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Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Todd’s Tavern

Union Army Headquarters

 

— Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign —

 
Todd's Tavern - Union Army Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
1. Todd's Tavern - Union Army Headquarters
Lee vs Grant - The 1864 Campaign Civil War Trails marker
Inscription.  En route to Spotsylvania, Union Gens. U.S. Grant and George Meade halted at Todd’s Tavern, a country inn that once occupied this site. Finding all the beds taken, the generals stretched out to rest on the dirt floor. In the morning, a military band struck up a tune outside, causing Grant’s staff to laugh. When the tone-deaf general asked “What’s the fun?” they told him the band was playing an old camp tune called “Ain’t I glad to get out of de Wilderness.”

Grant and Meade left Todd’s Tavern on the morning of May 8, and moved up the Catharpin Road (behind you) to Piney Branch Church. Union Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock occupied the tavern for the rest of the day. At one point Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederates threatened to attack Hancock’s line, but when Early saw the Union earthworks he wisely broke off contact with the Federals and headed to Spotsylvania by another route. Thus, wrote Hancock’s adjutant, “The great battle of Todd’s Tavern was never fought.”

“Taking up our march...we change our direction to south-westerly, arriving towards noon at Todd’s Tavern, an unpretentious structure one story and a half in height,
Todd's Tavern - Union Army Headquarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2006
2. Todd's Tavern - Union Army Headquarters Marker
Two of three Civil War Trails markers at Todd's Tavern
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with no merits, architectural or otherwise, to warrant its becoming a conspicuous landmark in the history of this campaign. Here a halt had been ordered. Batteries were parked in luxuriant fields.... The infantry, having stacked arms, were stretched upon the ground; and, in short, all—generals and soldiers alike—lay carelessly about in the shade.... But suddenly all is activity.... General [Hancock] issues from the Tavern, leaps quickly into his saddle...and in a brief space of time the corps is in line again and moving promptly....”
—John D. Billings, 10th Massachusetts Light Artillery.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is May 8, 1864.
 
Location. 38° 14.849′ N, 77° 40.119′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is at the intersection of Brock Road (County Route 613) and Catharpin Road (County Route 612), on the right when traveling south on Brock Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9626 Brock Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Todd’s Tavern (here, next
Fields Behind the Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
3. Fields Behind the Tavern
Looking northwest from the marker location. Earthworks thrown up along this front deterred Confederate attacks.
to this marker); a different marker also named Todd’s Tavern (here, next to this marker); Lafayette at Corbin’s Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Piney Branch School (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania Courthouse.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of Jubal Early and Winfield Hancock. A painting on the right is captioned, "George L. Frankenstein, a native German who served in the Union army, painted Todd's Tavern shortly after the war."
 
Jubal A. Early image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
4. Jubal A. Early
Brady-Handy photograph collection
Winfield Scott Hancock image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. Winfield Scott Hancock
Campbell Photo Service
Todd’s Tavern image. Click for full size.
Internet Archive
6. Todd’s Tavern
From The Century Magazine, Vol. XXXIV, No. 2, June 1887.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 17, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,450 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 17, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3. submitted on February 17, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5, 6. submitted on October 16, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 28, 2021