One hundred and Fifty years ago today, the first shots of the American Civil War rang out in Fort Sumter, South Carolina. The ensuing four year war will never be forgotten. Many innkeepers and bed and breakfasts feel a strong connection to these events. Some innkeepers had family members fight in the War. Granville Moore, great-uncle to Lynn Moore McCreery, innkeeper at The Irish Inn in Ozark, IL, was killed by a sniper on Kennesaw Mountain. The great-grandfathers of Civil War reeanctors and innkeepers at the Cottage on the Knoll at Cedarcroft Farm in Warrensburg, MO, Bill and Sandra Wayne, both fought in the War; mementos from the great-grandfathers, including Bill’s great-grandfather’s war memoir, are on display at the farm.
To commemorate the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Civil War, many inns are partnering with local historians, battlefields, and museums to offer packages for the traveling historian in us all.
In Orange, VA, the Mayhurst Inn, an 1859 plantation, once hosted Generals Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson. In honor of the sesquicentennial, they have put together packages that include tours of events and landmarks surrounding the Battles of Jack’s Shop and James City with renowned Madison County Historian, Harold Woodward; an 1860s period dinner; a Self-Guided Driving Tour packet with information about other nearby Civil War sites; signed copies of books by local authors featuring Orange County during the war (books include: Frank Walker’s, Remembering: A History of Orange County, Virginia; Virginia Morton’s Marching Through Culpeper; Harold Woodward’s For Home and Honor.)
In Hanover, PA, just 15 miles from the Gettysburg Battlefield, Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center is located on a street where Union and Confederate Cavalries clashed during the Battle of Hanover (1863). Their Civil War package includes a copy of Tom Huntington’s book, “Pennsylvania Civil War Trails: The Guide to Battle Sites, Monuments, Museums and Towns;” copies of the Battle of Hanover Walking Tour Guide and the Gettysburg Walking Tour Guide; evening viewings of Civil War movies like “Gettysburg,” “Gods and Generals,” and “The Horses of Gettysburg.”
Many other inns were around during the Civil War, and many are conveniently located near major battlefields. Check out our Civil War package page for more commemorative packages and bed and breakfasts near major Civil War events. This page will continue to update over the next four years, as more Sesquicentennial events occur.