|Posted:||October 28, 2015 03:33 PM|
|From:||Representative Patty Kim|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Resolution Honoring Camp Curtin and the Camp Curtin Historical Society|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution honoring the historical significance of Camp Curtin, located in Harrisburg. Camp Curtin was the largest Federal camp during the civil war, having over 300,000 men pass through it.
After the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter in 1861, President Lincoln sent out a request for 75,000 Union recruits. Andrew Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania, made a subsequent plea for volunteers in our state. Coming from across the Commonwealth, men converged on Harrisburg and it became necessary to establish a training facility. The grounds of the Dauphin County Agricultural Society, located on the northern outskirts of the city, were appropriated and Camp Curtin was born. Major (later Brigadier General) Joseph Knipe opened the camp on April 18th, 1861.
In addition to training, Camp Curtin served as a supply depot, a hospital and a prisoner of war camp. At the end of the war, the camp was used as a final destination for many who were returning home. In addition to Pennsylvania troops, troops from Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin used Camp Curtin.
Civil War veterans and citizens wanted a gateway erected to memorialize the entrance to Camp Curtin, but for years the plan stalled. Then, in 1917, the Camp Curtin Commission was created and the commission purchased property to emplace a memorial. In October of 1922, the Governor Andrew Curtin statue was unveiled by his son, William Curtin, and Laura and Helen Gastrock, great-granddaughters of Brigadier General Knipe.
After many years of neglect, the statue was restored in 1990 by the Camp Curtin Historical Society on the 125th anniversary of the closing of Camp Curtin. In 1992 a state roadside historical marker was dedicated during ceremonies to celebrate the camp’s 131st anniversary. In 1993, lighting was installed for the statue through the efforts of the historical society.
Please join me in honoring the history of Camp Curtin and also thanking the Camp Curtin Historical Society for its contribution to maintaining this historical place.
Introduced as HR577