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Columbia plans Civil War seminar

Columbia, Pennsylvania, at one time drew consideration as the location for the nation’s new capital (hence the Columbia name), but eventually lost out and the District of Columbia ended up in Maryland and Virginia. The home of Civil War general Thomas Welsh, Columbia provided significant quantities of soldiers and materiel during the conflict. Tens of thousands of Union troops passed through Columbia on the railroad bridge shown above, which was burned by civilian carpenters working under the jurisdiction and orders of Colonel Jacob G. Frick of the Union army. The arson was to prevent a Confederate column from passing into Lancaster County.
The Annual General Thomas Welsh Symposium will be held Saturday, October 23, 2010, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Columbia Historical Preservation Society (19-21 N. Second Street in Columbia).
The leadoff paper will be Welsh’s 1844 journey along the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal as a 20-year-old itinerant carpenter on his way to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati looking for work, given by a Park Ranger at the Allegheny Portage Railroad. Rick Abel then will speak on “The Guns of the 45th” (including the drilling that made them “one of the best drilled and best disciplined regiments in the service,” and using their assault on Drayton in Fox’s Gap to explain the impact of their firepower). Scott L. Mingus, Sr. will discuss “Rebels at the Gates of Columbia.” The final speaker is Richard Wiggin, who will present a talk with new information on his famous ancestor, General Welsh.
The public is welcome!
Sponsored jointly by the Columbia Public Library and the Columbia Historic Preservation Society.