GDG- Lee - Harrisburg

John Lawrence jlawrence at
Fri Jan 27 21:40:44 CST 2012

No, I was talking about the group.
Forget who they are, but they have a group.
I forget the names. I joined the group as a favor because one of them would set up as a vendor at the muster. I think Margaret hails from that direction.
Maybe she knows who they are.

CWMHTours at wrote:

>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>Nuttin in the Camp Curtin sites.
>There are interesting pics if you enter Ft Couch.
>Also found a good BBQ restaurant in Harrisburg.
>A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,
>In a message dated 1/27/2012 8:56:29 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
>jlawrence at writes:
>Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
>You know, I have driven by multiple times but I  have never gone down there.
>We have (or had) an esteemed member a  couple of years ago who offered the 
>tour; dunnoo if he is still with  us.
>I'll betchee he can give a more coherent story than I can. some of  that 
>stuff comes from vaguly recalled memories of the Camp Curtain monthly  
>You might try the camp curtin group, come to think of  it.
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From:  <CWMHTours at>
>To: <gettysburg at>
>Sent:  Friday, January 27, 2012 7:04 PM
>Subject: Re: GDG- Lee -  Harrisburg
>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> THNX  Jack-
>> Are the pits extant?
>> A  Loyal  Neo-Anti Unionist,
>> Peter
>> In a message dated  1/27/2012 8:00:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
>> jlawrence at  writes:
>> Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
>> Ft.  Couch was erected for the  emergency.
>> IIRC, it was part  of Halleck,s plan to raise a national  militia and man
>>  this
>> and other defenses.
>> It was built by free blacks an   manned by whatecer was at hand.
>> It was supposed to simply cover  the  approaches to anotherr fort on the
>> river-name escapes  me.
>> Couch kept  the main body across the river and I am no sure a  crossing v
>> I am doing  this by memory, but the civilian  population was just not
>> concerned enough  to actually join this  militia and defe n harrisburg. 
>> Most
>> reinforcements  came  from a new york militia that was not all that
>>  effective.
>> Halleck  was unwilling to release federal  troops, even Pennsylvania 
>> and  pretty much left the  defenses up to the Governor.
>> He did authorize the   raising of emergency colored units for the 
>> emergency.
>> One  unit was raised  and were put to work defending the Wrightsville
>>  bridge.
>> This is the only  colored unit that was involved in the  Campaign.
>> The colored troops were  put together with some  white volunteers and put 
>> to
>> worg digging gun   pits.
>> The white guys apparently resented being relegated to do  colored  wpork,
>> and
>> just left.
>> The pits were  abandoned after the bridge was  burned.
>>  Regards,
>> Jack
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>  From:  <CWMHTours at>
>> To:  <gettysburg at>
>> Sent:  Friday, January 27, 2012  3:24 PM
>> Subject: Re: GDG- Lee -   Harrisburg
>>> Esteemed GDG Member  Contributes:
>>> Good post  Andy-
>>> Was Ft  Couch prepared just for the '63 invasion or had  it been   there
>>> before?  How extensive was it?    Was it  upgraded with more  cannon 
>>> the
>>>   invasion?  I've heard of it but know nothing about  it.     Were there
>>> covering
>>> batteries to guard it    flanks?
>>> A  Loyal Neo-Anti  Unionist,
>>>  Peter
>>> In a  message dated 1/27/2012 12:48:10 P.M.  Eastern Standard Time,
>>>  amills at writes:
>>>  Esteemed   GDG Member Contributes:
>>> I don't think Lee ever planned  or  envisioned  reaching so far as
>> Baltimore
>>> or   Philadelphia.  I think he realized  Harrisburg was about as far as  
>>> he
>>> could go.  He wasn't going to get there   with the AOP in  his rear and
>> even
>>> if
>>> he  conducted a Cannae type battle, he  is  still forced to retreat back 
>>> to
>>> Virginia for the inability to  continue  an  advance (or even holding the
>>> ground
>>>   gained).
>>> I think we see this  as part of the  reason for  Pickett's Charge.  He
>>> didn't
>>>  have the  capabilities  to disengage and fight another battle as his  
>>> was almost out   of war material to continue.   A battle that occurs even
>>> further  north  exacerbates  this need and regardless of its outcome, Lee
>> is
>>>  still
>>> forced to  fall back.
>>>   However:  a direct attack on Harrisburg also had  to contend  with  
>>> Couch (I think called Hummel's Heights at the  time  [correct  me if
>> wrong],
>>> which
>>>  is a great little site with some  earthworks still  visible if you  ever
>> get
>>> a chance to  visit).  I am not sure how  well  manned it would be, but a
>>>  crossing can't occur  until this fort is taken, at  least in my
>> estimation
>>>  as it
>>> had a commanding view of any river    crossing.
>>> Thanks,
>>>  -----Original  Message-----
>>> From:   gettysburg-bounces at
>>>   [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
>>> On Behalf  Of  John  Grim
>>> Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 12:33  PM
>>> To:   gettysburg at
>>> Subject: GDG-  Lee - Harrisburg
>>>  Esteemed GDG  Member  Contributes:
>>> Esteemed  Members
>>> Most  of us know the usual facts  of Lee's advance  in June  towards
>>> Harrisburg.  I subscribe to the side  that   believes Lee went north to
>> take
>>> the war
>>> away  from Virginia so  crops could  be harvested and replanted and  that
>>> troops
>>>  might be drawn away from Grant  and  that there might be political
>>> advantage
>>> to  be gained.  I cannot picture  Lee  being successful east of  
>>> with the river at his back and  having  to  contend with Philadelphia,
>>> Baltimore,
>>>  Washington  and its forts as well as  the various units of the Union 
>>>  army
>>> gathering around him.  Yes, militia  units were  not  regulars but they 
>>> can
>>> picket railroads,  bridges, guard POW's  and  generally get in the way.
>>>  Lee's
>>> communications and supply  lines  would be  extended further and further
>> and
>>> he
>>>   would be further away from the  protection of the mountains and  their
>>> passes.
>>> As it was it took him 10  days to  get back to  Virginia from Gettysburg.
>>> He may have been able  to  live off the  land near Harrisburg but where
>>>  would
>>> his munitions  and
>>> replacements come  from??  How long could he stay away from  Richmond 
>>>  only Corse and Jenkins covering that area?  I just  don't see it but  I 
>>> willing to consider other opinions.  Lee's   operation was not a go for
>>> broke.
>>> He had limited   goals
>>> and limited expectations.    Getting his wounded  back  to Virginia would
>>> probably have been impossible   from east of  Harrisburg and he probably
>>> would not have  gotten his Gettysburg   wounded  back.
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