Central / Greenwell Springs
In the 1850s, Robert W. Greenwell purchased land in the area of what is now known as Greenwell Springs and began developing the area into a rural resort that was built around 10 medicinal springs. Despite the springs being in close proximity to each other, each spring was said to have very different and distinct mineral properties from the others. It was believed that this indicated the springs each came from different levels beneath the ground.
The resort area became known as the Greenwell Springs Hotel, and was used during the Civil War as a headquarters and staging area by Confederate General John Breckinridge. Prior to the Battle of Baton Rouge in April 1862, Breckinridge's forces marched west to attack Union forces that had occupied the city. After the battle, Confederate forces retreated back to the Greenwell Springs Hotel and used it was a hospital for wounded troops. Both Union and Confederate troops were buried on the grounds of the hotel in unmarked graves. During the war, Robert W. Greenwell joined the Confederate Army, and served as a captain. He was the commander of the East Baton Rouge Guards which was then Company F, 3rd Louisiana Cavalry, during the Battle of Port Hudson.