the dead sounded continually over its new-made graves. History weaves a garment about it more glorious than romance. The pulsations of battle at Bull Run, and Rappahannock, and Brandy Station; at Chancellorsville, Bristoe, and Groveton, have throbbed through its streets. Cedar Mountain, blazing with conflict, looked down upon it, and Grant in the Wilderness, shook its spires with the roar of his guns. The altars of its churches are stained with heroic blood; all along its highways slumber those whose names can never pass away, and in the vacant camp-grounds cluster recollections fast blending into traditions, that shall grow dearer as they grow old.
Another year, and peace will have hidden the scars that now so sadly mar its beauty. Nature cannot be wholly defrauded of her blossoms, or prevented from drawing her mantle over the deserts that mankind may make. Already Culpeper has commenced a new adornment, and must soon resume her station, Queen of the fairest plains of Virginia. Imbued with new incentives, her returning people are snaking [sic] pleasant places of their homes, and launching into the enterprises of a brighter dawn, promise for themselves a future prosperity that shall prove more than compensation for troubles past.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
1863-11
maker
Gardner, Alexander
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 3/4 in x 9 1/16 in; 17.145 cm x 23.07158 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Culpeper
ID Number
1986.0711.0334.48
accession number
1986.0711
catalog number
1986.0711.0334.48
subject
Photography
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Gardner's Sketchbook
event
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.