Ms. Rebelle was treated to a very nice overnight stay in the haunted Cashtown Inn in Cashtown, Pennsylvania just west of Gettysburg. I stayed in the General John Daniel Imboden room on the left corner of the second floor with a view looking up the Cashtown Pike. This was the very road that the Confederates marched down on their way to Gettysburg. General Imboden was my Confederate ancestor George Washington Baker’s commanding officer so I requested that room.
If you close your eyes, you can almost see the dust and troops coming down that road in late June of 1863. The only thing different is that the road is paved now. It was truly a thrill to stay there. The Inn is now a bed and breakfast run by Jack and Mary Paladino. Mary does the greeting and business end, and Jack is the excellent cook. He made a fantastic breakfast for me the next morning of stuffed French toast with fresh fruit.
The Inn has been there since 1797. The Innkeeper in June of 1863 was Jacob Mickley. He said it looked as if the entire force under Lee had passed within twenty feet of his barroom. General A.P. Hill made the Inn his headquarters. General Henry Heth stayed there as well. A.P. Hill’s room was next to mine on the front right corner. General Hill was under the weather when he arrived at the Inn.There is a spring that runs through the cellar that was supposed to be very healthy for those who are sick. The cellar also had two very large brick ovens where the Confederates baked bread. The waitress told me at breakfast that she hates to go down in the cellar, as it is very, very creepy.
The name Cashtown came from the first innkeeper, Peter Marck, who insisted on only cash payments for the services, goods, and tolls he collected. The current Innkeeper says the cellar is also the site of the first death in the Gettysburg campaign. It seems that locals Henry Hahn and David Powell drew a line across the Cashtown Pike at Gallagher’s Knob daring any Rebels to cross over the line. They laid in wait for them. One of General Jubal Early’s Georgia boys came over the line, was mortally wounded, and then was taken to the Cashtown Inn’s basement where he died. The Civil War magazine, Blue and Gray, however, claims the man died in the A.P. Hill room upstairs.
After the battle, General Imboden made the Inn his headquarters for the march back to Virginia. The 17-mile long wagon train began at the Cashtown Inn at 4:00 p.m. on July 4, 1863.
The Inn was featured in the movie Gettysburg. Several of the actors stayed there during the filming including General Buford, (the the actor Sam Elliott). There are several pictures in the front room from the movie. If you’ve seen the movie Gettysburg, you may remember the scene shot there with General A.P. Hill, (the actor Patrick Falci), coming out in his red flannel shirt to greet General Lee. The Inn was also featured in Mark Nesbitt’s book Ghosts of Gettysburg and a cover story in the magazine, Blue and Gray.
Ms. Rebelle spent somewhat of an uneasy night there. There is no TV so I decided to read the journals left in the room. Everyone writes something about their stay in the room. I must say some of the things are a little suspect but some are downright spooky. I kept smelling roses. There was no potpourri in the room. I had a very strange dream that I’ve never had before and woke up saying “You’re not going to do that to me.” I felt like I was being wrapped up in blue gauze. Whatever it was, stopped when I woke up. All night I could hear people on the stairs.
The next morning Innkeeper Jack said there is a woman Mary that haunts that room. The smell of roses comes from her. She was there during the battle trying to protect her family. He said a lot of people wake up feeling like someone is patting them or smoothing out their hair. Jack said that there was only one other couple in the inn besides me. They were in their room all night. I asked Jack if he had had any experiences there, but he says he’s not susceptible to those things. He did say he was standing in the bar area once and felt someone push him. He turned around and no one was there. Lots of people wrote of the creaking floors and stairs, of things falling off tables in the room, the feeling of someone walking back and forth at the end of the bed, and the strange closet that won’t open in the room.
It was an OK experience in a haunted inn, and a most interesting adventure for Ms. Rebelle. I would stay there again.
The Bull Run Civil War Round Table meets every second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the . The public is invited to attend at no cost and visit the website www.bullruncwrt.org for additional activities (tours, etc.)