List of York County’s conscientious objectors during the Civil War

Jonathan Stayer, the head of the reference section of the Pennsylvania State Archives, is a long-time follower of the Cannonball blog and and even longer enthusiast for the history of York County. He asked if I would be willing to publish a list of those men in York County who declared themselves conscientious objectors and were exempted from military service during the Civil War.
The decision to make such a declaration was not taken lightly, either by the young men who took that position or by the government. According to Jonathan, “Among the instructions was a directive to secure an oath or affirmation from those seeking exemption for conscientious scruples based upon a provision in the State Constitution. Article VI, Section 2, of the 1838 Constitution, in effect at the time of the Civil War, stated that “those who conscientiously scruple to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay equivalent for service.”
In some instances, the depositions show the age and the occupation of the objector…
The largest numbers of depositions were taken in the counties with traditionally large Quaker or Mennonite populations such as Lancaster, Bucks, Chester, Philadelphia and Montgomery-with 667 in Lancaster County alone. Since most of them came from religious backgrounds that prohibited taking oaths as well as performing military service, many of the documents indicate that the person “affirmed” his conscientious scruples.
Pennsylvania’s records of Civil War conscientious objectors are unique. So far as is known, Pennsylvania is the only Northern state to have an extant file of depositions of men who refused military service on the basis of their religious convictions.”
Although not in the top five counties in terms of numbers, York County had its share of men who were conscientious objectors.


Volunteers of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania transcribed these entries from the “Register of Aliens & Persons Having Conscientious Scruples Against Bearing Arms, 1862,” (entry #3168); Records of State and District Offices, 1861-72, Pennsylvania (Part IV), Western Division; Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau, Record Group 110; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. The complete database, and an introduction by Jonathan, can be found on the GSP’s website.
Here are the names from York County, as compiled by the GSP and republished on Cannonball with Jonathan’s written permission. The first number is the claim field number. Those names in bold were men who after the war filed damage claims with the state for losses inflicted on their property or horses stolen by the invading Confederate army. (The township or town where the objector lived is in parentheses).
1784 Samuel Burgard (Carroll)
1772 Aaron Baugher (Codorus)
1913 John Werley (Codorus)
1809 John Gardner (Dover)
1808 Joseph B. Gardner (Dover)
1805 Henry Grove (Dover)
1815 Abraham Hershey (Dover)
1814 Jacob Hershey (Dover)
1832 J. Elder Jacobs (Dover)
1880 Aaron Paup (Dover)
1881 Peter Paup (Dover)
1884 Michael Pfluger (Dover)
1885 Isaac Rentzel (Dover)
1908 Israel Trimmer (Dover)
1785 Jeremiah Byerts (Fairview)
1807 Christian Garver (Fairview)
1923 Henry Zimmerman (Fairview)
1924 Peter E. Zimmerman (Fairview)
1836 Asa Jones Jr. (Fawn)
1915 Richard J. Webb (Fawn)
1914 Samuel Webb (Fawn)
1791 Jesse L. Danner (Franklin)
1847 David Keller (Franklin)
1920 Samuel Zeigler (Franklin)
1844 Israel F. Keeney (Glen Rock)
1776 David H. Baer (Heidelberg)
1777 Jacob Bair (Heidelberg)
1778 Daniel F. Bare (Heidelberg)
1779 Samuel K. Bare (Heidelberg)
1775 William Baughman (Heidelberg)
1783 John Burgard (Heidelberg)
1792 Henry Danner (Heidelberg)
1786 Jacob Dubs (Heidelberg)
1793 Henry Erisman (Heidelberg)
