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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Reminder: Will You Help Save the “St. James Church” Tract at Brandy Station?


Save significant tracts of land on three major 1863 battlefields: Chancellorsville and Brandy Station in Virginia and Champion Hill in Mississippi. We're making progress, but we need your help to get to the finish line and save all 74 acres from the threat of development.

I'll stand aside here and let historian Clark "Bud" Hall tell you about the tract at Brandy Station in Virginia, two small acres with big historic significance.

The two-story church—made of red brick fired on-site by slave labor—stood 40 by 40 feet. Consecrated in 1842 as St. James Episcopal Church, by 1860, the congregation boasted 28 communicants, with 40 to 50 black and white souls attending weekly services. A cemetery was laid out and all races were interred therein, with the same lovely periwinkle covering the quiet ground.

But this tranquil scene drastically changed as the Civil War arrived, and St. James was soon to be the first Culpeper County house of worship to experience total destruction.  By the thousands, Blue and Gray combatants tramped and fought about St. James.  On June 9, 1863, fighting raged in front of St. James as Jeb Stuart's legions beat back Federal charges. Several Rebel soldiers killed nearby rest today in St. James's burial ground.

In December 1863, St. James was taken apart, brick by brick, to be used for hut-building materials during the winter encampment of the Army of the Potomac. Soon, there was nothing left.   Enter St. James today, if you will, and quietly and reverently experience the holy memory of a little church in the woods that refused to die.

Visit our website today to learn more about Brandy Station and the other two equally significant 1863 tracts at Chancellorsville and Champion Hill. And remember, if you contribute $61.08 or more to this important campaign, we'll send you a full-color 18" by 12" print of a private, newly commissioned painting by renowned artist Keith Rocco depicting the early morning fight of the 8th Illinois Cavalry near the St. James Church at Brandy Station.

Thank you for the critical role you play in preserving priceless American history for future generations.

If you're as moved by Mr. Hall's description of St. James Church as I am and are in a position to contribute $500 or more, we have a special gift to thank you for your generosity. Instead of a paper print of Keith Rocco's painting, you'll receive a printed artist's giclée in vibrant color on a 27" x 17" canvas. The print depicts the early morning fight of the 8th Illinois Cavalry near the St. James Church at Brandy Station. Both the premium paper print and large canvas giclée are being produced in very limited numbers, so however much you decide to contribute, I encourage you to make your gift today, knowing that every dollar you send is multiplied to save hallowed ground.

American Battlefield Trust