"Defend or Destroy"

Available on DVD or VHS - Order Now!

July 1, 2003 --

Written and directed by historian Thomas L. Schaefer and produced by Michael Moul of Total Magic Videos, York, PA, this nearly one hour production narrates the most visually dramatic episode on the critically important Gettysburg Campaign: the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge on Sunday, June 28, 1863.

 Toward June’s end, Robert E. Lee’s Confederates had pushed well into south central Pennsylvania.  Their objective was to capture Harrisburg, the state’s capital, then continue more deeply into the north hoping to either destroy the Union army’s will to fight or to break the North’s hopes of victory and force them to negotiate peace.

 These heady times for the South were times of fear and desperation for the North, especially for the communities that were sited in the path of Lee’s invasion force.  Wrightsville and Columbia were prime targets for the Confederates, and that was because of the one and a quarter mile long covered bridge that spanned the Susquehanna River and connected those two already historic communities.

 “Defend or Destroy” will be broadcast locally in the autumn, but this special video/DVD version also takes you behind the scenes for some fascinating extra footage and provides a detailed outline of the events and times that led the Rebels to the Susquehanna’s shore.  Viewers will learn about the skirmish that took place just west of Wrightsville between the unevenly matched forces or raw Union militia and veteran rebel troops.  They’ll hear of the victories and failures of both sides, as well as the poignant story of a handful of un-mustered black volunteers who do an exceptionally fine day’s work.

 You’ll see how expertly the Confederates used their single four-gun battery, and the structures still standing in Wrightsville that were hit by artillery fire.  You’ll learn more about the black militia and what makes their participation so significant in Civil War history, and learn of an interesting affair of “northern hospitality”.

Order your copy of the video/DVD today by printing and completing the form below and mailing it with your payment to Rivertownes 495 Kinderhook Road, Columbia, PA 17512.  Make checks payable to Rivertownes.  Allow 4 weeks for delivery.





# of VHS Tapes @ $15.95 each

# of DVD's @ $19.95 each

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$4.00 for first item and $1.00 for each additional item


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