The 1863 shelling of Carlisle during the American Civil War left indelible marks on some of the town's buildings. It crystallized into stories passed down in family histories. Its presentation in print was a fascination for local residents who relished the collection of facts and opinions in their newspapers. A piece in the Carlisle American gave the popular opinion that the Confederate leader in charge of the shelling, Major General Fitzhugh Lee, was "the dastard ... not only lost to pity but destitute of humanity".
While other mills served their local community and if successful, exported some of their products, this nail manufactory in East Pennsboro Township became one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
Captain William E. Miller was one of the few Cumberland County residents who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. However, Miller may be the most distinctive honoree for winning his medal by going against his orders. Miller was born to a farming family in West Hill, Cumberland County, one mile west of Plainfield in West Pennsboro Township. As a young man, Miller ran his father’s farm and was establishing a small family of his own, when his life was interrupted by the call to war in 1861.
Willow Mill, the only mill building still standing in Silver Spring Township, was a substantial industrial complex in its prime. Built in approximately 1794, the mill was still grinding grain through the end of the 1800s. The site then transitioned into an outdoor retreat and amusement park.