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Hanover Junction, Pa. — Then & Now

HJ then and now

On the left is a photo commonly attributed to famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady and his crew. It shows the Northern Central Railway bridge over the South Branch of the Codorus Creek at Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania. The original is in the collection of the Library of Congress.

During the Gettysburg Campaign, on Saturday, June 27, 1863, Confederate soldiers of the 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry burned the original bridge (which may have been a covered bridge) presumably with coal oil. Within days after the Battle of Gettysburg, US Military Railroad crews had erected a replacement bridge.

The black-and-white photograph is presumed to have been taken in mid-November 1863. The modern view on the right is from a slightly different camera angle, but shows the difference in tree growth in 150 years. The train tracks in the foreground of the Brady photo are long gone, so I took the modern photo from the parking lot of the York County Heritage Rail Trail.