The Exchange Hotel

The Exchange Hotel – Where Over 70,000 Wounded Civil War Soldiers Were Treated

The Exchange Hotel was utilized during the United States Civil War to treat over 70,000 soldiers during the course of the conflict. Most of the soldiers were treated for their wounds on the grounds outside of the hotel, while about 200 soldiers were allowed to stay inside of the hotel per night. Soldiers were placed on straw mats, which could be easily replaced, due to the bodily fluids which leaked onto the floor. Doctors and nurses treated both Confederate and Union soldiers at this hotel.

After the end of the U.S. Civil War, the Exchange Hotel was utilized as a Freemans’ Bureau where freed black Americans were taught how to read and to write. In the 1920s, the floor boards on the first floor of the Exchange Hotel were replaced. The second and the third levels of the hotel still have the original floorboards, which are stained by the blood of soldiers who were treated by doctors and nurses during the U.S. Civil War.

In 1950, the Exchange Hotel was sold for five dollars and was converted into a Civil War Medical Museum. Currently the museum is under private ownership with exhibits regarding Union and Confederate spies, medical treatments and other topics.

Room at the first floor of the Exchange Hotel.
The Freemans’ Bureau exhibit on the third floor.