Railroads During the Civil War - Columbia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 01.942 W 076° 30.391
18T E 371462 N 4432436
Quick Description: This marker is part of the Civil War Trails series of interpretives, many of which can be found in this immediate area. This one is on Columbia Rotary Park, near the sidewalk, at the foot of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 6/2/2010 5:58:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM8Z15
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 4

Long Description:

During the Civil War, Columbia, a transportation hub with railroads linking Philadelphia, York and Harrisburg, was a target for Confederates looking to disrupt Union supply lines and communications.

The sign of history reads:

Columbia's strategic position would have made it a fine prize for an invading SOuthern army bent on disrupting vital communications and supply lines in the North. Railroads connected Columbia with Philadelphia, York, and Harrisburg, and canal transportation linked the community with both the Chesapeake Bay and the interior of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Railroad had three routes radiating from Columbia during the Civil War. The first came from lancaster after originating in Philadelphia. This was part of a combined railroad-canal system running from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. The second route crossed the over mile-long covered bridge across the Susquehanna River to Wrightsville on its way to New York. The bridge was torched on June 28, 1863 to prevent the Confederates from crossing into Lancaster County and on to Harrisburg and possibly Philadelphia. The last branch ran adjacent to the Susquehanna River from Middletown to Columbia.

Often overlooked, a gesture of human kindness occurred in Columbia during the war. A train load of Confederate prisoners, enroute to a Federal prison camp in New jersey, was delayed in Columbia for several hours. The women of the town brought food and clean clothing to the train to help relieve the suffering Southern soldiers.

Related Website: [Web Link]

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