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Civil War event scheduled for Greencastle

April 25, 2012
  • The story of Dolly Harris will be discussed during a Franklin County, Pa., "Civil War 150" event June 16 in Greencastle. Harris, raised in Greencastle, reportedly walked up to Confederate Gen. George Pickett, waved a U.S. flag in his face and called his troops "traitors to their country."
Submitted photo

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Franklin County’s series of “Civil War 150” commemorative events is set to continue in Greencastle, with music, food and the start of a special tribute to a woman who became a memorable part of the area’s history.

Civil War living historians and speakers will be on the property of Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 S. Ridge Ave., on Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Confederate and Union soldiers, along with women dressed in Civil War garb, will be represented, helping to illustrate the events of 1863, when the town of Greencastle was under the rule of General Robert E. Lee and his troops as part of “The Gettysburg Campaign.”

Historian Ted Alexander will discuss the subject as part of his talk, “When War Passed This Way: The Civil War in Franklin County.” Alicia Miller will also be on hand to educate visitors on the important role the Ladies’ Aid Societies of Greencastle, Mont Alto and Waynesboro played during the war.

Jeffrey Wert of State College, Pa., will speak about “Lee’s Army during the Gettysburg Campaign,” and Steve Recker’s topic is “Virtual Gettysburg.” Jerry Bayer of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., will discuss Civil War weaponry.

All of these activities will take place on the grounds of the museum, with speakers and exhibits in the barn.

BBQ by Ralph will provide chicken for the festivities.

One of the most inspirational stories told following “The Gettysburg Campaign” is that of Dolly Harris, a 17-year-old girl who reportedly walked up to Confederate Gen. George Pickett as he passed through town, waved a Union flag in his face and denounced his troops as “traitors to their country.”

Born and raised in Greencastle during the middle of the 1800s, Harris married John Lesher and moved to Waynesboro before later settling in Chambersburg. She was the only Franklin County woman buried with full military honors because of her Civil War heroism.

To honor the bravery of Dolly Harris, museum officials are raising money to construct a life-size bronze statue of her near the location of Dolly’s childhood home on North Carlisle Street. The “Dimes & Dollars for Dolly” fundraiser launched in April 2011 will continue with a special interactive opportunity for women in the area.

Officials are looking for someone who can spend the next four years portraying Dolly as a teenager, as well as a woman who can be Dolly later in her life.

Anyone interested may register at www.greencastlemuseum.org and research the historic figure’s life before attending the event in Greencastle on June 16.

From there, the contestants will make appearances at events in the county, raising money for the proposed statue of Dolly. Two winners will be chosen during “Celebrate! The Arts at Old Market Day” in Chambersburg on Saturday, July 21.

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