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Fairfield inaugurates 1860s walking tour

Richard D. L. Fulton

(6/18) The Fairfield Sesquicentennial Committee announced June 12 that the committee officially inaugurated a walking tour of Civil War period sites in Fairfield Borough.

The tours were established as part of Fairfield’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and the Battle of Fairfield.

The walking tours are "self-guided" treks, with the tour stops located and described on a brochure, produced by the Fairfield Sesquicentennial Committee.

The walking tour brochures can be obtained from Thomas Publications, 3345 Fairfield Road, or by calling the business at 717-642-6600, or from the Fairfield Borough Office, 108 West Main Street, Fairfield, or by calling the borough office at 717-642-5640.

The tour consists of 22 stops that take-in structures in the borough that existed during the war, and other sites relating to the 1863 Battle of Fairfield, and was based on research conducted by Timothy H. Smith, a licensed Gettysburg Battlefield guide.

Bus tours of Fairfield’s Civil War related sites were also offered by the Fairfield Sesquicentennial Committee during the weekend of June 15. More than 70 individuals were driven around on two buses to see the various Civil War era homes and buildings that existed during the battle.

The Battle of Fairfield took place on July 3, 1863, as the Battle of Gettysburg continued to rage only eight miles away.

The engagement took place after Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered several Virginia cavalry units to secure passage of the Hagerstown Road, leading to their arrival in Fairfield on a collision course with the 6th U.S. Cavalry.

The U.S. Cavalry was in the process of reconnoitering to verify reports that Confederate wagon trains had been reported in-motion in the area.

The battle produced a decisive Confederate victory just outside the village, with Union forces suffering 232 casualties (more than 50 percent of their forces). Confederate casualties consisted of eight killed, 21 wounded, and five missing.

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