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Adams County town unveils Civil War Trails marker

| Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 5:26 p.m.

Fairfield lies just miles from the Mason-Dixon Line, so during the Civil War, folks who lived there knew some sort of involvement was inevitable.

And it happened 150 years ago Thursday.

To mark the anniversary of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's raid through Fairfield, community leaders debuted Fairfield's very own Civil War Trails wayside marker on Thursday.

The marker — the fourth in Adams County — is outside of the historic Fairfield Inn, 15 W. Main St., and gives visitors and Civil War buffs a mini-history lesson on the role the town played in the war between the states.

The marker actually commemorates two Fairfield Civil War events: Stuart's raid and the Battle of Fairfield, which occurred on the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Fairfield Borough Councilman Dean Thomas has been instrumental in bringing the marker to town, and he was happy to see it finally unveiled after a two-year process that now puts Fairfield on the Civil War Trails map.

The Civil War Trails markers link events of the Civil War for visitors to follow as they explore historic places. Maps and information about the events they commemorate can be found online at

Stuart's 1862 raid started in Virginia a couple of weeks after the Battle of Antietam and came through Maryland and into Pennsylvania, passing through Mercersburg, Chambersburg, Cashtown, McKnightstown and into Fairfield, said Adams County author and historian Tim Smith.

On Oct. 11, 1862, the Confederates tromped through town with roughly 1,800 troops and 900 horses, about 60 of them stolen from around the Fairfield area, he said. Troops looted the town, destroyed the post office, and took as prisoner Fairfield's postmaster, John B. Paxton, Smith said.

Additionally, the marker also commemorates the July 3, 1863, Battle of Fairfield.

The battle took place about two miles northwest of the wayside marker on what is now private farmland.

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