Culpeper County, Virginia

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Culpeper County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 34,262. Its county seat is Culpeper[1].



Culpeper County was established in 1749 from Orange County. The county is named for Lord Thomas Culpeper. During the Civil War the Battle of Cedar Mountain took place on August 9, 1862 and the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, in Culpeper County.

In May 1749, the first Culpeper Court convened in the home of Robert Coleman, not far from where the Town of Culpeper is presently located. In July 1749, 17-year-old George Washington was commissioned as the first County surveyor.[2] One of his first duties was to lay out the County's courthouse complex, which included the courthouse, jail, stocks, gallows and accessory buildings. By 1752 the complex stood at what is presently the northeast corner of Davis and Main Streets. The courthouse village was named the Town of Fairfax after Thomas, Sixth Baron Fairfax.[3]

During the Virginia convention held in May 1775, the colony was divided into sixteen districts. Each district had instructions to raise a battalion of men "to march at a minute's notice." Culpeper, Orange and Fauquier, forming one district, raised 350 men in "Clayton's old field" on the Catalpa estate, who came to be called the Culpeper Minute Men. The Minute Men, marching under their flag depicting a rattlesnake and inscribed with the words "Liberty or Death" and "Don't Tread on Me", took part in the Battle of Great Bridge, the first Revolutionary battle on Virginia soil. The Culpeper Minute Men reorganized in 1860 in response to the impending Civil War and became part of 13th Infantry's Company B. The Culpeper Minutemen were again organized for World War I, and joined the 116th Infantry.

Andrew Stevenson, Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1827 to 1834, was born in Culpeper County on Jan. 21, 1784.

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