Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jeff King: Loysburg Gap, Pennsylvania

What is the farthest north Gettysburg Campaign site? Lemoyne and Fort Couch, where some rebels reconnoitered? Perhaps the Oyster Point skirmish?

As we all know, the war was about control of railroads and rivers. One of Lee’s goals was destruction of the key railroad bridge at Harrisburg PA. One of the key railroad facilities in Pennsylvania was Altoona. Defenses were set up at Loysburg Gap, which was on the main road to Altoona from the Bedford Valley, to stop the Confederate advance if it went toward Altoona.

In a truly beautiful and remote location, the state marker and well preserved earthworks are on Lower Snake Spring Road between Everett and Loysburg Gap.

Perhaps the best way to see the gap is from the PA Turnpike approaching from the east. As you descend the hill just before the Breezewood Exit, look to the northwest. The solid mountain line just past Breezewood has a pronounced break, which is Loysburg Gap.

I found the best way to approach Loysburg Gap was from the south taking Lower Snake Spring Road north as it began just west of Everitt off the Lincoln Highway (US Route 30). Lower Snake Spring Road becomes Church View Road after the gap as it heads into the community of Loysburg Gap. The marker is at the military crest of Loysburg Gap and stands beside the earthworks.

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