Begin your Civil War discovery in the historic town of Carlisle. Learn about the Confederate invasion and how the Confederate Army raided the towns of the Valley before heading to Gettysburg at the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Only a few minutes away you can experience soldier’s stories at the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center. This premier facility for Army research is home to the largest Civil War photography collection in the world. Browse photos, personal stories and the one-mile outdoor trail with interactive exhibits including recreations of Civil War Winter Cabins and a section of the Hagerstown Pike (Battle of Antietam).
Continue your Carlisle adventure with a stop at the Old Public Graveyard which is the burial ground for 550 Civil War Veterans.
Or follow the self-guided tour outlined in The Civil War Visits Carlisle, which will take you to all the highlights of the days leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg.
After exploring the Civil War history of Carlisle, extend your day through Boiling Springs to the West Shore communities. Stop by Boiling Springs to uncover Underground Railroad secrets at Island Grove, located on the south side of Yellow Breeches and Daniel Kaufman’s house. He was also an abolitionist and one of three men in charge of the Underground Railroad station at Boiling Springs. Download a copy of the 19th-Century Historic District of Boiling Springs Walking Tour to learn about these locations and more.
Travel to Mechanicsburg and explore the Mechanicsburg Museum at the Passenger Station. This museum has veterans’ burial lists for Mechanicsburg and Chestnut Hill Cemeteries, texts of diaries and letters written by local soldiers, discharge papers, newspaper clippings and some personal effects including Col. H.I. Zinn’s stirrups. Continue your West Shore journey by following the Self-Guided Civil War on the West Shore tour. Historic stops include the Fort Couch Monument, General Jenkins Monument, and the Historic Peace Church. You can get a more personal experience while shopping for a historical memento and learning about the time period at Civil War & More in Mechanicsburg.
Make it a Weekend
Plan an entire weekend and discover the whole story of the Civil War in the Cumberland Valley. Journey to Shippensburg to understand the beginning of the Confederate raid into Pennsylvania. Follow the Shippensburg Pennsylvania in the Civil War Self-Guided Tour to stops including the Shippensburg Historical Society and the Locust Grove Cemetery. Buried at this cemetery are twenty-six black Civil War veterans who served with the United States Colored Troops. Those veterans include men who served with the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments, the first combat units open to African-American men during the Civil War and the units featured in the movie Glory.