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Civil War Plantation Tour

Touring the Past In Style


In 2011, we mark the 150th anniversary of America's costliest war. Call it the Civil War, the War Between the States, or any other name you want, but the truth remains that 620,000 men, young and old, lost their lives. It seems fitting that the anniversary of this occasion deserves to be marked and remembered.

Historians Jacque Reeves and Rhonda Ford have designed several tours to commemorate America's costliest war. The last of their tours for the remainder of the year will be Tuesday, September 20, 2011. You won't want to miss it!

Travel by motor coach past homes once known as Belle Manor, Cotton Hill, Quid Nunc, The Cedars, the Lane-Gamble House, the home of Judge Horton of the Scottsboro Boys, Pleasant Hill, and the ruins of Druids' Grove. These homes were occupied by Union soldiers during the Civil War and some still bear the marks of war.

Governor Thomas Bibb's home, Belle Manor, was rumored to have bloody handprints on the columns for many years after the war. The Bibb family cemetery holds the grave of the governor's murdered grandson. His headstone bears a simple, yet unrevealing inscription: "Died in Young Manhood." Two murders and a tragic death share the history of Cotton Hill, while the cemetery at Druids Grove contains remains of descendants of the last Welsh-born Prince of Wales, murdered at the Tower of London. His severed head was kept on a stake at the gate as a warning to those who spoke ill of the man known as the Hammer of the Scots - King Edward I. These stories, and many more, are artfully told by costumed guides who have thoroughly researched the past and its inhabitants.

Witnesses to the past will then have high tea at the Pleasant Hill Plantation in Athens. This home, built in 1855, was occupied during the Civil War by Union soldiers who had a warrant issued for the arrest of J.W.S. Donnell, who had taken food, supplies, and clothing to his son and other members of his company just before the bloody battle at Shiloh. Donnell was worried about his pregnant wife, their many young children, and his critically ill daughter. Their letters indicate the despair and worry.

Enjoy a traditional high tea served with silver and cut glass in the parlors of Pleasant Hill. Several kinds of sandwiches, tarts, bon bons, cookies, scones, Devonshire cream, and of course, tea, will be enjoyed before a tour of the mansion.

Tour guides Rhonda Ford and Jacque Reeves will tell the stories of wealth, poverty, despair, freedom, and perhaps a ghost or two from a bygone era in the course of this four hour tour by luxury motorcoach. The tour departs on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, from the Historic Huntsville Depot on Church Street at 10:00 a.m. and returns at 2:00 p.m. Reservations required due to limited seating, $60.00 per person. Call (256) 527-2488 or (256) 509-3940 for reservations and see mischiefandmayhem.biz for more information.

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