The Skirmish of Oyster's Point

The Skirmish of Oyster's Point (HM1S9B)

Location: Camp Hill, PA 17011 Cumberland County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 14.483', W 76° 55.517'

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Sunday, June 28 and Monday, June 29, 1863

Confederate General's Albert G. Jenkin's trot towards Harrisburg was stalled as he neared Oyster's Point, named for a tavern owned by the Oyster family at the junction of Carlisle Pike and Trindle Springs Road. In 1863, these two roads met to form a fork or a "point" around the 3000 block of Market Street. Recognizing the strategic advantage of controlling these roads, select Union forces advanced from the defenses of Harrisburg and gathered in the vicinity. The Oysters' quaint tavern, a mere three and a half miles from the state capital, would soon become the focal point of hostilities in the hours before Gettysburg.
The nearby community was known as White Hall, consisting of about a dozen homes. In the days before the Confederate arrival, Union militia had looted and plundered the local homes and farmsteads. "It seemed as if our soldiers thought they were in an enemy's country", recalled one exasperated local. "The contents of the store of David Denlinger were strewn along the picket line... Packages of tea, coffee, muslin and calico could have been obtained... with but the asking for them...." The New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians alike freely took preservatives, meats and blankets, and frequently killed local livestock at their own decree.
Fighting at Oyster's Point commenced in the early afternoon of June 28, 1863. Confederates lobbed artillery shells into the vicinity from the Peace Church and the Samuel Albright House on East 36th Street. Confederate skirmishers were countered both north and south of the Pike by Union pickets, and the lines moved back and forth throughout the afternoon, with skirmishing primarily between the 3100 and 3300 blocks of Market Street. On June 29, General Jenkins was under orders to scout the defenses of Harrisburg and inform the infantry in Carlisle, and therefore devised a ruse. For about two hours he bombarded the Union position, and then some Confederates on horseback charged down the Pike, driving back frightened Union militia, and getting as far as Limekiln Lane (present-day 28th Street, Camp Hill). This marked the furthest advance towards Harrisburg by any Confederate force. They remained under fire for at least another hour, effectively occupying the Union attention while General Jenkins rode south to observe the defenses of Harrisburg.
HM NumberHM1S9B
Placed ByCamp Curtin Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 336233 N 4456326
Decimal Degrees40.24138333, -76.92528333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 14.483', W 76° 55.517'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 14' 28.98" N, 76° 55' 31.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-94 N 24th St, Camp Hill PA 17011, US
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