Jacob Zug was born near Elizabethtown in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1793 and arrived in Carlisle in 1823, having farmed just east of the town. He purchased this lot near the square on East High Street from Nicholas Uhlerick in 1835. In 1859 Zug demolished the stone tavern that had stood there for decades – known as “the Sign of the Golden Lamb” – and replaced it with a new brick three story commercial building. This structure now stands on the site with the address 2 East High Street.
2 East High Street, 1908 (CCHS)
Zug’s enterprise and the store’s central location next to the Market made it successful and the complex of properties became know locally as “Zug’s Corner.” The 1860 census valued Zug’s real estate at $37,000 and his personal estate at $3,500. Zug was involved in local politics and had been elected county commissioner is 1835. He married Elizabeth Kimmel and had six children, including a son John who graduated from the local Dickinson College and became an attorney and temperance activist before his early death in September 1843. Another son, Jacob, served as a lieutenant in the Seventh Reserves during the Civil War and lost an arm at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Bixler Building, 2010 (Kirsten Lynd)
Jacob Zug died in 1877 and J. P. Bixler later purchased the property at 2 East High Street at a public sale for $20,000. Bixler’s Hardware store became a twentieth century fixture on the site until the county seized it in 1984. The structure was scheduled for demolition to make way for the extension of the new courthouse but was saved after local protest. It now fronts the extension and serves as county offices.
Captain Daniel H. Hasting took over command of the Carlisle Barracks in September 1861. As Thomas G. Tousey explains, “the Mounted Service Depot function… as a general depot receiving [cavalry] recruits from the entire northeastern section of the United States” and prepared them for combat. In addition, Tousey notes that “it also received entire units of the Regular Army that had been withdrawn from the front” and needed new men and equipment. Captain Hastings worked uninterrupted until Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army invaded Pennsylvania in June 1863 and advanced towards Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg. By June 25 the US Army had finished evacuating the barracks. “No means of defense” were available and, as Major Hastings reported, he moved ”all munitions of war and movable Government property” to Harrisburg.
Two days later Confederate General Richard S. Ewell’s troops entered Carlisle. While Confederates seized supplies, they did not destroy any buildings at the barracks. Yet the Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer reported that after Confederates left on June 29, ”a great many lewd and depraved men and women” had “immediately went to plundering” at the barracks. Not only had “clothing, blankets and apparel of every kind [been] carried away,” but they had “despoiled and ravaged the premises.” Union militia regiments from New York under Major General William F. Smith‘s command reoccupied the town, but on July 1 General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry arrived and demanded that Union forces in Carlisle surrender. After they refused, Confederates shelled the town. As General Smith reported, Confederates fired “134 shots” and “set fire to a board yard…, to the gas works, and to the barracks.” Stuart’s cavalry left early the following day after they received news about the fight at Gettysburg.
On July 13 Major Hasting returned to reestablish his command at the barracks. While “the buildings [had been] burned,” Hastings reported that that “the brick walls are standing and many of them can be repaired and made available in reconstructing the Barracks.” Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs also sent an architect to the barracks, who concurred with Hastings’ assessment: While “the Officers’ Quarters, Barracks, and Stable … [were] destroyed,” Edward Clark explained that “the walls are standing and are but slightly injured.” Yet repairs did not start right away. In September 1861 a concerned Hasting warned the Quartermaster General that “repairs…progress so slowly that I have little hope of being able to put any portion of the troops under cover before the snow falls.” Carlisle Barracks had been put back in use right away, as Hastings noted that he “[had] nearly two hundred invalids and convalescents from the different Cavalry Regiments.” Hasting’s letter apparently had an effect as by November at least one of the buildings had been finished. After the Gettysburg campaign, the War Department continued to use the barracks as a location for new draftees to meet and a place for cavalrymen to recuperate after they were discharged from a hospital.
After the Confederates surrendered,the War Department stationed elements of the 6th Cavalry at the barracks. Yet as the conflict with Native Americans in the West intensified, the War Department ordered in December 1870 that the barracks’ role as “Principal Depot and station of the Superintendent of the Cavalry Recruiting Service” be transferred to the St. Louis Arsenal in Missouri. While at first the barracks remained open as a “sub-depot,” that too was closed in July 1871. Captain E. V. Summers, whose father opened the cavalry school in 1838, signed the last order at Carlisle Barracks on July 17, 1871 regarding the final instructions for closing the post.
After the outbreak of the Civil War, four volunteer companies originally consisting of fifty to one hundred men were recruited in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on April 19, 1861. On April 21, the officers were chosen with Captain Robert M. Henderson, in charge of Company A of the 36th Regiment, 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. Henderson was assisted in command by First Lieutenant James S. Colwell, Second Lieutenant Erkuries Beatty, and First Sergeant John D. Adair. These men received the nickname “Carlisle Fencibles” in part because most of its members belonged to a gymnastic club and because a “fencible” is a defender of a country. The company spent a two month period of relative inactivity marching and drilling until the soldiers left for Camp Wayne in West Chester, Pennsylvania on June 6. Before the men departed they received a satin flag from Mrs. Samuel Alexander, a granddaughter of Ephraim Blaine, that, according to David G. Colwell, had the inscription “May God defend the right!” The 7th Pennsylvania Reserves went on to fight in the Battles of Gaines’ Mill, Bull Run, and Antietam while suffering great losses. A more thorough description of the experiences of the company is available on Google Books in Samuel B. Bates’ History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65. The wartime experience of one member of the Carlisle Fencibles, John Taylor Cuddy, is chronicled through letters he sent home to his family in Carlisle. His correspondence is available as a part of Dickinson College’s “Their Own Words” digital archive which provides a picture of the experience of a young Carlisle Fencible during the Civil War.
