SACHS COVERED BRIDGE
DATE(S) VISITED: SEP 4, 2020
LOCATION: GETTYSBURG, PA
The Sachs Covered Bridge (also known as Sauck's Covered Bridge and Waterworks Covered Bridge), is a 100-foot (30 m), Town truss covered bridge which spans over Marsh Creek between Cumberland and Freedom Townships, Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The bridge was also known as the Sauches Covered Bridge at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg and was built around 1854 at a cost of $1,544.
During the American Civil War, both the Union and Confederate Armies used the bridge in the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath. It is reportedly known to be severely haunted as a result. The bridge was crossed by the two brigades of the I Corps of the Union Army heading towards Gettysburg. The III Corps also crossed the bridge heading to the Black Horse Tavern. Four days later, the majority of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia retreated over the bridge after the Union victory in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Local legend tells the tale of three Confederate deserters who, after being caught by their superiors, were hanged from the covered bridge. Yet another tale claims that the three soldiers were, in fact, Confederate spies and when Union troops uncovered the truth, they hanged the men as punishment. Whether these stories are true or not, there can be no doubt that the horror of war still lurks here and that some of the spirits of those that were killed do haunt this historic structure. Some experiences that visitors to the bridge have have reported include; the strong scent of cigar smoke when no one else in the vicinity is smoking. Others tell of hearing cannons being fired in the distance and feeling a tap on their shoulder, only to turn around to find no one there.
The bridge was designated Pennsylvania's "most historic bridge" in 1938 by the predecessor of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Department of Highways. After a plan in 1960 to replace the bridge, the Cumberland Township officials voted to close the bridge to vehicular traffic, while leaving it open to pedestrians, on May 9, 1968. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1980. On June 19, 1996, a flash flood knocked the bridge from one of its abutments and it incurred substantial damage. A $500,000 restoration on the bridge was already in progress before the flood; an additional $100,000 was raised to repair the damage incurred. The bridge was rededicated on July 21, 1997.
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