The Civil War Museum at the Exchange Hotel is a museum containing exhibitions on the history of Gordonsville as a railroad town, the elegance of the Exchange Hotel and its transformation and remarkable history as the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital with its medical and Civil War artifacts.
Three floors of displays in an 1860 railroad hotel take the vistor back in time. The Georgian architecture with its verandas and second floor entry steps are reminiscent of Hotel days of a bygone era.
The Museum houses a world-renowned collection of artifacts relating to medical care during the Civil War. Among the many artifacts currently on display are: surgical instruments used by Confederate medical staff, various pharmaceutical bottles and containers, medical knapsacks and panniers, stretchers and litters, prosthetic devices, and dental tools.
The Museum displays of period furnishings and surgical artifacts remind the visitor of the eras when the building served as a Hotel and then as a Battlefield Receiving Hospital-the scene of untold agony and death, the building survived the conflict and is the only Receiving Hospital still standing in Virginia.
During the reconstruction period, the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital served the newly freed slaves as a Freedman's Bureau. On display are the original letters from the students to their teacher, court cases adjudicated in the building and other items pertaining to the period.
Historic Gordonsville, Inc. acquired and restored the property in 1971. It was recognized and placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973 and acknowledged as an African-American Memorial Site in June of 2002.