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Civil War signage to be dedicated

Richard D. L. Fulton

(9/6) The Fairfield Borough Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee continues to work to finalize plans to dedicate a marker in the borough commemorating the community’s involvement in the American Civil War.

The  actual dedication of Fairfield's "Civil War Trails" wayside marker has been scheduled for October 11.

The event will be held at the Fairfield Inn, 15 West Main Street, at 1 p.m., and will coincide with the commemoration of Confederate Cavalry General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart's raid through South Central Pennsylvania and the abduction of Fairfield Postmaster John B. Paxton and others.

Stuart, who received his "baptism of fire" fighting the Cheyenne in 1857, was promoted to captain in the United States Army on April 22, 1861, but soon resigned from the U.S. Army on May 3 to offer his services to the newly formed Confederate States of America.

His daring raids against Union forces in 1862 found him on the doorsteps of the community of Fairfield as part of a three-day, 130 mile raid which also took in Chambersburg, and, in its culmination, resulted in the capture of 1,200 much-needed horses, as well as 30 local officials (who would be exchanged for Southern civilians being held by the Union Army).

Fairfield Postmaster John B. Paxton was among those taken.

Confederate forces would once again return to Fairfield in 1863 as events unfolded in and around Gettysburg that would result in one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Introductory remarks at the dedication in October will be made by Jack Inskip, chairman of the borough Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Sal Chandon, owner and chef at The Historic Fairfield Inn, and Fairfield Mayor Bob Stanley.

The remarks will be followed by a recounting of "Stuart's Raid" by Adams County author and historian Tim Smith.  Former Adams County Historical Society Executive Director Wayne Motts and Fairfield Borough Councilor Dean Thomas will comment on "The Road to the Wayside" before the unveiling.

Elected officials from the Southwest Adams County Region, the County Commissioners, the Adams County Historical Society, state representatives, and the state governor have been invited to attend, along with all local citizens.  

At the conclusion of the program, light refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Fairfield Inn.

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