Even though it didn't see any ground action, Western Pennsylvania used its industrial might and a lot of heart to play a crucial role in the Union victory. The Iron City built steamboats, train cars and forged tons of iron, while the Fort Pitt Foundry churned out a major bulk of the government's weaponry and supplies. The people here also selflessly kept the energy going on the Underground Railroad with countless lives saved. It's a region of stories, neighborhoods and timeless inspiration, not to mention an epic sandwich piled high with meat and fries. So get ready for a roadtrip you'll wish you could reenact all over again.
History buffs and reenactors, moms and middle-schoolers, take note: this roadtrip is packed with stops along the Pennsylvania towns, museums, railroad stops and second-story bedrooms that stood witness to our country's greatest struggle.
The Pennsylvania Civil War Trails: Prelude to Gettysburg tells the often-silent home front stories. It's on these Trails that the faceless are brought to life and the places in between are explored. Your journey begins in Harrisburg and takes you through the towns, farms, and fields that experienced war firsthand. Places like Wrightsville and Columbia that gave all they had to keep the Confederate forces from crossing the river. Places like Hanover, where the streets were filled with battle and citizens saved the lives of others regardless of a uniform's color.
Along the way, follow the roadside markers with the Union kepi cap to find the next stop. With the help of "Story Stops" and "Gateway Signs," you'll experience the Civil War through the eyes of sons and daughters who lived through it, set against the backdrop of Pennsylvania's picturesque Dutch Country Roads.
We all know that when it comes to Pennsylvania and the Civil War, there’s more to the story than the Battle of Gettysburg. The trail of history winds throughout the state, leading all the way to Philadelphia (which just so happens to have legendary dining, hotels and shopping too). So explore the City of Brotherly Love and its lush countryside, and fall in love with America’s history all over again.