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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The Pocono Forests and the Military Movements of 1779

The forests of Monroe County’s Pocono Mountains are widely known for their “flaming foliage” of autumn and their springtime laurel and rhododendron blossoms. In this era of ecological and conservation concerns, those who know the Poconos hope that this natural beauty may be a heritage for unnumbered future generations to enjoy. The Pocono Forestry Association perceives in these...
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Pennsylvania Woman as Pioneer: Hanna Tiffany Swetland (1740-1809)

When the swollen waters of the Susquehanna River roared and smashed over its banks in the Spring of 1972, bringing destruction to property and homes and despair to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania citizens, one of the hardest hit areas was the Wyoming Valley in Northeastern Pennsylvania with its many small towns. One such community was the quaintly and historically named Forty Fort. That...
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The Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania

With some conspicuous exceptions, Pennsylvania was W largely on the outskirts of the scenes of Revolutionary War military operations. True, in December, 1776, Gen. George Washington brought the remnants of his retreating army from New Jersey into Pennsylvania, using the area in the vicinity of McKonkey’s Ferry as the jumping-off point for the Christmas-night crossing of the Delaware and...
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Answering the Call of Honor: The Origins of the Pennsylvania State Police

CALL OF HONOR I AM A PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPER, A SOLIDER OF THE LAW. TO ME IS ENTRUSTED THE HONOR OF THE FORCE. I MUST SERVE HONESTLY, FAITHFULLY, AND IF NEED BE, LAY DOWN MY LIFE AS OTHERS HAVE DONE BEFORE ME, RATHER THAN SWERVE FROM THE PATH OF DUTY. IT IS MY DUTY TO OBEY THE LAW AND TO ENFORCE IT WITHOUT ANY CONSIDERATION OF CLASS, COLOR, CREED OR CONDITION. IT IS ALSO MY DUTY TO BE OF...
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Wyoming Monument

Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley was a focus of British military strategy during the American Revolution because its three thousand residents constituted the largest population center on the Susquehanna River. The British believed that by eliminating this stronghold of American patriotism they could dominate the frontier. Major John Butler organized a force of two hundred and...
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The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
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