And the Civil War
The Civil War played an important role in the history of Littlestown is just 10 miles south of Gettysburg, so it played a key role in the housing and care of soldiers during the Civil War. Many different soldiers and officers passed through Littlestown to take trains, rest before battle and recuperate afterward. Confederate and Union troops alike, stopped and passed through, especially during the advance on and battle of Gettysburg.
General Alfred Pleasanton, commander of the entire Cavalry Corps of the Potomac Army, held his headquarters at the Barker House. While he was there he sent many scouts to the surrounding towns to find out what was happening in the area. Pleasanton was seen in the company of General George Armstrong Custer, famous for "Custer's Last Stand" a battle at Little Big Horn, and General Judson Kilpatrick. General Kilpatrick and his Division of Union Cavalry stayed in Littlestown for a night. He personally spent the night at the Barker House with General Custer.
These were not the only Generals to spend time in Littlestown. General Daniel Sickles was brought to Littlestown in a carriage and placed on a car for home after wounding his leg in a battle at Round Top in Gettysburg.
After the battle in Gettysburg, hundreds of wounded soldiers were brought to Littlestown to be placed in cars and sent home. At this time Gettysburg did not yet have the railroad, so Littlestown was a major stopping ground for the soldiers in the war to come and go on the trains. It also was on a major road and easy to get for the ambulances bringing the wounded from battle. For those unable to travel at the time the Barker Hotel provided temporary hospital facilities. The United Brethren Church was also turned into a hospital for the wounded. Local citizens provided food and supplies for the soldiers. Railroad freight cars were emptied and wounded were placed there on beds of straw until they could be safely transported.
Also recorded as passing through Littlestown on the way to battle was General Sedgewick and his Sixth Army Corps of 15,000 and General Henry Warner Slocum and his Corps of 13,000.
A cast iron marker, which is located on South Queen St. just south of the square, it titled "Army of the Potomac" and dated July 5, 1862. It describes the activities and movements of the various corps, brigades and divisions of the Army to a variety of locations. The Artillery Reserve is specifically noted as being dispatched to Littlestown on that day.