Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Brickhouse Run

407–409 Cockade Alley
Petersburg, VA 23803
Phone: (804) 862-1815

The Brickhouse Run is located on the historic Cockade Alley in Old Town Petersburg. Petersburg received the nickname "Cockade City" during the War of 1812, due to the knot of ribbons the Petersburg men wore on their caps during the war. To walk down to cobblestone street to The Brick House Run feels like you are walking back into time.

Nathaniel Friend built the Brickhouse Run’s buildings in 1816. Friend was a wealthy plantation owner that had the buildings constructed after the great fire in 1815, which destroyed over 350 buildings in Petersburg. During the Civil War, Petersburg became an important target for the Union army due to its railroad hub that brought supplies to the Army of Northern Virginia and its close proximity to Richmond. In 1864, the Army of the Potomac, led by Ulysses S. Grant, forced Robert E. Lee's Confederate army to defend the railroads around Petersburg. Both armies began digging trenches and a nine-month siege ensued before Lee was forced to abandon his lines. During the siege, the Union army lobbed over 40,000 mortar rounds into the battered city of Petersburg.

The Brickhouse Run is a British style pub and restaurant with a great selection of beers and tavern fare. The bar boasts 6 beer taps and a lengthy wine list for any thirsty Civil War traveler. The menu offers a wide range of choices from starters to bar food and dinner entries. The fish and chips have always been a hit with my brother and I after a long hike around Petersburg National Battlefield.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Sunken Well Tavern

720 Little Page Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: (540) 370-0911

Although not located in a historic building, The Sunken Well Tavern is special because it is situated on the killing fields below the Sunken Road at Fredericksburg. At the time of the battle in 1862, Sisson’s Grocery Store stood where the Sunken Well Tavern now stands, just below Marye’s Heights. Union Troops attacking the Sunken Road from Hanover Street were fired on by Confederate Brig. Gen. T. R. R. Cobb’s Brigade, who was positioned at the stonewall that runs behind the Sunken Well Tavern. The monument behind the Sunken Well Tavern depicts Confederate Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina while on his mercy mission. After the battle of Fredericksburg, Kirkland climbed over the stonewall and provided water to the fallen Union soldiers. The same ground was fought over again during Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s Chancellorsville campaign.

The Sunken Well Tavern is a great place to grab a few drinks before exploring Marye’s Heights and the Sunken Road. The place has a comfortable vibe and has live music on the weekends. The staff is always friendly and the large flat-screens behind the bar provide the perfect place to catch a game. The menu offers standard pub fare and the Sunken Well Signature Deli Sandwiches are always great. It’s hard not to waste away the day at the Sunken Well Tavern until you realize that the Sunken Road waits within walking distance. Make sure to look closely at the stonewall that runs behinds the Sunken well Tavern. It is the only original section that was standing at the time of the battle.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Dobbin House

89 Steinwehr Avenue (Business Route 15 South)
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone:(717) 334-2100 Fax: (717) 334-6905

The Dobbin House was built in 1776 and is the oldest standing structure in Gettysburg. Reverend Alexander Dobbin built the stone building for use as his family’s residence and a classical school. In the mid 1800’s, a hidden room upstairs was used to hide slaves along the Underground Railroad. During the civil war, Confederate sharpshooters used the attic to harassed Union Soldiers on Cemetery Hill and the home was converted into a field hospital during the three-day battle. Also, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address a short distance from the Dobbin House in the Evergreen Cemetery.

When you visit the Dobbin House, make sure to walk downstairs to the Springhouse Tavern. Here you can enjoy a cold draught beer or something off their colonial menu, which has an array of great sandwiches. My brother Justin always gets the French onion soup when we visit. A few weeks ago, my brother and I hiked six miles on the July 2nd battlefield and were surprised with refreshing white sangria when we arrived at the Dobbin House. So, the next time you have the urge for a drink while walking cemetery hill or ridge or just enjoying the town of Gettysburg, stop by the Dobbin House and soak up the incredible history in this beautiful building.

Why Civil Bars?

I never planned on creating another blog but my brother’s girlfriend, Joselyn, had a great idea and I could not past up the opportunity. When my brother and I plan our battlefield hiking trips, I always write up an itinerary listing the battlefields and bars that we will be visiting. When Joselyn would read all the bars on the itinerary, she would say, “Is this civil war or civil bars?” After hearing that, I started to plan a blog where I can highlight some of our favorite drinking and eating spots in historic buildings, near battlefields. So, grab a beer or mix your favorite cocktail and start planning your next civil war trip.