The 1863-64 Winter Encampment

The 1863-64 Winter Encampment (HM2BS)

Location: Elkwood, VA 22718 Culpeper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 31.641', W 77° 51.91'

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The Calm Before the Storm

The 1863-1864 winter encampment proved a busy time for the Army of the Potomac. "There was something fascinating about our winter city of 100,000 men," a staff officer recalled. "Many pleasant recollections cluster around the old camp at Brandy Station... history should know that our military service did not consist entirely of being shot at or trying to shoot at the other man."

Thousands of new recruits joined the army and learned how to be soldiers. For members of the "old" regiments, the issue of re-enlisting was of grant interest; those who decided to sign on for "three more years" - or until the end of the war - were treated to a 30-day furlough, a $300 bounty, and special veteran stripes for their uniforms. Soldiers grumbled over the unpopular abolition of the First and Third Corps and the transfers of their regiments into other corps.

In March 1864, following his appointment as general-in-chief of all the Union armies, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant came to Culpeper County. Although George Meade continued to command the Army of the Potomac, Grant chose to make his headquarters in the field with his army and directed operations until the end of the war.

Not two months later, in early May 1864, the men of the Army of the Potomac packed their knapsacks, fell into line, and left these camps for good. On May 4, they crossed the Rapidan River and marched to the Wilderness. Before the momentous and bloody Overland Campaign ended, nearly half of those who had spent the winter at Brandy Station would be dead or wounded.

Help Preserve Battlefields · call CWPT at 1-888-606-1400 · · The Hallowell Foundation generously contributed toward the interpretation of this site in memory of Carrington Williams.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
HM NumberHM2BS
Placed ByCivil War Preservation Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 5:42am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 250234 N 4268219
Decimal Degrees38.52735000, -77.86516667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 31.641', W 77° 51.91'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 31' 38.46" N, 77° 51' 54.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12512-12598 State Rte 677, Elkwood VA 22718, US
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