York, Pa. plans Civil War 150th Anniversary Events Aug. 17-21

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The official Pennsylvania 150 Civil War Road Show (shown above at the Visitors Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park) will be visiting York, Pa. in August.
York, Pennsylvania, has a long and storied history.
Delegates to the Continental Congress met here for nine months during the American Revolution, and the Articles of Confederation were drafted and approved here. The term “United States of America” first appeared on an official government document printed on a York printing press.
During the Civil War, York became the largest Northern town to be occupied by Confederate forces when more than 6,000 Rebels under Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early camped in and around York. Soldiers from North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland surrounded the town and enjoyed a bounty of food and supplies their generals commandeered from the populace.
At the start of the war in 1861 and continuing into ’62, thousands of York County men and boys joined the Union Army voluntarily before a draft was instituted to raise additional manpower. President Abraham Lincoln passed through the county twice in November 1863 on his way to and from Gettysburg, pausing to make a brief speech in Hanover (he would return when his funeral train passed through in 1865).
From August 17-21, 2011, York will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with a series of interesting events downtown ranging from living history encampments, music, period dancing, lectures and panel discussions, and special exhibits including a showing of Gone With The Wind at the Strand Capitol Theater.
Why not come out and enjoy these anniversary events?
Most are free and all are open to the public. Continue reading to learn about all of the special activities!


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Penn Park on West College Avenue is one of the venues for York’s Civil War commemoration. This was the site of a large U.S. Army Hospital during the war years which housed more than 14,000 patients during its four years in operation. It was also a Confederate campsite during the Gettysburg Campaign when at least one regiment of North Carolina troops occupied the grounds and buildings.

Daniel Roe of the York County Heritage Trust
and a team of volunteers have been working for almost a year to coordinate and plan the special activities accompanying the commemoration. The public is welcome to all events (all free unless noted).

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Wed. August 17 – York Civil War Round Table – Jean Hershner “The Cartridge Box”. (YCHT Historical Society Museum Auditorium at 250 E. Market Street) 7:00 p.m.

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Thurs. August 18 – Read and Remember Program – James McClure and Scott L. Mingus, Sr. “Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign.” . 7:00 p.m. (Historical Society Museum Auditorium). Join authors Scott Mingus and Jim McClure as they discuss their latest work Civil War Voices, which draws on oral histories, letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts to recount the impact of the Gettysburg Campaign in York County.

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Fri. August 19Pennsylvania 150 Civil War Road Show open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. (Penn Park). The Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show is a unique, traveling exhibition and heritage tourism experience that will traverse the state in a 53-foot tractor trailer throughout the four-year anniversary period. Through images, sound, words, objects and interactive multimedia, the Road Show will convey stories of the many different ways Pennsylvania’s men, women, children and communities experienced the Civil War, both on the battlefield and the home front.
Fri. August 19York College of Pennsylvania Civil War Panel – “On the Brink of Freedom: The Politics of Slavery, Secession, and War”. Film Viewing Room / Humanities 219 (York College, 441 Country Club Road),1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Speakers are:
> Tom Sheeler
(Adjunct Professor, York College) “‘Where the End is Desired, the Means are Given': Prigg v. Pennsylvania and Sectional Tension on the Mason-Dixon Line”. Sheeler will recount the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling stemming fro an 1837 episode in York County. In early 1837, a small group of Marylanders seized an African American woman and her children in York County, Pennsylvania, claiming them to be fugitive slaves. Pennsylvania indicted the men under a state anti-kidnapping law, and the case eventually went to the U. S. Supreme Court, which decided that Pennsylvania’s law was unconstitutional and interfered with a slaveholder’s ability to reclaim runaway slaves. Instead settling the issue, however, the case sparked further controversies on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line that led to increased tension continuing until the outbreak of the Civil War.
> John Kerr (Adjunct Professor, York College), “Lincoln as Historian: His 1861 Case Against the Legality of Secession”
> Anthony Zacchino (Instructor, Queens College). “Entering the Ranks, Lorenzo Thomas and Black Recruitment”
> Dr. Corey Brooks (Assistant Professor, York College), “Comment”
Fri. August 19 – Civil War Music by Matt Dodd 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with a formal program at noon.
Fri. August 19Civil War Dance Ensemble, Victorian Teaching Ball, featuring the Susquehanna Travellers. (Historical Society Museum) 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Join the Civil War Dance Ensemble and the Susquehanna Travellers for an evening of period music and dancing. Guests will learn Victorian Dances, “stepping in time” to live music. Free registration, limited to 60 participants. To register or for more information, please contact the York County Heritage Trust’s Education Department at 717-848-1587 x 301.
Fri. August 19 or Sat. Aug. 20Pennsylvania Past Players (times TBA) Living History.

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Sat. August 20Road Show open to the public 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Penn Park)
Sat. August 20 – Book signing at Penn Park – Scott L. Mingus, Sr. and Jim McClure
Sat. August 20Places Through Time Living History, “All Things Victorian” (Agricultural and Industrial Museum Lobby, 217 W. Princess Street). Exhibit display, hands-on activities in the lobby from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with an outdoor presence in between formal programs (the latter are from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Sat. August 20 – Special Performance of Gone With the Wind (Strand Capitol Theater, 50 N. George Street). 6:00 p.m. Admission charged. Tickets ($7.00 each) are available at the Strand Box Office, 717-846-1111.

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Sun. August 21Road Show open to the public 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Penn Park)
Sun. August 21Richard Pawling – “History Alive” – Levi Bull Smith was a Pennsylvania iron worker and abolitionist, and will share his views and experiences on the outbreak of the war and its impact on Pennsylvania and the “common” man. Living historian Richard Pawling will share his first and third person impression of Smith at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., with roaming interpretations from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (characterizations, interaction, musical components) (Agricultural and Industrial Museum).
Sun. August 21Dr. John Quist – “John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry and the Escape of Oswald Perry Anderson” 3:00 p.m. (Agricultural and Industrial Museum Lobby)

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Living History Encampments – on-site at Penn Park throughout the duration of York’s 150th Civil War Commemoration:
> 87th Pennsylvania Infantry reenactors
> 151st Pennsylvania Infantry reenactors
> 42nd Mississippi Infantry, Co. I reenactors
> Civilian Corps of Gettysburg
Complimentary daily programs at the living history encampments include:
> Scheduled programs occurring throughout each day (firing/tactical demonstrations, artillery displays, music, period medicine, clothing, leisure activities, roles of women, men, children, home front soldiers)
> Period programs (photography, sutlers, etc.)
> Penn Hospital Tour

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Other Information:
Parking available at William Penn High School (directly across from the Agricultural & Industrial Museum – 217 W. Princess St. York, PA)
Food
Bricker’s Famous French Fries will be located in the Court Yard of the Agricultural & Industrial Museum (August 19-21)
Sunday August 21 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. Chilly Dilly’s Ice Cream Truck will be on site at Penn Park

* All events and times subject to change! Watch this Cannonball blog for an up-to-date list as the commemoration nears. *

This entry was posted in Civil War events, Civilians, Confederates, Yankees, York, York CWRT. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to York, Pa. plans Civil War 150th Anniversary Events Aug. 17-21

  1. Kim Shayda says:

    Already signed up to volunteer on both Saturday and Sunday.

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