Tavern War History

Netherland Tavern Marker. Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.

Post Civil War Photo of Netherland Tavern

Post Civil War Photo of Netherland Tavern


The Battle of Trevilian Station

Hampton’s Headquarters

Fifty yards east is the site of Netherland Tavern (ca. 1822), which was demolished in the 1950s. The tavern served travelers on the Fredericksburg Stage Road and the Louisa Court House Road to the south. It also served rail passengers after the Virginia Central Railroad started operating in the 1850s. During the Civil War, Netherland Tavern became a center of military activity as the conflict entered its final year.

In June 1864, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered Gen. Philip H. Sheridan to lead two cavalry divisions west from Cold Harbor in Hanover County, destroy Virginia Central Railroad track, unite his force with Gen. David Hunter’s infantry at Charlottesville, and return with him to the main army. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, learning of Sheridan’s departure on June 7, dispatched divisions of Gens. Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee in pursuit.

Original foundation and site of the tavern

Former site and  foundation of the tavern

Hampton, commanding the expedition, made his headquarters here at the tavern on the evening of June 10 and spent the night sleeping on a carpenter’s bench outside the front door. Sheridan, to the north, reached Clayton’s Store (present-day Oakland) the same night, and only a few miles separated the two forces. At dawn on June 11, Hampton was awakened by two of his subordinates, Gens. Matthew C. Butler and Thomas L. Rosser. When Rosser asked Hampton what his plans were, Hampton replied, “I propose to fight.”

Netherland Tavern is where General Wade Hampton slept the night before the bloodiest cavalry battle of the Civil War was fought. The tavern was also used as a hospital for the wounded. This replica of the tavern was rebuilt on the site and furnished by Russell B. Anderson.

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