Sunday, June 28 and Monday, June 29, 1863
In the late days of 1863, Samuel Albright's house and farm were used as a Confederate bivouac site and artillery position. In the 1860 Census, Samuel Albright was listed as born "about 1823" and living in what was then East Pennsboro Township. William Eppley rented the Albright house and resided there during the Confederate Invasion.
In early June 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee began shifting his units northward through the Shenandoah Valley and into Maryland and Pennsylvania. By June 27, Lt. Gen. General Richard S. Ewell's Confederate Second Corps had reached Carlisle. On the morning of June 28, Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins, leading the army's vanguard, moved east towards Harrisburg and captured Mechanicsburg. He then split his brigade, sending some to the Trindle Road and the remainder to the Carlisle Pike.
White Hall citizen Zacheus Bowman ventured from his home westward on the Carlisle Pike. He ran into Union pickets on his westward walk to the Albright house. Bowman recalled:
"We went up to the Albright House. Eppley was the tenant. We saw a lot of milk in the cellar of the house. We heard a calf bawling in the barn and went out to let it loose. The calf was loose, though. I told Philip [Kepford] to go into the house and get a crock of milk for it. He got the milk and we fed the calf."
Bowman next gives very good detail as to the farm's condition during the Confederate occupation:
"There was a little house in the field, we went around to the barn. We had to go around the upper part of the house and met the "Johnnies" there face to face. Philip started to run and I said 'Don't run, you fool!' We saw the battle line of the rebels and the outside pickets. - I guess about a half dozen ...."
Lt. Col. Vincent A. Witcher, 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion, then decided to unlimber his artillery. With him, he had two pieces of Jackson's Kanawha Horse Artillery. These pieces, according to Lt. Micajah Wood of the battery, were a howitzer under command of Lt. Randolph Blain and a three inch ordinance rifle under command of Woods himself.
Woods also wrote of his piece:
"We remained with our brigade for a day or two [in front of Harrisburg], attacking the enemy at exposed points each day. During all the Engagements, our Battery played a conspicuous part, and especially the rifled gun in my section, which was called upon more often than the other pieces because of greater range. The Enemy brought little artillery to bear against us hence we had a fair chance to make good shots with comparatively little exposure."
From Oyster's Point, Nicholas Rice of the 30th Pennsylvania Militia could see "...[a] column of cavalry and formed along a rise of ground, then a battery swung into position, and tested our metal with a few well directed shot[s]..."
Witcher camped behind the Albright House. He returned on June 29 and kept up a fire for between one and two hours. Later, Witcher led a cavalry charge to Oyster's Point from the Albright House with his own 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion. This diversion allowed Jenkins to observe Harrisburg's defenses from Slate Hill and the heights west of New Cumberland. Early the next day, June 30, Witcher retired to Silver Spring Creek and later fought at Sporting Hill. This ended the Confederate occupation of the Albright House.