Marker Text: Crossing South Mountain from Chambersburg, Gen. Hill's Corps of Lee's army assembled here on June 29-30, 1863. On July 1, his advance guard moved up from near Marsh Creek and met Union troops west of Gettysburg.
Location: On old Route 30 (Chambersburg Road) just west of SR 3011, north of Cashtown about eight miles west of Gettysburg, PA. Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1947.
When I was a kid and my parents first took me to Gettysburg, I remember passing the Cashtown Inn on the way to Gettysburg. At the time I was unaware that Confederate General Robert E. Lee had stopped here with his army as they traveled toward Gettysburg. At the same time, Lee was unaware that his army would soon be engaged in one of the bloodiest battles and a turning point in the Civil War.
Marker is west of the Cashtown Inn and photo taken looking east toward Gettysburg. Click any photo to enlarge.
On June 29, 1863 the residents of this small community about 8 miles west of Gettysburg probably thought the whole Rebel army had arrived in their town when the soldiers of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's Third Corps suddenly descended from the eastern ridgeline. To Cashtown Innkeeper Jacob Mickley, who witnessed the spectacle, it appeared as if “the entire force under Lee...passed within twenty feet of my barroom.”
Including a brief occupation by Confederate cavalry under Jeb Stuart in October 1862, this was the second time in less than a year that the Rebels had invaded Cashtown* (*Cashtown Inn gave its name to the peaceful crossroads village where the inn was built circa 1797. The name Cashtown was derived from the business practices of the first innkeeper, Peter Marck, who had insisted on cash payments for the goods he sold and the highway tolls he collected.)
Cashtown Inn, Civil War Trails marker is on the left of the Inn and a photo of the marker and text is below.
During the Gettysburg Campaign, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surged across southern Pennsylvania at will until June 28. Until June 28, 1863, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had met little resistance to their entering Pennsylvania, then later that day, scouts informed Lee that the Union army was north of the Potomac River and coming his way. Quickly Lee ordered his scattered army to concentrate at Cashtown, which stood strategically on his supply line back to Virginia. Within hours, legions of lean Rebel soldiers descended from Cashtown Gap.
Between June 28 until the day after the Battle of Gettysburg, Cashtown Inn served hundreds of unwelcome strangers, including Confederate Gens. A.P. Hill, Henry Heth, and John D. Imboden. Suffering from a chronic ailment when he arrived at Cashtown at the head of his corps on June 29, the 37-year old A.P. Hill set up his headquarters in the relative comfort of Cashtown Inn.
Photo taken looking west on old Route 30 with state marker on the left across road.
Cashtown itself was transformed into an armed camp for several days in late June and early July 1863, while the battle of Gettysburg raged just eight miles to the east. It was from there that the pivotal battle was launched when A.P. Hill sent Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's division to Gettysburg for shoes and supplies. Cashtown Inn bustled with activity during this time while Confederate officers and their staffs were quartered here. A stable located next to the Inn (but no longer standing) was used to shelter the wounded, as were many of the homes in the vicinity. Also dotting the orchards and meadows surrounding the village were hundreds of Lee's supply wagons and the cannons and carriages belonging to his artillery reserve.
Lee used many of these same vehicles to transport his wounded back to Virginia following his defeat at Gettysburg. Commander of the 17-mile long wagon train of misery, Brig. Gen. John Imboden made his headquarters at Cashtown Inn. On July 4, Imboden wrote, “About 4 p.m. the head of the column was put in motion near Cashtown and began the ascent of the mountain in the direction of Chambersburg.” It wasn't until the next day when Imboden passed over South Mountain with the last of the wagons that peace returned to Cashtown.
Recently the Inn has appeared in the movie Gettysburg, in the Mark Nesbitt book and video Ghosts of Gettysburg and on the cover of Blue and Gray magazine. Ghosts have been seen at Cashtown for many years. The Cashtown Inn was also investigated by the History Channel's Ghost Hunters a few years ago. A link with additional information and a video about the Inn can be found at this link, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Winkleman
A Civil War Trails marker in front of the Cashtown Inn has additional information about General Lee's army at the Inn.
Marker Text: (Top Sidebar): After a stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia through Maryland into Pennsylvania, marching east to threaten Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The Army of the Potomac marched north from the capital, searching for Lee. On July 1-3, the armies collided at Gettysburg in one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War. Three days later, after a bloody defeat, the Confederates began retracing their steps to Virgina.
You are standing where Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. A.P. Hill stood on the morning of July 1, 1863, as they listened to the sounds of a growing battle in the distance, a few miles east, near Gettysburg. There, two Confederate infantry brigades clashed with two Union cavalry brigades and, because the armies were marching toward each other, the fighting intensified as additional troops arrived. Soon, the rest of Hill's corps hurried forward to join the fray.
This was not the first time that Confederates had marched past the Cashtown Inn. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart had led his cavalrymen past this spot in October 1862 while on a raid. On this day, however, as tavernkeeper Jacob Mickley later wrote, "The entire rebel force under General Lee came down the Chambersburg Pike, passing within twenty feet of my bar room dore [sic]." With thousands of hungry and thirsty Confederates marching by, it is no wonder that Mickley lost by his own account at wagon, a horse, a steer, 50 chickens, 100 apple trees, and 480 gallons of whiskey and brandy - more than $2,000 in damages.
(Right Sidebar): Peter Mark probably constructed the brick building known as the Cashtown Inn between 1804 and 1806. In 1813, a new road was built between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, and the enterprising Mark applied for a tavern license in 1815. He operated a tavern here for the next three decades. Henry Mickley bought the building in 1854, and his son Jacob Mickley ran the establishment during the Civil War. He sold the inn to Daniel and Mary Heintzelman in 1864, and they operated it until 1890. More than ninety years later, after passing through the hands of many owners, the Cashtown Inn was restored. Today, the historic tavern continues to serve travelers and visitors to south-central Pennsylvania.
Erected 2009 by Civil War Trails.