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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How They Served: Recovering the Experiences of Five Pennsylvanians in the American Civil War

Pennsylvania supplied approximately 362,000 soldiers to the Union effort in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. This was more than any other Northern state except New York. The Keystone State suffered the loss of 33,183 sons to death while in war service, and virtually every aspect of Pennsylvania society was affected by the pervasive nature of the great conflict and its staggering cost in terms of...
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Editor’s Letter

I realize that as the new editor of Pennsylvania Heritage I have some very big shoes to fill. Michael J. O’Malley III, editor of the magazine for the past three decades of its 40-year existence, warns me with characteristic humor that his size 14s are indeed large. So too, I’d add, is his legacy. Under Michael’s leadership Pennsylvania Heritage has grown tremendously. In the...
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John Summerfield Staples, Lincoln’s Representative Recruit

As the American Civil War dragged into its fourth year, U.S. government leaders grew increasingly troubled about the shrinking of the Union army. Several reasons for the reduction in the army’s ranks included the number of combat casualties, incapacitation of troops from wounds and illnesses, desertion and the end of the original three-year enlistment period for 1861 in which recruits played a...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Recommends

Gettysburg Religion Refinement, Diversity, and Race in the Antebellum and Civil War Border North In the borderland between slavery and freedom, Gettysburg remains among the most legendary landmarks of the American Civil War, asserts Steve Longenecker, author of Gettysburg Religion: Refinement, Diversity, and Race in the Antebellum and Civil War Border North (Fordham University Press, 2014,...
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2013 PHMC By the Numbers Infographic

Each year the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, co-publisher of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, produces an annual report detailing its activities. In order to highlight some of our most interesting achievements and to quantify our successes we’ve put together a snapshot of these activities in the form of this infographic. Infographics are...
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The Gender of Assimilation: The Carlisle Indian Industrial School Experiment

In his celebrated 1702 book Magnalia Christi American (The Glorious Works of Christ in America), Puritan minister Cotton Mather described local Native Americans. “The men are most abominably slothful; making their poor Squaws, or Wives,to plant and dress, and barn, and beat their Corn, and build their Wigwams for them; which perhaps may be the reason for their extraordinary Ease in Childbirth,”...
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Remembering the Fishing Creek Confederacy

During the summer of 1864 rumors began to circulate that Columbia County had become a place of refuge for hundreds of deserters from the Union army. The federal government promised a reward of $30 for every deserter captured. So on the night of July 31, 1864, eight men left neighboring Luzerne County hoping to track down some deserters around Benton. They cornered a house in Raven Creek Valley,...
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