Port Tobacco was the home and place of business of George Atzerodt. Although he failed to murder Vice President Andrew Johnson, he was convicted and executed for his role in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
Part of the plot—when it was supposed to be the abduction of the president to Richmond—was hatched in Port Tobacco, possibly at Atzerodt's carriage shop or his home (neither of which has yet been located), the Smoot Hotel, or at the St. Charles Hotel. Atzerodt testified that conspirators John Surratt and John Wilkes Booth came to Port Tobacco several times.
Local Union Army units scoured the countryside in search of the assassins for several hectic days in April 1865. Some of those units were stationed in and around Port Tobacco. Archaeological investigations at one nearby camp produced:
· discarded ammunition,
· horseshoes, and
· personal and uniform items belonging to the soldiers.
Photograph of George Atzerodt who, between 1857 and 1861, worked with his brother in the Atzerodt Brothers Carriage Shop in Port Tobacco.
Robert Barbour's (1942) sketch map of Port Tobacco showing the Smoot Hotel and St. Charles Hotel.
Smoot Hotel, reputed
Confederate rendezvous. It burned in 1883, the heat from which broke several windows in the courthouse nearby. From NRR.
Above, Sharps .36 caliber bullets.
Above Right, Inkwell and cover from camp.
Right, Watch chain from camp.
The Port Tobacco Archaeological Project
The Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco
· (301) 934-4313