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Virtually every diarist and letter writer in the army commented on the friendliness of the inhabitants they met north of the Potomac, in contrast to what they had encountered over the past months in Virginia. The First Corps crossed the Pennsylvania line on June 30, and Lyman Holford of the 6th Wisconsin noted in his diary, “The people here turn out in holiday attire, wave flags, give us bread and butter, and water and in every way shpw their good will toward us.” Diarist Charles Wainwright, commanding the First Corps’ artillery, took note of this as well, but he also noticed citizens who did not let their Unionist feelings interfere with the profit motive. “The people along the road sell everything, and at very high prices,” Wainwright grumbled; “fifty cents for a large loaf of bread, worth, say, twenty; fifteen to twenty-five cents for a canteen, three pints, of skimmed milk; how much for pies I do not know but they were in great demand…” But he admitted that this was by no means the universal practice. Many of the people “will not sell, but give all they can; and we are cheered through all the villages by good wishes and pleasant smiles.”
This welcome was particular exhiliarating to the men of the sixty-even Pennsylvania regiments to the Army of the Potomac. When the 12th Pennsylvania Reserves, just now joining the Potomac army as a reinforcement from the Department of Washington, crossed the Mason-Dixon Line into their home state, E.D. Burdick entered in his diary: “The Col. halted us at the time and the boys gave 3 cheers for old Pa. and we vowed never to leave the State until we had driven the rebels out… or perish in the attempt; this is how we feel to-day.”
—Stephen W. Sears, Gettysburg (2003)

Photo “15th and 50th New York Engineers Memorial, Gettysburg PA” by Kenny Wisdom

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