The Chambersburg area saw more sustained military action during the war than any other place in Pennsylvania. In 1861, it was the staging point for Union Gen. Robert Patterson's unsuccessful Shenandoah Valley campaign. Following the Battle of Antietam in 1862, the town was an important supply and hospital center. Confederate Maj. Gen. Jeb Stuart raided Chambersburg on October 10, 1862, destroying warehouses and railroad yards. Approximately 65, 000 Confederate troops camped around the town in June 1863 during the "Great Invasion." From there, Gen. Robert E. Lee made the decision to move toward Gettysburg. Chambersburg suffered its worst Confederate visitation on July 30, 1864, when cavalry under Gen. John McCausland burned the town because a ransom of $100, 000 in gold -- or $500, 000 in cash -- was not met. The fire destroyed more than 500 structures and gave Chambersburg the dubious distinction of being the only town in the North burned by the Confederates during the war. Serving as an interpretive center for Franklin County, the Heritage Center provides information on walking and driving tours of dozens of Civil War sites in the area.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | Among the museum's holdings is a large and important collection of Civil War materials, including flags, uniforms, firearms, swords, accoutrements, and soldiers' personal gear.