Mount Vernon Introduces Civil War Walking Tour

Mount Vernon, the former plantation home of George Washington set along the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia, will introduce a Civil War-focused walking tour this spring.

The new tour will debut on April 2, marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Although the Civil War began in 1861, over sixty years after George Washington's death, his estate served as neutral ground for both sides during the war. Titled "Mount Vernon in the Civil War," the one-hour walking tour will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. through October 30.

The walking tour covers dramatic stories from the Civil War, including life-risking efforts of the estate's earliest caretakers and battlefield cannon fire rumbling in the mansion. It also covers the changing role of African Americans on the estate and views on George Washington from the perspective of Union and Confederate supporters. Organizers also promise inside information on a connection between George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

"Many people think of Mount Vernon as a site that was active exclusively during the 18th century," Melissa Wood, media relations manager for Historic Mount Vernon, tells the Alexandria News. "Through this new tour, our visitors will discover more about the fascinating, yet relatively unknown, events that occurred at George Washington's home during the Civil War."

The special tour has a limited capacity and will cost Mount Vernon visitors an additional $5.

Mount Vernon also plans to unveil a new look for Washington's Upper Garden on May 20, an area that was recently restored following a three-year archeological excavation and study of how the garden had grown and evolved under George Washington's care.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and listed on the National Register of Historic Place, Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including holidays. Owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, the estate has seen more than 80 million visitors since it opened in 1860, making it the most popular historic home in the U.S.

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