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Overview

Located in the Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, the town of Culpeper was established by the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1759. During the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War the town was important as it was home base to the Orange and Alexandria Railroads and to four major roads. It was occupied by both the Union and Confederate armies. In 1775 the Culpeper Minutemen, one of the oldest military groups still in existence, was formed. They were the primary militia force for Culpeper during the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War this area was a hotbed of activity with several major battles taking place nearby: Brandy Station, ...

Located in the Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, the town of Culpeper was established by the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1759. During the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War the town was important as it was home base to the Orange and Alexandria Railroads and to four major roads. It was occupied by both the Union and Confederate armies. In 1775 the Culpeper Minutemen, one of the oldest military groups still in existence, was formed. They were the primary militia force for Culpeper during the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War this area was a hotbed of activity with several major battles taking place nearby: Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, the Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, First Bull Run and New Market. Worth a visit is the Museum of Culpeper History with its dinosaur tracks discovered in a local quarry, and Civil War and American Indian artifacts. The Graffiti House was used as a hospital during the Battle of Brandy Station; on its second floor are 200 signatures and drawings done by Union and Confederate soldiers. Also drive the Civil War Battlefield loop to the sites of the Battle of Brandy Station, Kelly’s Ford, and Cedar Mountain. Absorb Culpeper's history by walking The Culpeper National Register of Historic Districts containing 140 structures of Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture. Some of the highlights are the County Court House built in 1808, the Depot built in 1852 and a key factor during the Civil War, and the Downtown Historic District, which extends through the town to the railroad and the Little Fork Episcopal Church built in 1776. Another good way to see the area and absorb more history is to take day trips to Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Richmond.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    If you like horse shows and heat then summer is a good time. If not, go in the spring, late summer and autumn.