Restless Spirits & Relatives
In 2014 or so, we stayed at the Quality Inn/General Lee’s Headquarters. It seems that it was generally accepted though not fully substantiated that the historical stone house in the hotel parking lot was Lee’s headquarters.
How cool, we thought. And it’s right on the battlefield!
Long story short, we had the biggest paranormal experience of our lifetime in that room that night. In a nutshell, we heard battle sounds and footsteps above and noise all night. That quick description sounds so tame and does no justice to what we experienced, but I assure you, it was insane and left a lasting impression on our psyches.
For months, I tell you , we were wicked skittish.
We returned on New Years Eve 2014-2015, and stayed at the same Quality Inn. However, it was the very last night they were in operation, as the hotel was being torn down and was being added back to the battlefield.
We returned over 3 years later to discover that the building pictured above was indeed General Lee’s headquarters during the Battle if Gettysburg.
Not only that, but turns out it was the site of severe casualties and mass burials.
Pardon my language but it all makes sense now.
The building has been meticulously restored and is now protected forever in the bosom of the Gettysburg National Battlefield.
I’m stunned that a hotel was built on the bodies of soldiers but I’m also , oddly, not surprised.
I walked alone with my camera to the top of the hill where the house stands, overlooking the countryside. I couldn’t help but think that the view was spectacular and hopefully the spirits were now rested and at peace.
For the first time, we visited the monument of the 16th Massachusetts Volunteers.
My many great grandfather was Captain Matthew Donovan, who took over the regiment after Captain Merriam was wounded.
I find it humbling to stand on the same spot he did, under fire but holding it down and ultimately making it back home to his wife and family, though he suffered numerous health problems from the war and died in his sleep shortly thereafter.
Several of my extended family are named after him and his sword is still in family possession, to my knowledge.
Gettysburg is such a moving and deep place. I urge you to visit at least once in your lifetime.
It’s gut wrenching to think that years ago, these were our fathers and husbands and brothers who went off to war, and many didn’t return.