Civil War Comes to Carlyle House
If you stood in this spot 150 years ago, you would be inside a building! In 1848 James Green purchased Carlyle House and the building in front of you, the first Bank of Alexandria. He turned it into a hotel and in 1855 expanded the hotel across the front lawn of Carlyle House. During the Civil War, the town was occupied by the Union Army, and Green's "Mansion House Hotel" became a hospital.
The building could hold up to 700 sick and wounded soldiers. Mary Phinney, a nurse here, described the constant flow of stretchers in and out of the hospital. Many fascinating figures were a part of the hospital's history, including poet Walt Whitman, Confederate spy Frank Stringfellow, and Sarah Emma Edmonds, a woman who disguised herself as a male Union soldier.
Restored to its Former Glory:
Carlyle House Unveiled
By the late 1960s, the Carlyle House and grounds were in a state of great disrepair. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority acquired the house in 1970 and began a six year project of research and restoration. The former Civil War hospital, now an aging apartment building, was torn down and the home of John Carlyle built was once again revealed. Carlyle House Historic Park opened to the public in January of 1976 as a part of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution.