Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863

Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863

by Scott Mingus


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Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863 by Scott Mingus

This compelling page-turner is the first in-depth study of a fascinating but largely overlooked operation by part of Richard Ewell's Second Corps in June 1863 that not only shaped the course of the Gettysburg Campaign, but may well have altered the course of our nation's history. Scott Mingus's Flames Beyond Gettysburg vividly narrates both sides of Ewell's drama-filled expedition, including key Southern decisions, the response of the Pennsylvania militiamen and civilians who opposed the Confederates, and the stunning climax at the Columbia bridge. Mingus's study also features detailed driving tours of the various sites discussed in the book, complete with photos and GPS coordinates. Updated with additional primary sources, new photos, and original maps by cartographer Steven Stanley, the fast-paced and gracefully written Flames Beyond Gettysburg will be hailed as an important addition to the Gettysburg literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611210729
Publisher: Savas Beatie
Publication date: 02/11/2011
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,236,724
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Scott L. Mingus, Sr. is a scientist and executive in the paper and printing industry. He maintains a popular blog on the Civil War history of his home in York County, PA, for the York Daily Record (www.yorkblog.com/cannonball), and is a sanctioned Civil War tour guide for the York County Heritage Trust. Scott is the author of five scenario books on wargaming and together with his wife Debi, publishes CHARGE!, the leading international magazine for Civil War miniature wargaming.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Foreword Eric J. Wittenberg xi

Chapter 1 Lee Looks North 1

Chapter 2 Pennsylvania's Response 19

Chapter 3 The Rebels are Coming! 51

Chapter 4 Invasion! 72

Chapter 5 Gunfire at Gettysburg 100

Chapter 6 Gordon Reaches York County 151

Chapter 7 White Raids Hanover Junction 169

Chapter 8 Gordon Parades through York 191

Chapter 9 Wrightsville Prepares 213

Chapter 10 Gordon Attacks Wrightsville 239

Chapter 11 A Scene of Confusion and Excitement 260

Chapter 12 The Aftermath 282

Chapter 13 The Impact of Gordon's Expedition 308

Epilogue 319

Appendices 339

Driving Tours 352

Bibliography 369

Index 380


Franklin County, Pennsylvania 21

Columbia, Pennsylvania 37

The Gettysburg Road Network 55

Adams County, Pennsylvania 58

Skirmish at Marsh Creek 110

Skirmish at the Witmer Farm 127

York, Pennsylvania 159

Hanover Junction 179

Wrightsville 243

River crossing between Wrightsville and Columbia 262

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Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
James_Durney More than 1 year ago
This review is for the Savas Beatie edition of this book. Histories of the Gettysburg Campaign dismiss The Pennsylvanian response with no more than a page. The hapless state militia breaks at the first rumor of an attack, dropping all government issued equipment in their haste to run away. The Army of Northern Virginia's veterans make jokes about the militia's lack of performance while reequipping themselves at U.S. Government expense. Somehow, the local militia manages to burn the critical bridge over the Susquehanna River stopping the Army of Northern Virginia from capturing the state capitol. This piece of almost mindless good luck saves the Lincoln administration from a major embarrassment and contributes to the South's defeat. During the Battle of Gettysburg, only one man, John Burns, stepped forward to fight for his home. The question is how do you turn 120 odd words into book of over 300 pages? More important, can you make that book a marketable product that people will want to buy? First, any book that is part of The Discovering Civil War America Series, merits consideration. This outstanding series of histories on the Civil War are informative, fun to read and inexpensive. This is a Gettysburg book and any Civil War person will automatically look at a book on Gettysburg. The opening paragraph is only half in jest. I have read a few books on Gettysburg but never read much more than a page on this operation. You might stop in York to look at the tablets saying Early took the town in 1863. Maybe you stop in some of the small towns on the way to the park from York. However very few of us know much about this area and we really want to get on the battlefield. Scott Mingus Sr. makes an important addition to the story of Gettysburg by filling a void that we were unaware of by replacing our comfortable assumptions with a detailed study of the action from June 26 to 30, 1863. This is a rich layered story with unexpected complications. The first 90 pages set the stage as the author starts the invasion of 1863. While some of this is familiar territory, the focus moves us toward Pennsylvania and the state's building response. The balance of the book moves us from Gettysburg on June 26 to the Susquehanna River and back to Gettysburg on July 1. This is a complex story. Jubal Early has overall control of the Confederate forces. He orders John B. Gordon to capture the bridge, giving him Elijah White's cavalry to help. However, they have conflicting orders and priorities that cause delays and steal time from what should be an all out drive. The Copperheads in the area add a layer of complexity and divided loyalties. At the same time, they are jubilant but cautious worried that the Confederates will not stay. Copperhead or Unionist the residents need to protect their property from the Rebels. Horses, mules, chickens, hams, milk, honey, butter, clothing, tools an endless list of items disappear. One of the richest parts of the story is the efforts of the farmers and businessmen to protect valuables during the invasion. Towns in Early's path must make hard decisions. How do they react to the invasion? Do they want to see their town turned into a battleground? Will the Rebels burn the town and sack the banks? How much tribute will be levied and how will they pay? York's answers to these questions created problems and generated questions about the leader's actions for years. [review truncated to B&N size]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to start by saying I am not an avid reader and most definitely not a writer. Many people know something about the Battle of Gettysburg and many believe that “the high water mark” is as far north as Confederate forces ever got. “Flames Beyond Gettysburg” lets readers learn how far north in Pennsylvania the forces got. It makes you think about what could have happened if the Confederate force had gotten across the Susquehanna River and how much of Wrightsville would have been destroyed if the Rebels had not helped combat the fires that started because of the bridge fire. I found this to be a very interesting and easy to read history lesson. I’m sure you will find this interesting and informative book also. Cliff Herbster (Quarryville, PA)
civiwarlibrarian More than 1 year ago
New and Noteworthy---The Flames Beyond Gettysburg And The Path To See Them Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition To The Susquehanna River, June 1863, Scott L. Mingus, Sr., Savas Beatie LLC, 396 pp, footnotes, appendices, bibliography, order of battle, $19.95. First, it must be noted that this book is not the 2009 Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition June 1863 offered by Ironclad Publishing. Yes, it has nearly the same title by the same author but, the 2009 edition is pale compared to the 2011 edition offered by Savas Beatie LLC. The author reports that responses to the 2009 edition came from the readers in Adams, York, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. They provided many primary sources that were unavailable to the author while writing in 2008. Having read the 2009 edition, CWL recognizes that indeed Mingus has written a new book, with a stronger narrative style, a greater wealth of sources, better maps, and a certain organization creates both depth and breath in the story. From Lee's invasion plans through Gordon's withdrawal from Wrightsville, Mingus is in command of the story. There is a fine balance here between the dramatic personalities of the generals and the equally dramatic challenges met by the infantry and cavalry on the march. Civilian stories match the military adventures. The Epilogue covers fascinating material that relates what occurred after the war. Confederates such as Clement A. Evans, colonel of 31st Georgia, and Elijah White, lieutenant colonel of the 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry are emblematic of Confederate veterans after the war. The stories of the Columbia Bridge and Hanover Junction after the Confederate withdrawal are compelling. Certainly Flames Beyond Gettysburg is a military story but the civilian story matches it page for page. Key Confederate strategic decisions are presented as well as the responses of the Pennsylvania militia and the civilians in the path of the Confederates. The decision by Pennsylvania Militia to burn the Columbia Bridge is presented the light of military necessities and civilians' discomforts. Mingus's study includes appendices on casualties, weather, chronology, and driving tours. The tours include the Confederate route of march from Maryland; the June 26 skirmish at Gettysburg and the fight at the Witmer Farm; Lt. Col. Elijah V. White's cavalry raids on Point-of-Rocks and Hanover Junction; Gordon's triumphal march through York; the skirmish at Wrightsville; and the bridge burning. Not only is the 2011 edition superior to the 2009 edition because it is based upon extensive primary source material. The reworking features much better and original maps by cartographer Steven Stanley. Ten maps are included and satisfactory but CWL, the map lover, would have appreciated maps of the counties of York, Lancaster and Dauphin. Scott L. Mingus, Sr. is a resident of the region in which Flames Beyond Gettysburg is set. This is distinctly an advantage for the reader. In the text the author is clearly on the ground and describes what he sees. There is an incomparable freshness in the narrative because Mingus has walked on the footpaths of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago