Historical Markers
Gettysburg Campaign [Rupp House] Historical Marker
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Gettysburg Campaign [Rupp House]

Hershey/Gettysburg/Dutch Country Region


Marker Location:
5115 East Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg

Dedication Date:
April 25, 2001

Behind the Marker

Image of the stone Rupp House.
Rupp House
"Some were clad in butternut uniforms, while the majority had no uniforms at all; many, indeed, having nothing but shirt, pants, and hat. A few looked like Pennsylvania farmers. They were armed with all sorts of weapons. . . . The men were, with few exceptions, a stout-looking set of fellows picked men for hard service, and would have done some good fighting had they been attacked. They were, as a body, pretty well behaved."   

So wrote a Mechanicsburg newspaper editor after observing the passage of General Albert G. Jenkins' cavalry brigade. On the morning of June 28 a couple of Confederate scouts with a white flag had ridden into town and told the mayor that the brigade was coming. If everybody stayed out of the way, they said, no townspeople would be harmed.

Soon afterwards, Jenkins' brigade rode into town and the general ordered its residents to gather enough food for his men at the town square. They had traveled far and were hungry. Unarmed and unprepared, the mayor surrendered the town to the enemy and Mechanicsburg went down in history as the northernmost town to formally surrender to the Confederacy.
Monument to General Albert G. Jenkins and his Confederate cavalry.
Monument to General Albert G. Jenkins and his Confederate cavalry.

In June of 1863 Jenkins' mounted troopers were scouting and paving the way for the advance of two infantry divisions of Richard Ewell's Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Only thirty-two years old at the time, Jenkins was a Virginian by birth. A graduate of Washington College in Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School, in 1861 he had raised a cavalry company and become a colonel, then resigned his commission to serve in the Confederate Congress.

Becoming restless, however, he wrangled a general's commission and served in western Virginia until his unit was called east to join Robert E. Lee's army in its daring offensive into Union territory.

In Mechanicsburg, Jenkins and his staff first called at the Ashland House, where they had some liquid refreshment and procured copies of the latest Northern newspapers, which they scanned for information about the Yankee army. Jenkins then sent half of his brigade east along the Carlisle Pike north of Mechanicsburg, while the rest of his command rode out along the Trindle Spring Road that afternoon to markerPeace Church, which rested on a knoll of higher ground.

There, the artillery of both sides exchanged fire until dusk. Jenkins then pulled his men back to the area around the Rupp House, a large stone edifice on the Trindle Spring Road, which he commandeered for brigade headquarters.

So far so good, surmised the general. His men having exchanged fire with distant Union militia, Jenkins now had developed a fairly good idea of where the enemy was. On the morrow his men would push the Yankees harder and he would complete his reconnaissance. Behind him in Carlisle was Robert Rodes' 7,500-man infantry division, waiting for the order to seize Harrisburg.
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