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Greencastle takes step back in time during 150th anniversary of the Civil War celebration

June 16, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Alicia Miller of Waynesboro, Pa., and her son, Dalton, shared their knowledge of the Civil War with visitors on Saturday at Greencastle's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at the Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle, Pa.
By Roxann Miller

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Greencastle took a step back in time Saturday when it hosted Greencastle-Antrim’s 2012 commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at the Allison-Antrim Museum.

Confederate troops invaded Greencastle and Antrim Township just weeks before the Battle of Gettysburg, said Bonnie Shockey, president of the board of directors of the Allison-Antrim Museum.

Greeting visitors at the commemoration was Shelby Golden, the living embodiment of local Civil War heroine Dolly Harris.

When Dolly was 17, she walked up to Confederate Gen. George Pickett as he passed her home on North Carlisle Street in Greencastle, waved a Union flag in his face and denounced his troops as “traitors to their country,” Shockey said.

“It’s a lot of responsibility because she was a pretty brave lady, and she’s the only woman in Franklin County who was buried with full military honors,” said Golden, 26, who has the same brown hair and brown eyes as Dolly. “I really want to do a good job.”

Golden is committed to spreading the stories of Greencastle’s courage during the war.

“Greencastle as a whole did a lot of brave things right before the Gettysburg Campaign when (Confederates) were moving captured slaves back through town, and townsmen got together and charged the wagon and freed the slaves,” Golden said. “So it wasn’t just Dolly. The town as a whole did a lot of brave things. I think she just represents what the entire town did and the spirit of the town at that time.”

For Alicia Miller of Waynesboro, Pa., and her sons, Marshall and Dalton, sharing their knowledge of the Civil War is something they love to do as a family.

“It’s something we all share an interest in, and it gets us outside and gets the kids away from the games and the TV,” Alicia Miller said. “It’s just good family time that we can spend together.”

She educated visitors on the role the Ladies Aide Societies in Greencastle, Mont Alto and Waynesboro played in the war effort by sending items such as quilts, bandages and soap to the troops.

“It’s important to know our past and understand where we came from so that we can get a better understanding of where we’re going,” Miller said. “Preserving the history of our past can better educate the younger generation so they can really understand the community they live in and understand what that town has been through.”

Marshall Miller, 15, shared his knowledge on the life of an average Confederate soldier.

Standing by his seemingly small ground cloth laid out with items that the soldier used for daily living, Marshall explained that the tin cup, tin plate and dried beans and rice might not look appetizing, but would get a soldier through the day.

“I like knowing that I’ve taught somebody something that they didn’t know that day,” Marshall said. “We need to appreciate what we have today, and realize how much more difficult it was for people during this time.”

Teresa and Phil Reed of Williamsport came to “soak up history,” but Teresa wanted to immerse herself in the moment.

So she dressed in full Civil War dress complete with a hoop skirt that she was surprised to find was relatively easy to manipulate as she sat on a folding chair to listen to one of the Civil War speakers.

But when Teresa Reed found out her husband’s third great-grandfather was a colonel in the 5th Missouri Calvary, their interest was even greater.

“I was always interested, but when I found that out, it became even more,” Phil Reed said.

Mark Goldbach of Greencastle, and his son, Michael, 14, browsed past Civil War weapons on display.

“I came to learn more about the heritage of Greencastle,” Goldbach said.

By listening to the speakers and visiting the museum, he said he learned quite a bit of information on his hometown.

“I think learning about your heritage is important,” he said.

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