Today (Sunday, if you are reading this late because I am posting it late!) I assisted with a tour of the Brandy Station Battlefield, led by my friend Clark “Bud” Hall. As with many of the tours, Hall brought the group to this battlefield house:
The house is Farley. I’ve mentioned it a few times before. It stands between the Old Winchester Turnpike (which only exists as a trace today) and the Hazel River. Almost directly north was Wellford’s Ford, a crossing of note with much activity during the war. With those terrain features close by, Farley saw more than its share of wartime activity.
The photo above was taken during the Winter Encampment of 1864. At that time, Major-General John Sedgwick’s Sixth Corps headquarters were in those tents. The house also appears in other wartime photos, particularly with Sedgwick and staff posing for the photographer.
But these were not the only “dignitaries” to visit Farley during the war. In fact, they were “late comers.” As Hall has often repeated, most every senior officer of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac visited Farley at some point during the war. For example, on the day after the battle of Brandy Station, Major-General J.E.B. Stuart moved his headquarters to Farley. General Robert E. Lee visited him there.
During the Federal stay in the Winter of 1864, Major-General George Meade visited on several occasions. One of those was occasioned by a visit by members of the Russian Navy. When Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant came east, he was also entertained at Farley (and reportedly never removed his hat while indoors). So you might say Farley was the place to see and be seen.
With all those important visitors, I always wonder what this doorway might have witnessed:
And how many walked the hallways: