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Cumberland Valley Railroad is topic of York CWRT Jan. 15

Press release: The York (PA) Civil War Round Table kicks off its 23rd campaign on January 15, 2020, with a presentation by multiple-award-winning author and blogger Scott L. Mingus, Sr. on “Targeted Tracks: The Cumberland Valley Railroad in the Civil War.” The CVRR was a frequent target of the Confederate army. Rebel troops damaged the railroad in three consecutive years. Mingus, the co-author of a 2019 book in the CVRR with Cooper Wingert, will present several slides giving the history of the railroad and then outline its role in the Union war effort.

The York CWRT meets at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, in the meeting room of the Historical Society Museum of the York County History Center, 250 E. Market Street, York, PA. The talk, as well as parking, is free and the public is welcome to attend.

The CVRR bridge at Scotland PA ablaze during the Gettysburg Campaign. Harper’s Weekly sketch. July 1863.


The Cumberland Valley Railroad connected Hagerstown, Maryland, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its location enhanced its importance during some of the Civil War’s most critical campaigns. Because of its proximity to major cities in the Eastern Theater, the CVRR was an enticing Confederate target. As invading armies jostled for position, the CVRR’s valuable rolling stock was never far from the minds of Rebel leaders. Northern military and railway officials knew the line was a prized target and coordinated—and just as often butted heads—in a series of efforts to ensure the railroad’s prized resources remained out of enemy hands. When they failed to protect the line, as they sometimes did, Southern horsemen wrought havoc on the Northern war effort by tearing up its tracks, seizing or torching Union supplies, and laying waste to warehouses, engine houses, and passenger depots.

Scott L. Mingus, Sr. (submitted)

Scott Mingus is a retired research scientist and current consultant to the global pulp & paper industry. He holds U. S. patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and barcode labels. The Ohio native graduated from the Paper Science & Engineering program at Miami University in 1978. While working for Avery Dennison, he was part of the research team that developed the first commercially successful self-adhesive U. S. postage stamps. He has written 22 Civil War and Underground Railroad books. His biography of General William “Extra Billy” Smith won multiple awards, including the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History. He has also written several articles for Gettysburg Magazine, as well as for various historical journals. Scott has appeared on C-SPAN, C-SPAN3, PCN, and other TV networks.

Mingus and his wife Debi live in Manchester Township north of York. For more than a decade, he was written a popular blog on the Civil War history of York County ( He received the 2013 Heritage Profile Award from the York County History Center for his many contributions to local Civil War history. He also has written six scenario books for Civil War miniature wargaming. His great-great-grandfather was a 15-year-old drummer and rifleman in the 51st Ohio Infantry in the Western Theater, and other family members fought at Antietam and Gettysburg in the 7th West Virginia of the Army of the Potomac.