During the Civil War, the area around the tavern served as one of the outermost picket points for the defense of Washington. Troops passed on their way to ford the Potomac and head north. In December 1861 the village was enveloped in battle between Union troops of Gen. McCall and the Confederate forces of Gen. J.E.B Stuart. Skirmishes continued until March 1865. One of the tantalizing gaps is the role the tavern played during the war. Union troops camped on the lawns of Holly Knoll across the pike, but no specific records or references have been found to detail the events at the tavern.