New historical markers are being placed in seven towns across south-central Pennsylvania this summer to commemorate events from the Civil War. Among these locations are Gettysburg, York, Hanover, and Wrightsville (all of which play a key role in my new book, Flames Beyond the Susquehanna: The Gordon Expedition. These markers are part of the state-sponsored Pennsylvania Civil War Trails program, similar in concept to well-regarded programs in Maryland and Virginia.
One of the new markers honors the courage of Wrightsville’s residents, “Women and Children under Siege.” A number of residents came under Confederate artillery fire when John B. Gordon‘s expeditionary force attacked Union entrenchments surrounding the town. Most huddled in their homes and cellars, although a few caught unaware in the streets when the guns opened fire had to dodge shell fragments that rained down upon the town as the Union militia retreated towards the Susquehanna River. Mrs. Amanda Beaverson and her three children were hustled to safety in a cellar by a man named Jacob Freet, who spotted the mother and kids standing in the street and shells exploded overhead.
A driving tour and literature will be available for those folks wishing to explore beyond Gettysburg to visit other spots in Pennsylvania relevant to the Gettysburg Campaign.
For details, see www.PACivilWarTrails.com.