Civil War Trust to Acquire Lee’s Headquarters at Gettysburg

While I was on the battlefield at Gettysburg today commemorating the first day of the battle, the rangers announced that the Civil War Trust is going to acquire Lee’s Headquarters (The Widow Thompson House), the Quality Inn Motel, and the Appalachian Brewing Company adjacent to the Thompson House for $5.5 million.  The motel will be torn down and the Appalachian Brewing Company will disappear, and the Thompson House will be restored and preserved.  You can see articles about this from the Philadelphia Inquirer here, the Gettysburg Times here, the Hanover Evening Star here, and the Civil War Trust here.  The area will be restored to its 1863 appearance and become part of the Gettysburg National Military Park.  This is good news.



  1. Ann Kunkle-Jones · · Reply

    While I’m glad Lee’s Headquarters will be preserved, I’m sad to see the motel knocked down. It’s my favorite place to stay at Gettysburg. I love being right there at the battlefield…looking out over the Day one fields. Do you know when it is closing?

    1. Not for sure, but the estimate I heard today was that by next year at this time it will be gone.

  2. jfepperson · · Reply

    I liked the brew-pub—had more than a few good meals there.

    1. They have good food. There’s another ABC at the Gateway Center, near the Wyndham Hotel, and there is a rumor the ABC at Lee’s HQ is going to move to a new location and not disappear at all.

  3. Rosemary Kubera · · Reply

    Have you seen the inside of this house? I’ve been unsuccessful so far in finding images of the interior on the web… I have read it is a museum…but it also is with the Quality Inn…. Do you know what is inside? Is it set up as it might have been when Lee was there? Is much known about what it would have looked like during the battle?
    I always like to imagine “the scene”… how it was to be there.

    1. I haven’t been inside the house. Lee’s actual headquarters was in a tent in the field across the Chambersburg Pike from the house. He probably took some meals in the house, but Lee’s general practice was to not stay in houses.

      1. Rosemary Kubera · · Reply

        What?!! Well, this explains what in the heck people mean when they talk about hq monument location….. (Or does it??? I’ve been wrong about so much ) But… But… But…. all I’ve EVER heard about Lee HQ at G was the House!! Even heard his staff selected the house cause the stone (well, alleged stone?) exterior made it safer… And, after all, Martin Sheen’s hq was IN the house ….
        This leads me to ask, what is the big deal about the house?? Staff hung out there?
        Lee was persnickity, wasn’t he? The tent met his standards and the state of affairs in houses was a crap shoot. And he had “staff” to upkeep the tent….
        (ok.. so not a Lee fan)….
        Mr. Mackey, I am shocked about this house thing.

        1. The story is that he didn’t want the person who owned the house to be accused of aiding the rebels.

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