Lenore E. Flower’s essay discuses the letters that two sisters wrote after Confederates shelled Carlisle on July 1, 1863. “We never dreamed that by evening the Rebel demons would attempt to shell the town, and that too without giving the usual warning,” as seventeen year old Margaret Murray noted in a letter to her brother. In addition, Flower includes a letter that Sara A. Myers wrote to Union General William Farrah Smith’s wife. “I am indebted to the exertions of Gen. Smith and his brave soldiers – I wish I could something for each of them – that I still have a home,” as Myers explained.
Merkel Landis provides an overview of what happened in Carlisle, Pennsylvania during the Civil War. After a review of the political conditions in Carlisle in 1860, Landis describes key events that took place in the town during the Civil War. Landis starts in November 1860 with the election returns and ends with the celebration in Carlisle after General Robert E. Lee surrendered. The essay also includes a number of photographs of people and places in Carlisle during this period.
As part of the Gettysburg campaign, Confederate General Richard S. Ewell’s troops entered Carlisle on June 27, 1863. While Confederates did not destroy any buildings at the barracks or in the town, they demanded supplies. General Ewell told Carlisle residents that the following “supplies [had to] be ready at 6 oclock” and brought to the “front of the Court House:”
After Ewell’s men left the following day, Union militia regiments from New York under Major General William F. Smith‘s command reoccupied the town. Several days later, however, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry arrived. You can read the General Ewell’s original order on House Divided by clicking on the link or on the image below -
Before going to bed on October 10, 1862, Chambersburg resident William Heyser noted in his diary that he had “secreted some of my most valuable papers.” Confederate cavalry under the command of General J. E. B. Stuart had arrived several hours earlier and forced the town to surrender. Union forces had been caught by surprise and none were available to defend the town. “It would have been an act of madness to have made resistance…and would have involved the total destruction of the town,” as the Chambersburg (PA) Valley Spiritnoted. The raid, as the Milwaukee (WI) Sentieneldescribed, “was the most daring adventure of the war” so far. Besides gathering intelligence, one of the Confederate’s other objectives was to take as many supplies as possible. Horses were one key item and Alexander Kelly McClure, an assistant adjutant Union general, later recalled how ten horses were taken from his farm. (You can read McClure’s full account of the Confederate raid – “A Night With Stuart’s Raiders”- here). Yet as one Confederate soldier’s letter revealed, they also seized a number of other supplies. “I got 8 pair of boots, 4 over coats, 5 pair of pantaloons, 2 hats, 6 pair of socks, 6 pr. Draws, 6 over & under shirts, [and] some coffe & sugar” during the raid, as Edward Cottrell told his grandmother. As Confederates left Chambersburg on October 11, they burned warehouses that held government supplies. One contained ammunition and, as Heyser described, “the succeeding explosions of shells and power was tremendous.” While Union forces were dispatched to intercept and capture the raiders, General Stuart evaded them and returned to Virginia without any major engagements. You can read more about the raid in Emory M. Thomas’ Bold Dragoon: The Life of J.E.B. Stuart (1986) and Jeffry D. Wert’s Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart (2008).
On the eve of the Civil War, the Dickinson College campus consisted of just three buildings – East College, South College, and West College (or “Old West”). East College, which opened in 1836, had recitation rooms and student dormitories. College Presidents and their families (Herman Merrills Johnson in 1860) also lived in the eastern part of the building until 1890. While the first South College opened in January 1835, it burned down on December 23, 1836. Two years later a new South College, which housed a dormitory and classrooms, opened on the same site. In 1927 that building was torn down to make room for the Alumni Gymnasium. West College, which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, opened in 1805 and was finally completed in 1821. The building was used for classrooms and student dormitories. This student essay provides additional information on the building known today as Old West.
In June 1863 Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army invaded Pennsylvania. As Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin (Class of 1837) called out the state militia, students at Dickinson were preparing for final exams. Yet despite “the alarm” Dickinson College President Herman Johnson observed that “the students remained quietly at their posts” even as “the community around us had been a prey to the intensest agitation.” While “formal commencement exercises” were not held, James Morgan explains that thirteen students received ”their diplomas with the blessing of the College and dismissed” before the Confederates arrived in Carlisle on June 27, 1863. Confederates made Old West their headquarters and used East College as a hospital. After they seized supplies, the Confederates left the following day. Union General William F. Smith reoccupied the town, but on July 1 General J.E.B. Stuart arrived and demanded that the Union troops surrender. After they refused, Confederates shelled the town. Stuart’s cavalry left Carlisle early on July 2 after they received reports about the battle that had started around Gettysburg on July 1. Both East College and South College sustained damage during the attack. While “one [shell] hit South College just below the telescope [and tore] thru the roof,” Conway Hillman (Class of 1873) recalled that it “fortunately…did not explode.” Conway’s father, Professor Samuel Hillman (Class of 1850), served in the home guard and was sent to Gettysburg after the battle. “Father never got over the sight of the dead along the route of Pickett’s charge,” as Conway remembered.
Richard L. Dahlen’s essay explores the shifts and eventual “collapse” of the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot and Union’s editorial stance during the Civil War. As the editors were “staunchly Democratic,” Dahlen explains that “[they] printed dispatches calculated to prove that the Republican administration’s military performance was a failure.” In addition, the Patriot and Union supported George McClellan in the 1864 election based on the idea that he would quickly end the war if elected. Yet by September 1864 the editors faced a crisis as events seemed to prove that their positions were wrong. The Union army won several key victories and McClellan rejected the idea of a truce. The paper’s “credibility [was] shattered,” as Dahlen notes. The “collapse” of a prominent Democratic newspaper had an important impact on the results of 1864 election. As Dahlen argues, “the Patriot and Union helped drag the famous General George Brinton McClellan down.”