Left Behind: Ghosts of the American Civil War

Left Behind: Ghosts of the American Civil War

From Gettysburg to New Orleans, there are many mysterious tales of ghosts of the American Civil War. The battles of the American Civil War caused an enormous loss of life and it was the bloodiest war in the country’s history.

It is no wonder that there are so many stories of ghosts who have stuck around the battlefields and farmhouses long after the war has finished…

Devil’s Den at Gettysburg

Gettysburg is known as one of the most haunted places in the United States. The battle was the bloodiest of the Civil War, and was the first of many important wins for the Union.

There are numerous stories of ghost sightings on the battlefield itself and throughout the town, where many of the homes were used as makeshift hospitals throughout the battle.

The most famous haunted spot on the battlefield is Devil’s Den. No one is quite sure how the spot got it’s name and there are rumors of it being haunted even long before the battle of Gettysburg.

During the battle Devil’s Den was the site of some of the most intense skirmishes. The tall rocks and large crevices provided many hiding spots for soldiers.

At one point the Confederates took it from the Union soldiers, but eventually lost it when they were ultimately defeated in battle.

After the battle was finished, soldiers described the rocks as being covered in spilled blood and broken bodies. Since that day, visitors have reported all kinds of strange sightings and sounds.

While Devil’s Den is the most famous haunted spot in Gettysburg, there are many more. If you were to visit Gettysburg today, you could take any one of the numerous ‘after dark’ ghost hunting tours that are offered.

Some visitors have even reported seeing reenactments at the battlefield only to later be informed there were no reenactments that day.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga Battlefield, located near Chattanooga, is said to be haunted by “Ol’ Green Eyes,” a Confederate soldier who had his head taken off by a cannonball during the battle.

Old Green Eyes has reportedly been seen in ghostly form wandering the battlefield in search of his body. In other stories, visitors have reported seeing him in the form of a half man, half beast with glowing green eyes.

Edward Tinney, a longtime Chickamauga park ranger, spoke of visitors seeing a mysterious “Lady in White” who had been spotted on the battlefield in frantic search for her husband.

It may be no coincidence that Chickamuaga is an old Cherokee word meaning “River of Death.”

Antietam Battlefield

Antietam Battlefield, located outside Sharpsburg, Maryland, is the site of the battle which holds the morbid distinction of having the most casualties and deaths in one day.

A country road became the centerpiece for a skirmish between Confederate rifle men and a small group of soldiers known as the “Irish Brigade.”

The road is now known as “Bloody Lane” and phantom gunfire and battle shouts have been heard near the road.

Many soldiers were reportedly buried in the area near Burnside Bridge, and afterward visitors reported seeing blue balls of light moving around the area and hearing a fading drumbeat.

Beauregard-Keyes House

Down in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans sits the Beauregard-Keyes House. The residence once belonged to Confederate General Pierre Gustave Touting Beauregard and his second wife Caroline Deslonde.

There are stories of an entire regiment of soldiers along with the ghost of Beauregard himself reenacting the Battle of Shiloh, where they were defeated.

Although the battle took place in Tennessee, there are tales of seeing injured and bloody soldiers engaged in battle.

Kolb’s Farm

Kolb’s Farm was a small area of houses outside of Marietta, Georgia. In 1864, the area experienced a small skirmish between Confederate and Union soldiers.

Eventually much of the housing was torn down and replaced. One of the couples living in these homes, James and Katherine Tatum were often visited by the ghosts of the battle.

The Tatums stated that they repeatedly saw a man dressed in the garb of a Civil War soldier walking around the house.

These are just a few of the most famous stories of ghosts of the American Civil War, there are many more. If you plan to visit any Civil War battlefield, there’s a good chance you’ll hear rumors of a ghost who has remained behind.

The Martha Washington Inn Ghosts

The Martha Washington Inn Ghosts

In this article we will be taking a look at a hotel located in Abingdon, VA, which was built in 1832 – the Martha Washington Inn Ghosts.

The Inn itself was constructed by a past war hero known as General Francis Preston ( in 1832 as stated above! ). He had the structure built to house his large family – he had nine kids in total!

The mansion remained in the Preston family possession until 1858, when it was sold to the founders of Martha Washington College. It still looks the same today as it did way back in 1832…


The John Stoves Love Story

During the Civil War the hotel was transformed into a hospital for injured soldiers, one of these soldiers was named John Stoves.

Stoves was actually a young Yankee captain that had been captured by the enemy – he was brought in due to his injuries sustained during the capture.

Wounded Soldiers
Wounded Civil War Soldiers at Savage Station

He was placed in room 403 but his injuries were far worse than first thought – a volunteer named Beth was sent to keep him company and the pair quickly fell in love.

Both Beth and the young captain knew that his wounds would eventually win through. She decided to stay by his side and softly play her violin as he died peacefully next to her.

Within minutes of his death a Confederate soldier arrived to say he was transferring the prisoner. Beth informed him that the young man had already died and therefore his body was to stay locally.

Beth died soon after from typhoid fever.

The ghost of Beth has been heard on numerous occasions throughout the hotel, softly playing her violin lines through the night.

The ghost of Beth

The room 403 is also thought to be a hot spot of paranormal activity with many guests claiming to have seen her ghostly apparition tread gently across the floor.


The Bloodstain

A young Confederate soldier in Abingdon fell deeply in love with a young lady that used to attend the hotel building when it was a college.

When it was time for him to face battle he decided to risk saying one last goodbye to his loved one. He traveled through the cave system underlying Abingdon and used a secret stairway to enter the college.

Abingdon Welcome Sign

He managed to find his love within the building but was spotted by a pair of Union officers. Before he had a chance to explain his situation he was shot in front of his partner.

The blood that poured out of the young soldiers bullet wound that night refuses to disappear from the hotel floor. Carpets over the area often develop mysterious holes over the stains and even refurbishing the floor doesn’t help.

The historic blood stains always find a way to reappear.


The Phantom Horse

In 1864 a union soldier was shot down in front of the building with his horse left watching nearby.

Several recent reports claim to have witnessed the horse standing alone near the hotel entrance – always on a moonless night.


The Ghost Soldier

The final spectre that frequents the halls of this historic hotel is one of a young soldier. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know who this apparition is.

He is always leaning on a crutch walking down various hallways, leaving a trail of dirt and mud in his wake.

Speculation leads many paranormal investigators to believe that this solider was yet another visitor to the hotel when it was a war hospital – although nobody knows for sure…

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Martha Washington Inn ghosts please leave them in the comment section below.