Honor the past when you explore our collection of historic monuments, special memorials, and military history sites spread throughout Cumberland Valley. If you're curious to learn more about Cumberland Valley's rich history, click here to browse a comprehensive list of historical sites.
The Soldiers Monument Association was formed in 1867 to help raise money to build this impressive monument located at the intersection of High and Hanover Streets in downtown Carlisle. After raising over $5,000, the monument was dedicated in 1871 and honors 344 men from Cumberland County who died from wounds or diseases while serving during the war. Recent research by county staff, the Cumberland County Historical Society, and local author Randy Watts uncovered the names of 5 Cumberland County individuals whose names were not included on the monument when it was first erected. In 2021, on the 150th anniversary of the monument's dedication, County Commissioners approved a modification to add their names. These five men served with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the second African-American Regiment organized in the northern states during the Civil War. Also located in the brick patio area of the monument, you can browse other monuments, including the China Burma India Veteran's Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans of Cumberland County Memorial.
Address: South Hanover and West High Streets, Carlisle
This historically significant monument marks the northernmost point the Confederates reached during the Gettysburg Campaign of the Civil War. The militia at Sterrett's Gap prevented the troops from advancing any farther. The historical marker, erected in 1929, states that on the morning of June 28, 1863, an organized band of the Confederate Army of Robert E. Lee reached the farm of Joseph Miller near Sterrett's Gap.
Address: PA 34, .7 mile N of Carlisle Springs, Carlisle
Fort Couch in Lemoyne was built in June of 1863 under the direction of General Darius Couch due to the Confederate Army heading toward Harrisburg. Most of the fort was built by African Americans who worked for the railroads, and sections of the original breastworks are still visible. According to the historical marker, Fort Couch is the only public site that preserves part of the once extensive defenses of Harrisburg. (Photo credit: West Shore Historical Society Facebook page)
Address: Eighth St. and Ohio Avenue, Lemoyne
Molly Pitcher was renowned for her bravery during the Revolutionary War. She is well-known for assisting her husband at his gun station during the Battle of Monmouth. Read more about Molly Pitcher here or learn more about this heroine at the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Address: Old Public Graveyard, South Bedford and East South Streets, Carlisle
Located in Willow Mill Park, this large Veteran's Memorial honors veterans of all services and eras. The memorial was dedicated on November 11, 2011, and special events are held at the memorial throughout the year. Click here to read more about the memorial's construction and for an in-depth self-guided tour.
Address: 80 Willow Mill Park Road, Mechanicsburg
This park recognizes and honors all veterans of all services who have served or who are serving our Nation. Currently, the park includes 12 points of remembrance recounting the military history of the United States, an amphitheater concept centered on the American flag and the flags of the military branches, a ceremonial burn pit (permit required), a flag drop-box, and numerous benches and plaques.
Address: 4345 Marketplace Way, Enola
This memorial is located in the center of Boiling Springs near Children's Lake. The tower was erected in 1956 with stones from Daniel Kaufman's barn, a safe haven for runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. On July 4, 1957, the tower was dedicated to the memory of Cumberland County Veterans.
Address: Corner of Children's Lake, Boiling Springs
The memorial is prominently displayed at the entrance to the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety building. This memorial, which was dedicated in 2014, honors all of Cumberland County's fallen law enforcement officers. Dating back to Officer George Martin, who passed in 1893, this memorial is dedicated to 14 officers who died while on duty. Click here to read more about each officer.
Address: 1 Public Safety Drive, Carlisle
While exploring these important monuments and memorials in Cumberland Valley, include other military history attractions to round out your visit.
The Carlisle Barracks was established in 1757 and is the second oldest Army post in the United States. The Barracks still has an on-site Hessian Powder Magazine, built in 1777. This historical location has an interesting past. Most notably, the site was burned by the Confederate Army in 1863 and later was the home of the controversial Carlisle Indian School. Famed athlete Jim Thorpe and 10,000 other American Indian children attended this school from 1879-1918. The Carlisle Barracks is now home to the prestigious U.S. Army War College. Take a self-guided tour of the barracks. Booklets can be purchased at History on High.
Address: Visitors Center & Security Check Point, 870 Jim Thorpe Drive, Carlisle, PA.
(Photo credit: Hessian Powder Magazine, Cumberlink; read more about this building from Cumberlink's 2019 article here.)
This location is the premier facility for research on U.S. Army history and is dedicated to "Telling the Army story...one Soldier at a time." The expansive campus includes the Visitor and Education Center, the U.S. Army War College Library, the U.S. Army Military History Institute, and the Army Heritage Trail. Free and open to the public, highlights of this attraction include the interactive Soldier Experience Exhibit, the research library and archive, and the mile-long Army Heritage Trail with full-scale military exhibits, including Civil War winter encampment cabins, a WWI trench system, a replicated Normandy Bocage scene from World War II, an interpretation of the Vietnam helicopter air assault at Ia Drang and many more.
Address: 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle PA