Burning the Wrightsville Bridge

Burning the Wrightsville Bridge (HML9L)

Location: Wrightsville, PA 17368 York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 1.72', W 76° 31.698'

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River Towns - Civil War Trails

By late June 1863, the Confederate Army had invaded Pennsylvania. After capturing York, the Rebels planned to take the state capital, Harrisburg, and possibly Philadelphia. To get there, they would need to cross the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville. Pennsylvania militiamen from Columbia, on the Lancaster County side of the river, vowed to block the Confederate advance. Union troops joined them, as did a company of African American militiamen. They mustered fewer than 1,500 men.

When Confederate Brigadier General John Brown Gordon arrived on June 28 with approximately 1,800 troops, the Federals were waiting in their entrenchments. The Rebels opened up with artillery fire, and the Union position rapidly became untenable. The Federals decided to retreat to Columbia and blow up a section of the over mile-long bridge behind them, denying the Rebels access to Lancaster. The explosions failed to destroy the bridge, so the order to burn it was given. As the Confederates surged forward, the bridge erupted in flames. Gordon's men worked for hours to extinguish the blaze. They kept Wrightsville from going up in smoke, but the bridge was destroyed. Gordon's Brigade was recalled to York the next day. The Pennsylvania militia had saved Lancaster.
HM NumberHML9L
Series This marker is part of the Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Civil War Trails series
Placed ByPennsylvania Civl War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 8:40pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 369596 N 4432057
Decimal Degrees40.02866667, -76.52830000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 1.72', W 76° 31.698'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 1' 43.20" N, 76° 31' 41.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 114 Walnut St, Wrightsville PA 17368, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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