Fort Dewart on the Forbes Road

Fort Dewart, which straddles the border of Bedford and Somerset counties in southern Pennsylvania, was a British military redoubt built in August 1758 during the French and Indian War, the North American conflict in the global Seven Years’ War (1756–63) between Great Britain and France. The small fortification was part of a chain of defensive forts and supply stops built by the troops of Gen....
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Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin Simon & Schuster, 432 pp., hardcover $30 In Valley Forge, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin explore the harsh realities of Gen. George Washington’s most trying winter in impressive and vivid detail. Utilizing the writings of an impressive who’s who of the American Revolution, the authors weave a narrative that accurately and dramatically recreates the...
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Trailheads

Summer is the busiest season on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Daytrippers enjoy a wealth of options for guided or free-range touring. Families find places to create lasting memories and help stave off the dreaded “learning loss” of summer. Outdoor enthusiasts break up their recreational time, or wait out bad weather, with a gallery visit or two. Numerous summer camp offerings are available...
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2017 Trails

Another year has passed on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Exhibits, special events, thousands of visiting schoolchildren, more than a few beer and wine festivals, and several battle reenactments are now recorded in the books. As a way of wrapping up the year, we look back at a few milestones along the way. But before we turn our attention to the World War I centennial and an overview of...
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Keystone Men of Iron: The 28th Infantry Division in the Great War

In 1917, when America entered World War I, the 28th Infantry Division was the nation’s oldest National Guard unit. Organized by Pennsylvania in 1878, the division was made up of units that had already earned battle streamers for contributions in conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Arriving in France in late Spring 1918, the 28th immediately began developing a reputation for...
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Editor’s Letter

“Persons and places conceive each other.” While preparing this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage, I was reminded of this quote from the preface of an American studies textbook I read as a graduate student, American Ground: Vistas, Visions and Revisions, edited by Robert H. Fossum and John K. Roth. It continues: “No people would have become American without a place of their own. Nor would any...
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“Remember Paoli!”

Two centuries ago, in September 1817, local War of 1812 veterans gathered in a Chester County field with Revolutionary War veterans and citizens to place a marble monument on the grave of soldiers killed in the Battle of Paoli, or “Paoli Massacre,” four decades earlier. Today, it remains the second oldest Revolutionary War monument in the nation, and the campaign to “Remember Paoli!” continues...
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Washington Memorial Chapel

In December 1777, in the midst of the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington directed the Continental Army to set up a winter encampment in an area known as Valley Forge, less than 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the U.S. capital that had been captured by British troops in the Philadelphia Campaign. Approximately 12,000 troops endured the winter at Valley Forge, training and drilling...
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Pennsylvanians in Allied Country Units During World War I

World War I began in Europe in July 1914, shortly after Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, on June 28. Initially the United States remained neutral as the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria) fought against the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy). It was not until April 1917 that the...
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Keystone Flagship: USS Pennsylvania Leading the Navy through Two World Wars

“Air raid on Pearl Harbor. This is not drill.” The message went out from the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Its brevity belied the gravity of the event it reported. The White House released the information shortly before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and many people learned the news throughout the afternoon as radio programs were...
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