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

The Greatest Sacrifice / Prelude to Gettysburg

The Greatest Sacrifice Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Robert H. Moore, II, April 25, 2009
1. The Greatest Sacrifice Marker
Inscription.  The price of war is devastation. Franklin County paid the price when its county seat, Chambersburg, was burned to the ground in 1864. Invaded in 1862, 1863, and 1864 by Confederate forces, Franklin County has the distinction of suffering more Southern incursions than any other area north of the Mason-Dixon line. The first Union soldier to fall in Pennsylvania died in Greencastle. John Brown planned his raid on Harpers Ferry in Chambersburg, and twelve year old Hetty Zeilinger guided four thousand Union troops at Monterey Pass. Franklin County provided the sites for a number of major army hospitals, particularly after the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.

(Reverse Side):
Prelude to Gettysburg
One of the great debates of our Country's history and legacy is what scholars call "the two Civil Wars": the first a matter of campaigns, generals, and troop movements and the second focusing on the ways that the great conflict affected the daily rhythms of life on farms, and in communities.

Regardless, Gettysburg was the site of the largest battle ever fought on American soil and it involved a great deal more than
Prelude to Gettysburg Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 7, 2010
2. Prelude to Gettysburg Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
the resources of one single, famous town.

In six counties near Gettysburg, civilians and militia answered the first call to arms and bravely endured relentless threats and the destruction of their property. Here, women raised funds to support the war and nursed tens of thousands of wounded soldiers left behind from the battles fought in the orchards and fields. Interestingly, part of the battlefield was owned by Freeman, Abraham Brien. Although a number of Gettysburg area Black men joined volunteer militias or USCT regiments during the war, no Black veteran was interred in Soldiers' National Cemetery until 1884. Still, free men and freed men alike enlisted to fight for their own rights, and children sacrificed their security, sometimes their lives. Their combined efforts provided the turning point for the Union cause.

Join us and relive a host of Civil War stories great and small that happened along Pennsylvania’s rural roads and in its village squares. Just look for this Keystone Kepi symbol. It will guide you to a rich and exciting aspect of American History.
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 year for this entry is 1864.
The Greatest Sacrifice Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 7, 2010
3. The Greatest Sacrifice Marker
39° 56.271′ N, 77° 39.658′ W. Marker is in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on Lincoln Way (Route 30). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chambersburg PA 17201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Underground Railroad Activity in Chambersburg (within shouting distance of this marker); French & Indian War – Revolutionary War – War of 1812 (within shouting distance of this marker); Finding Your Way (within shouting distance of this marker); War Between the States (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Mexican War – Spanish American War – World War (within shouting distance of this marker); World War II – Korean Conflict – Vietnam Conflict (within shouting distance of this marker); Chambersburg Founded A.D. 1764 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chambersburg.
More about this marker. The marker displays two illustrations. In the upper right are Union Troops Preparing to Bivouac in Church Pews by James Fuller, courtesy of the Library of Congress. At the bottom is a painting of The Burning of Chambersburg.

Several photographs appear on the Prelude to Gettysburg side of the marker. At the top left is a picture of Colonel William Averett and staff, 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, 1862, Courtesy of the Library of Congress. The upper right contains a picture of “Market day on the Public Square in Carlisle, c. 1862, Courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, Pa.” Below this is a portrait of Thomas Morris Chester with a caption of “Chester recruited Black soldiers for the United States Colored Troops and was a noted Civil War correspondent.” The bottom left features a photo of Elizabeth Salome Stewart with her son Henry Stewart. The caption reads “Mrs. Stewart is better known as Sallie Myers, a civilian nurse in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.” Also present at the bottom right of the marker is a map showing Gettysburg, Chambersburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg and the surrounding area.
Marker in Chambersburg image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 7, 2010
4. Marker in Chambersburg
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,602 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on July 10, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on May 4, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on September 1, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2022