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

Prelude to Gettysburg

Prelude to Gettysburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 29, 2009
1. Prelude to Gettysburg Marker
Inscription. 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 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.
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
Marker series.
Prelude to Gettysburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 29, 2009
2. Prelude to Gettysburg Marker
This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 40° 12.103′ N, 77° 11.458′ W. Marker is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Cumberland County. Marker is on High Street (U.S. 11), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in gated area immediately west of 37 W. High St., being a side access to the Cumberland County Historical Society. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37 W. High Street, Carlisle PA 17013, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Carlisle's 250th Anniversary Mural (a few steps from this marker); Carlisle Fort (a few steps from this marker); The Carlisle Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Centenary Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Cumberland County Historical Society & Hamilton Library Association (within shouting distance of this marker); The High Street Train Stations (within shouting distance of this marker); James Wilson (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Butler (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carlisle.
More about this marker. On the Prelude to Gettysburg side, in the upper left is a wartime photo showing Colonel William Averell and Staff, 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, 1862. On the right is a photo of Market day on the Public Square in Carlisle, c. 1862. In the center is a portrait of Thomas Morris Chester. Chester recruited Black soldiers for the United States Colored Troops and was a noted Civil War correspondent. On the lower left is a portrait of Elizabeth Salome Stewart with her son Henry Stewart. Mrs. Stewart is better known as Sallie Myers, a civilian nurse in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. To the lower right is a map of six counties mentioned in the text.

On the Gettysburg Showdown side, a painting titled Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge is prominently displayed. In the lower left is a photo of Basil Biggs and family. Biggs had seen the farm he rented ruined by the invading Confederate army. Biggs was later one of the Black subcontractors that removed more than three thousand bodies killed during the battle of Gettysburg for reburial in the National Cemetery.
Regarding Prelude to Gettysburg. This marker's text and layout is duplicated at several Pennsylvania Civil War Trails locations.
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,160 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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