(WHTM) — In the Borough of Camp Hill in Cumberland County are two historical markers about the same event. There’s a state marker located at 31st and Market Street, and another, erected by the Camp Curtin Historical Society, in Willow Park at Market and 25th.

Both of them commemorate the Skirmish at Oyster Point, the closest approach of Confederate soldiers to Harrisburg in the invasion of 1863.

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In June of that year, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia methodically worked its way up the Cumberland Valley, taking Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, and Mechanicsburg.

An 1858 map of Cumberland County shows that back then the Trindle Road and Carlisle Pike met near the community called White Hall, which has grown into the borough of Camp Hill. The intersection was known as Oyster’s Point, after the Oyster Tavern located between the two merging roads. (The tavern was named after the Oyster family, and had nothing to do with what food was being served.)

Union militia members were stationed at this important intersection, and it was here Confederate cavalry leader Albert Gallatin Jenkins began testing the defenses around Harrisburg.

On June 28th Jenkins set up artillery around Peace Church, located at the intersection of Trindle and St. John’s Road. It’s hard to tell now because of all the stuff in the way, but back then the Church was the high ground with a clear shot at Oyster’s Point, just a little over a mile away. Guns roared and soldiers skirmished for most of that afternoon.

Then on the 29th, after a two-hour bombardment, Jenkin’s cavalry attacked, driving the Union militia back to about 28th Street.

But this attack was mostly a diversion. While his men kept the Union defenders occupied, Jenkins rode southeast to a hill near New Cumberland, from which he could study the Union defenses on Hummels Heights in Lemoyne. His conclusion – the defenses, and Harrisburg itself, could be easily taken.

But by the time Jenkins had his information, the situation had changed. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had learned the Union Army of the Potomac was on the move with a new commander, George Meade. Lee ordered his forces to concentrate at Cashtown in Adams County, inadvertently setting the stage for the Battle of Gettysburg.

Oyster’s Tavern and Oyster Point no longer exist. At the intersection of Trindle Road and 32nd Street (The Camp Hill Bypass), what used to be Trindle Road, veers slightly right and becomes Chestnut Street, which runs parallel to Market. All traces of the old intersection are buried under new construction. Only the markers remain to tell us how the Confederate Army came within three miles of capturing the Pennsylvania capital.