In honor of the 149th anniversary of the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area will sponsor a lecture on "From Gettysburg to the Susquehanna."

Stephen Runkle will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday at the National Watch and Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St. in Columbia.

His lecture will cover the Confederate campaign into Pennsylvania prior to the Battle of Gettysburg in June 1863.

The campaign stalled at the Susquehanna River as the Confederates tried to cross the river to take Harrisburg, sever the Pennsylvania Railroad and Canal, and threaten Philadelphia. Instead the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge was burned, deterring the invasion.

Pictures will be shown depicting Harrisburg at the time of the invasion and analyzing the bridges crossing the lower Susquehanna in 1863.

Runkle will also discuss the efforts of the Union militia and the significance of local landmarks to the invasion.

Runkle is a consultant with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission's Public Information and Outreach Program.

Tickets are $18 and will benefit Rivertownes PA USA and their 150th celebration, June 28, 2013, of the burning of the bridge. The 150th anniversary celebration will feature activities from various organizations including the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, Historic Wrightsville, the Lower Windsor Historical Society, Columbia Historical Society and others.


For more information on Thursday's lecture and to register, call Marie Cartwright at 252-0229, ext. 4 or visit

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or