Culpeper Virginia History
In 1971, the Culpeper-Warrenton area was named one of the seven most desirable places in the country by the US Department of the Interior. Wash Woods is the only one, but not the first of its kind, in Virginia or even the United States.
Geographically, it is located at the intersection of two major railroad lines that connect the national capital with the capital of Richmond, Virginia, and Culpeper. In 1861 Union and Confederate troops met in the area and took control of the city, but a Confederate force, the 11th Virginia Cavalry, was pushed back west from action under the command of Col. Lunsford Lomax and with the support of the 1st Virginia Infantry, 2nd Virginia Regiment. This led to the Battle of Cedar and Battlefield, which successfully blocked the Union's advance into central Virginia.
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee then drove Pope out of office during the Second Manassas Campaign in 1862. Culpeper was chosen as the winter base and parts of the army occupied the county after the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, and it remained Lee's preferred abode for the rest of that war.
During the Civil War, the Battle of Cedar Mountain took place on August 9, 1862, and the Brandy Station in June 1863 was the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America. The two most important battles fought within Culpeper County were the Battle of Cedar Mountain in 1862 and the Battle of Brandie Station, both of which took place on June 9, 1863 in Cul Peper County.
The Minute Men organized and participated in the Battle of Clayton's old field, later called Catalpa Farm, on June 9, 1863.
In Culpeper, General Ulysses S. Grant began his invasion of Virginia and the battle of Shenandoah Valley in July 1863. With both Union and Confederate troops occupying the city on every corner, it was besieged by the army marching through central Virginia. Virginia Central connected Richmond County with Gordonsville and Orange County with Alexandria, which stretched from Alexandria northward to the county seat, Cul Peper Court House.
Spotsylvania County, founded in 1721, covered the entire country west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and was eventually divided into what is now Orange, Culpeper, Madison and Rappahannock counties. The original area included the current dead end area (Madison was cut off by Cul Peper in 1792) and Madison (Rappahonnock was cut off in 1831). The area now covering Culver City / Madison / Rapp Mahanock counties includes part of Orange County, which was created in 1748 by the merger of Madison County and the northern half of Spotsy County (now Fairfax County).
The area then stretched from the Chesapeake Bay to what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia, and was defined as between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River and the Allegheny River. The name comes from a river that bore the same name as Culpeper County's original name, Rappahannock. Due to a General Assembly law in 1833, it became a separate "Culpe perper" county. The confusion caused by the city's name was resolved when the Virginia General Assembly decided in 1784 to rename the city of Fairfax to Cul-de-Lune after it had merged with Madison County. Although most maps still show Fairfax with the name it received, the name is worthy of the former name Cul Peper, an indication of the fact that it was the first city in Virginia with more than 1,000 inhabitants.
The county was named after William Culpeper, a veteran of the 9th Virginia Calvary, who was born in the county in 1776 as the second son of William Peper and his wife Mary. He gave birth to two sons, William Jr. and William, Jr., both born into a soldier family of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry Regiment.
During the war, he managed real estate in Culpeper County and worked in woodworking in Orange County. Millwood was built in the early 1780s on the site of the old Virginia State House, and in 1790 he built the first post office in his home community.
Coleman bought the land from Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood, who had received it as a British Crown scholarship. The son of the sixth Lord Fairfax inherited the estate, and the town of Culpeper, which was first called Fairfax and named after him, bore his name. Another town in the county was named in honor of his father-in-law, William Coleman.
During the Civil War of the winter of 1863-64, Culpeper was the main military base of Potomac. After the occupation troops had cleared the house, a young Confederate from the 9th Virginia Cavalry rode into the house and asked for food. In 1864, he was deployed to Anderson's Corps, Army Norther Virginia, during the siege of Petersburg, and rose to major. He was then transferred to Richmond to help his uncle build the 1st Virginia Infantry Regiment, 3rd Virginia Division and later the 2nd Virginia Regiment.