Blenheim (Willcoxon Farm)

Blenheim (Willcoxon Farm) (HMDWB)

Location: Fairfax, VA 22030
Country: United States of America

N 38° 51.325', W 77° 17.604'

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Civil War Soldier Art

Blenheim, built for Albert and Mary Willcoxon about 1859, contains some of the nation's best-preserved Civil War soldier writings. More than 110 identified Union soldiers, representing units from New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, left their marks on the house walls. The earliest dated signature is from March 11, 1862, and the last is from June 20, 1863.

From the front door to the attic, the soldiers covered the new white plaster walls of the house (described by a Richmond newspaper in 1861 as "a brick building recently erected and fitted up in handsome style") with their names, regiment numbers, and hometowns. Using charcoal, graphite, and crayon, they drew images from home—a house and animals—and of war—a cannon and men in uniform. One soldier lamented the war's toll on morale:

4th Month
No Money
No Whiskey
No Friends
No Rations
No Peas
No Beans
No Pants
No Patriotism

Whether on duty at the house or ill in the "brick house hospital," as it was called, the men sought respite from the daily boredom of soldiering through their writings.

The Willcoxons, while loyal Confederates, neither destroyed nor covered the Union soldier signatures, art, and poetry on the attic walls. Recent removals of paint and wallpaper from the first and second floor walls revealed more names long hidden from view.

Blenheim is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is significant for providing rare visual insight into the psyche of the common Civil War soldier.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 5:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 300995 N 4303231
Decimal Degrees38.85541667, -77.29340000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 51.325', W 77° 17.604'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 51' 19.50" N, 77° 17' 36.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3610 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax VA 22030, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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