Native Philadelphian Cherokee Fisher: From Andersonville Prison to Major League Baseball

William C. “Cherokee” Fisher was born in Philadelphia in November 1844. As a young man he desired an opportunity to defend his country in the American Civil War, so he enlisted for a three-year term on October 11, 1862, as a private in Company A of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, also known as the 152nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. This company was recruited in his hometown of Philadelphia....
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From the Executive Director

Over the past few months I have been spending time with visitors in the new Pennsylvania Icons exhibit at The State Museum of Pennsylvania (see “Pennsylvania Icons: State Treasures Telling the Story of the Commonwealth,” Winter 2016). There is a small but very powerful section of the exhibit entitled “Pennsylvania and the Nation.” It is a dramatic reminder of the close connection between...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2013 Newsletter: Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War Opens in September New PaHeritage.org Website Trailheads: 250 Years on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Welcome New PHF Members Welcome New State Museum Affiliate Members PHF Board Harrisburg SciTech High School Docents Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center Pennsylvania Lumber Museum...
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Pennsylvania Governors Residences Open to the Public

Pennypacker Mills Pennypacker Mills possesses a lengthy history dating to about 1720 when Hans Jost Hite built the fieldstone house and a gristmill near the Perkiomen Creek, Schwenksville, Montgomery County. Purchased in 1747 by Peter Pennypacker (1710-1770), the house was enlarged and a saw mill and a fulling mill were constructed. The property acquired its name for the three mills. Peter...
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Honoring Valor: Pennsylvania’s Collection of Civil War Battle Flags

As the American Civil War Sesquicentennial of the past four years draws to a conclusion, it is appropriate to direct attention to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s vast collection of Civil War battle flags and its 1914 transfer from the Executive, Library and Museum Building to the Capitol’s main rotunda cases. This special event, which occurred on Monday, June 15, 1914 – Flag Day...
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Editor’s Letter

Summer is a good time to connect with the past in Pennsylvania. The state features an abundance of museums, memorials and historic structures – including the sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History – that are especially active in the summer, presenting and commemorating our history. Festivals and special events across the commonwealth also link us to our heritage with food,...
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A Gift from the Grave

Barbara Barksdale lowers her head and chuckles at the brief mention of her nickname. The lay historian from Steelton, Dauphin County, knows that she’s earned her humorous handle. She’s even incorporated it into her email address. “They call me the cemetery lady,” she says with just a hint of pride. For more than two decades, Barksdale has tended to the needs of the historic Midland Cemetery in...
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Ike’s Sanctuary: The Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, An Oasis from the Pressures of the Presidency

In the spring of 1915 Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower (1890-1969), a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, visited the Gettysburg battlefield along with the rest of his class. The cadets had come to study Union and Confederate troop movements in an engagement that represented the farthest penetration of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army onto northern soil before the Army of the Potomac repelled...
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Shooting Targets and Raising U.S. Sharpshooters Regiments

Originally filed with records related to the 2nd United States Sharpshooters, these targets were for years presumed by Pennsylvania State archivists to have been produced by members of the famed infantry regiment while firing target practice with their Sharps rifles. Further investigation, however, has uncovered additional information that reinterprets why and by whom the targets were created....
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War and Tranquility: From Gettysburg to Glen with Robert Bruce Ricketts

The order was clear. Capt. Robert Bruce Ricketts and his two companies of artillery were to hold the Union’s left flank on East Cemetery Hill just beyond the outskirts of Gettysburg. “In case you are charged here,” Ricketts’ commanding officer Col. C.S. Wainwright told him, “you will not limber up under any circumstances, but fight your battery as long as you can.” The reality facing Ricketts on...
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