The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is about more than just the Battle of Gettysburg. That’s the message officials in York County are hoping to spread to residents and tourists.
From downtown York, to the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville bridge and more. “We have really extensive history and the events that happened in York County really set the stage for Gettysburg. When you think about the Confederate Troops not making it over the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, having to return, and then troops in Hanover. Everything kind of set the stage here for the gathering in Gettysburg,” said Joan Mummert, President of York County Heritage Trust.
Thursday the Confederate Army peacefully invaded Central Market in Downtown York to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and the occupation of York on July 27, 1863. The York Heritage Trust planned ‘Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s’ mock invasion into the market. “I have taken possession of this town by the authority of the Confederate Government,” said a re-enactor portraying ‘Lt. Gen. Early’ in front of a crowd at the market.
“I took a day off work and brought the kids,” said Jane Sweitzer, who lives in York County. “I really never thought about it before that York was involved in the civil war. We were always at Gettysburg and always interested in that and it’s just interesting to find out that York had a history in it too.”
The York County Heritage Trust is preparing to unveil their new exhibit “The Fiery Trial, York County’s Civil War Experience” to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the impact it had in York County.
“We think that we might get a lot of local people and some tourists as well who want to avoid the things that are happening at Gettysburg; the crowds. We expect things will be a little quieter,” said Mummert.
“We really tried to put York County’s stories from individuals and events on the national stage,” said Dan Roe, with York County Heritage Trust. “[From] artifacts, weapons from the period, and uniforms. We also utilized our archives; bibles, books, letters, for instance a local civil war general is highlighted throughout the exhibit as well,” said Roe.
The Exhibit is at the York County Historical Society Museum, 250 East Market Street in York. Opening day on Saturday, admission is free. Sunday admission is half price. The exhibit runs through the end of 2015.
Thursday afternoon Mayor Kim Bracey read a Proclamation commemorating the invasion at City Hall. There is a lot more planned. For a schedule of upcoming events in York County click here
For more information on the York County Heritage Trust exhibit click here