The Shippensburg Reenactment “March to Destiny” is always a lot of fun. Maybe it is because it is a Confederate victory in my home state or maybe it’s because it is civilian and military centered. Civilians can enjoy a number of lectures, an ice cream social and a ball. Not to mention that you can be chauffeured into town in a wagon or carriage.
This weekend was hot but not to the extent that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves. We didn’t attend any of the lectures as we have in past years and instead wandered the town together, and read in the shade of the trees. It was a very relaxing event. No drills, short battles and the townspeople really support the weekend when time-travelers take over.
|From The New York Herald, 1863|
For those of your not familiar, Shippensburg is a small town in PA that was occupied by Confederates on the way to Gettysburg. The town retains much of its 1860s appearance, albeit with modern establishments. One such building containing a hardware store, opened its doors in 1858. In modern times, the store is called Pague & Fegan but it was originally called McPherson & Cox Hardware Store. The building itself was looted by Confederates in June of 1863 but McPherson reportedly hid his most expensive assets in the walls and wallpapered them over, preserving a portion of his livelihood.
The town has many stories of the raids. In his report to Colonel R. H. Chilton, Lieutenant-General R.S. Ewell simply stated "At Carlisle, Chambersburg, and Shippensburg, requisitions were made for supplies, and the shops were searched, many valuable stores being secured. At Chambersburg, a train was loaded with ordnance and medical stores and sent back. Near 3,000 head of cattle were collected and sent back by my corps, and my chief commissary of subsistence, Major [W. J.] Hawks, notified Colonel [R. G.] Cole of the location of 5,000 barrels of flour along the route traveled by the command."