Tag Archives: Columbia Bridge

Fire destroyed Wrightsville’s riverfront a year before the bridge burning repeated it

Many Cannonball readers are well aware of the June 28, 1863, destruction of the Columbia-Wrightsville covered bridge. The winds shifted and lumberyards and houses along the riverfront also caught on fire. Confederate soldiers formed a bucket brigade and passed water … Continue reading

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Yankees and Rebels both camped on Wrightsville farm

The last of June 1863 were momentous times for the citizens of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. Situated on the western bank of the Susquehanna River, the town was the western terminus of what was then the world’s longest covered bridge. The Northern … Continue reading

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Rebel invasion recalled 28 years later: Part 4 “The dainty morsel of pine”

Twenty-eight years after the Confederates invaded Pennsylvania in what became known as the Gettysburg Campaign, the York Daily newspaper ran a lengthy article on June 29, 1891, recalling key events in York County, including preparations in Wrightsville to defend the … Continue reading

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Rebel invasion recalled 28 years later: Part 1 The Rebels are coming!

I am always interested in fresh accounts of the Confederate invasion of June 1863, a time when more than 11,000 Rebel soldiers in three columns marched or rode into York County, Pennsylvania. Some of these add more details or human … Continue reading

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Homemade bread, preserves, hot coffee & gunpowder!

The year was 1938. In Gettysburg, thousands of aged Civil War veterans gathered together one final time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. Many York Countians, some still living, traveled to view the massive encampment and … Continue reading

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Reverse glass paintings of Columbia Bridge on fire were part of 1913 Old Home Week

A Cannonball blog reader from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, has the above reverse glass painting for sale. Only a handful, including well preserved examples at the Columbia Historic Preservation Society and Historic Wrightsville, Incorporated, of these are known to exist. The reader’s … Continue reading

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Militiaman describes the defense of Wrightsville & burning of the bridge

The above image by Bradley Schmehl shows the vanguard of the 27th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia as they exit the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge on Sunday evening, June 28, 1863. The officer ahead of them on horseback is Col. Jacob G. Frick, the … Continue reading

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Spy story! Two Rebel scouts supposedly cross the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge

The February 14, 1930, issue of the Altoona (Pa.) Tribune contains a story I had not previously read concerning the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge during the Civil War’s Gettysburg Campaign. Townspeople, under the direction of Pennsylvania state militia officers … Continue reading

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Spy Stories

Savas Beatie LLC has just published Tom Ryan’s excellent new book on Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee’s Invasion of the North. June-July 1865. It is a … Continue reading

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“Emergency Man” recalls defense of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge

Sunday, June 28, 2015, marks the 152nd anniversary of the destruction of one of the world’s longest covered bridges, the mile-and-a-quarter-long span across the Susquehanna River between Wrightsville in eastern York County and Columbia in western Lancaster County. The bridge … Continue reading

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