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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mercersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ambush at Mercersburg

 
 
Ambush at Mercersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
1. Ambush at Mercersburg Marker
Inscription. On July 3, 1863, three Confederate riders in Mercersburg’s town square were ambushed by two Union stragglers. Bullets passed through Private J.W. Alban, killing him and also the horse of the rider beside him. The third man quickly galloped out of town. The Horseless Confederate fled from the square and into an alley beside Judge Carson’s property (Buchanan house) but was quickly captured by townsfolk. Panic then set in as the townspeople feared reprisals for the ambush. In haste the dead man and horse were buried in a nearby brick kiln. The captured soldier was given to authorities in McConnellsburg. On July 4, calmer voices prevailed and the dead man was exhumed and given decent burial in the Presbyterian graveyard.

Sunday services at the local churches were disrupted on July 5 as a captured Confederate wagon train was led into town containing 100 wagons and nearly 700 wounded from the Battle of Gettysburg. Churches were transformed into hospitals, and the townspeople assisted in ministering to the wounded. In a few days, only the most seriously wounded were left behind. Of those, two would die by August and be buried in Fairview Cemetery.
 
Erected 2009 by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker
Ambush at Mercersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, April 25, 2009
2. Ambush at Mercersburg Marker
series.
 
Location. 39° 49.68′ N, 77° 54.211′ W. Marker is in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mercersburg PA 17236, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Darby, Lot 14, 1786 (a few steps from this marker); James Buchanan (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. Murphy's Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Archibald Irwin House (within shouting distance of this marker); Citizens Seized (within shouting distance of this marker); Buchanan House (within shouting distance of this marker); Lane House (within shouting distance of this marker); President Buchanan’s Home (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Mercersburg.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays an Illustration of the ambush from the popular press of the time, courtesy of The National Civil War Museum. A photo shows the Old Mansion House on the Square in Mercersburg. Private J.W. Albans was reportedly kille outside the building’s kitchen door. Photo courtesy of Betty Steiger.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Ambush at Mercersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
3. Ambush at Mercersburg Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,724 times since then and 123 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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