Littlestown in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
"Fair ladies ... long live in peace, prosperity and happiness"
After a stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia through Maryland into Pennsylvania, marching east to threaten Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The Army of the Potomac marched north from the capital, searching for Lee. On July 1-3, the armies collided at Gettysburg in one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War. Three days later, after a bloody defeat, the Confederates began retracing their steps to Virginia.
Located a short distance south of Gettysburg and on the route of advance for elements of the Army of the Potomac as it searched for the Confederate army, Littlestown was affected by events just before and after the great battle. The advance of Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry division, almost 4,000 strong, arrived here late on the evening of June 29, 1863. Kilpatrick and at least one brigade commander, Gen. George Armstrong Custer, likely lodged at the Union Hotel (Barker House) on the northwestern corner of the square. The Federals did not know it, but Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry corps was
The advance of the Union XII Corps camped the night of June 30 in the fields east of town, and on July 2, the VI Corps marched through. Altogether, some 30,000 Federals passed through Littlestown on their way to Gettysburg, and the 700 residents welcomed them with songs, cheers, and food. Although historians frequently mention such displays only in passing, the soldiers reported their effect on the army's morale.
We shall all ever remember the enthusiasm of the loyal men and women of this little Pennsylvania town, and how with patriotic songs and cheers, they entertained us and fed us. ... The cheers and hurrahs of fair maidens and gray-haired patriots gave the contest a new meaning, the full effect of which was never fully known and felt until the smoke of battle lifted from the field of Gettysburg and hovered over the victorious Union army.
— Soldier, 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry
About fifty young ladies had assembled at the Union Hotel and as we entered the place sweet singing greeted our ears & made glad our hearts. The "Red, White, & Blue," "Star Spangled Banner" & etc. were sung with great enthusiasm, the chorus being joined in by hundreds of weary soldiers. May the fair ladies and good people of Littlestown long live in peace, prosperity and happiness.
— Pvt. Charles H. Blinn, 1st Vermont Cavalry
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1863.
Location. 39° 44.675′ N, 77° 5.279′ W. Marker is in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of South Queen Street (Pennsylvania Route 97) and East King Street (Pennsylvania Route 194) on South Queen Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 S Queen St, Littlestown PA 17340, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Peter (Klein) Little (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Littlestown (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Littlestown (a few steps from this marker); Littlestown 250 Years (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Littlestown (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Littlestown (a few steps from this marker); Littlestown War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Army of the Potomac (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Littlestown.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 176 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 27, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.