Category Archives: Civilians

Historic Wrightsville, Pa., Museum features Civil War displays

The historic town of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, is nestled along the banks of the mile-wide Susquehanna River in eastern York County. Today it has about 2,300 residents, roughly double its size during the American Civil War. Some accounts suggest that this … Continue reading

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Historic Jonas Rupp House near Mechanicsburg, PA

This old stone house once was surrounded by rural farming country along Trindle Spring Road on the outskirts of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It dates from 1787 when it was built by a man named Jonas Rupp. Now, the road is busy … Continue reading

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Common (and not so common!) myths of the Gettysburg Campaign: Part 2

Background: Part 1 7) Abraham Lincoln wrote part of his Gettysburg Address on the train while at Hanover Junction — One old account says that a small boy peeked into the window while Lincoln’s train was parked at Hanover Junction, … Continue reading

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Did you know? 150 Civil War facts about York County, Pa.: Part 9

121. At the start of the Civil War, the Wrightsville Star was a nonpartisan weekly newspaper serving Hellam Township, Wrightsville, and east-central York County. It had been in business since 1854. Typical of most small town papers, it had only … Continue reading

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150 years ago today: June 27, 1863: Part 2: Telegraph announces the Rebels’ arrival

Daniel Trone, the young telegrapher at the railway station in Hanover, Pa., used this telegraph key to tap out the first message that the Confederates had arrived in York County. This old key is now in the collection of the … Continue reading

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150 years ago today: Nerves are on edge… are the Rebels coming?

On Thursday, June 25, 1863, the gravel turnpike from Gettysburg through York to Wrightsville became a highway to perceived safety for what has been described as thousands of terrified  refugees from Franklin County and to a lesser extent Adams County. … Continue reading

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150 years ago today in York County, Pa.: Rumors that the Rebels are coming!

On Wednesday, June 24, 1863, this fine old hotel on West Market Street in downtown York (the National Hotel) was the headquarters for Colonel William B. Thomas, the commander of the 20th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia. Thomas, an early backer of … Continue reading

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York County young lady described Rebel invasion

Confederate reenactors march into position for a sham battle at Neshaminy State Park. I frequently  drive past a modest country grocery store at the intersection of Canal Road and Bull Road in north-central York County, near the border of Conewago … Continue reading

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Gettysburg’s Historic Church Tours start June 12

Historic Church Walking Tours of Gettysburg celebrates its 10th season of providing local residents and tourists alike with visits to their historic churches.  On Wednesday evenings during the summer months, church volunteers provide short programs about their church and how … Continue reading

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Residents fired at Rebels from their windows during Battle of Hanover

On June 30, 1863, hundreds of Confederate and Union cavalrymen clashed in the streets and fields near Hanover, Pennsylvania, in the largest military engagement in York County history. The 2nd North Carolina Cavalry chased the 18th Pennsylvania north into Hanover … Continue reading

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