Battle of Gettysburg

The Melrose Caverns – The Site Where Over 300 Union Soldiers Hid Before Traveling North To The Battle Of Gettysburg

Around 300 A.D. Native Americans, who were exploring the Melrose Caverns, carved two indian heads along the cave walls. The Native American carvings are the earliest evidence of Homo Sapiens entering the Melrose Caverns.

The tunnel enterance that visitors currently use to enter the Melrose Caverns.

Over 1,500 years after the Indian head carvings were created, the Melrose Caverns became a site were both Union and Confederate soldiers placed over 400 signatures, with ash, the deposits from the heated iron from their bayonets as well as through scratching the walls with their bayonets, throughout the cavern. Out of all of the caverns in the Shenandoah Valley, the Melrose Caverns has more signatures, from Civil War soldiers, than any other cave.

In 1929, Colonel Edward Brown, who owned the Endless Caverns within New Market, Virginia, leased Melrose Caverns, which was called Blue Grottos at that time, from Francis Moore Harrison and her husband, Thomas Moore Harrison. With this lease agreement Colonel Edward Brown and constructed a stone lodge, service station and a connecting bridge.

For years the stone lodge served as the “Melrose Caverns Civil War Musuem “, which displayed photos of the Valley Rangers who once traversed the caves and information on the 300 Union soldiers who hid in the caverns before marching north to the Battle of Gettysburg.

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