Nice Wartime Quarter Plate Negative of Gettysburg College.
In June 1863, southern Pennsylvania was invaded by Confederate forces during the Gettysburg Campaign. Many local militia forces were formed around the area between Chambersburg and Philadelphia to face the oncoming foe.
Among these units was Gettysburg's 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia Regiment (PEMR). Composed mostly of students from the College and Seminary, the 26th PEMR was mustered into service on June 22, 1863. Four days later, the students saw combat just north of town, skirmishing with advanced units of Confederate division commander Jubal A. Early. Casualties were light on both sides, but about 100 of the militiamen were captured and paroled.
During the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Hall, or Old Dorm, was used as both a signal corps station and field hospital. Due to the geographic position it held, it was used by both Confederate and Union troops during the battle for signal work and surgery.
On November 19, 1863, College President Henry Louis Baugher gave the benediction at the ceremony opening the National Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg; speaking after Abraham Lincoln. Classes were canceled at the college as students and faculty to hear the now famous Address, establishing the now annual tradition of the "First Year Walk." Henry Baugher was the president of Gettysburg College from 1850 until his death in 1868.
Inventory Number: HAR 065