1799 Jacob T. Forrey (Heidelberg)
1794 Benjamin M. Forry (Heidelberg)
1795 George T. Forry (Heidelberg)
1798 Jacob Forry (Heidelberg)
1797 Jesse Forry (Heidelberg)
1796 John B. Forry (Heidelberg)
1817 Samuel M. Hershey (Heidelberg)
1818 Michael Hohf (Heidelberg)
1845 Christian M. Kehr (Heidelberg)
1846 George M. Kehr (Heidelberg)
1848 Daniel H. Keller (Heidelberg)
1871 Christian (of Jacob) Miller (Heidelberg)
1872 Christian (of John) Miller (Heidelberg)
1875 Christian M. Miller (Heidelberg)
1873 Daniel Miller (Heidelberg)
1874 John Miller (Heidelberg)
1862 Josiah Moyers (Heidelberg)
1867 Jonas Mummert (Heidelberg)
1879 David H. Pressel (Heidelberg)
1878 Henry Pressel (Heidelberg)
1890 Amos Rohrbaack (Heidelberg)
1904 Samuel Stouffer (Heidelberg)
1770 Samuel H. Bechtel (Heidelberg)
1771 Samuel T. Bechtel (Heidelberg)
1801 Levi Godfrey (Hopewell)
1856 Emanuel Myers (Hopewell)
1857 Henry Myers (Hopewell)
1773 Jonas Boyer (Jackson)
1821 George Harbold (Jackson)
1816 Jacob Hershey (Jackson)
1864 Peter Moul (Jackson)
1889 Samuel L. Roth (Jackson)
1903 Henry Stouffer (Jackson)
1850 George Lichtenberger (Manchester)
1774 William Baker (Manheim)
1780 Andrew Bear (Monaghan)
1865 John Mellinger (Monaghan)
1870 John Miller (Monaghan)
1906 Gibson Stouffer (Monaghan)
1912 Albert Tschop (Monaghan)
1781 Abraham Bare Newberry
1812 Ezra Garretson (Newberry)
1811 Joel V. Garretson (Newberry)
1813 Josiah Garretson (Newberry)
1810 Israel Garretson Jr (Newberry)
1835 Thomas Jones Jr (Newberry)
1883 Andrew B. Potts (Newberry)
1882 George Potts (Newberry)
1888 Wm Robinson (Newberry)
1916 John B. Wright (Newberry)
1790 Jacob Danner (North Codorus)
1788 Jesse Danner (North Codorus)
1820 Adam Hamm (North Codorus)
1819 Daniel Hamm (North Codorus)
1834 Israel Jacobs (North Codorus)
1833 Jeremiah Jacobs (North Codorus)
1851 John Luckenbough (North Codorus)
1877 Henry Neff (North Codorus)
1886 Jacob Renold (North Codorus)
1901 Israel K. Sheaffer (North Codorus)
1900 John K. Sheaffer (North Codorus)
1902 Jacob Stouffer (North Codorus)
1894 Peter Stumbough (North Codorus)
1782 Saml Burgard (Paradise)
1800 John Ferree (Paradise)
1804 Matthias Grim (Paradise)
1824 Jacob L. Hartman (Paradise)
1831 Saml Hollinger (Paradise)
1907 Peter B. Trimmer (Paradise)
1921 John Zeigler (Paradise)
1897 Reuben H. Stubbs (Peach Bottom)
1825 Jacob Harble (Shrewsbury)
1840 Isaac F. Keeney (Shrewsbury)
1841 John F. Keeney (Shrewsbury)
1899 Jacob Sweitzer (Shrewsbury)
1898 William B. Sweitzer (Shrewsbury)
1827 John Holtzinger (Spring Garden)
1855 Jacob Lehman (Spring Garden)
1869 Christian Miller (Spring Garden)
1919 Michael Wambaugh (Spring Garden)
1917 David Witmer (Spring Garden)
1842 George Keeney (Springfield)
1843 Solomon Keeney (Springfield)
1839 John C. Kreb (Springfield)
1859 Joseph Myers (Springfield)
1789 Jonas L . Danner (Washington)
1806 George Grove (Washington)
1828 George S. Harbold (Washington)
1829 William Harlacher (Washington)
1830 Jacob Hollinger (Washington)
1837 Samuel King (Washington)
1849 Emanuel Kochenour (Washington)
1866 Daniel Mummert (Washington)
1858 Samuel Myers (Washington)
1887 John Raffensberger (Washington)
1893 George S. Sluthower (Washington)
1911 Absalom Trimmer (Washington)
1910 John B. Trimmer (Washington)
1909 Solomon Trimmer (Washington)
1922 George Zeigler (Washington)
1838 Emanuel Kaufman (West Manchester)
1876 Noah Ness (West Manchester)
1895 George W. Sprinkel (West Manchester)
1853 Jesse B. Luckenbough (West Manheim)
1852 John B. Luckenbough (West Manheim)
1787 Henry Dietz (Windsor)
1802 George Gable (Windsor)
1803 Solomon Garner (Windsor)
1826 Elias Hursh (Windsor)
1863 Saml Marks (Windsor)
1868 Israel Miller (Windsor)
1891 Jacob Sentz (Windsor)
1896 Jacob (of Jacob) Spotz (Windsor)
1905 John Stouffer (Windsor)
1918 Samuel Weaver (Windsor)
1769 Jacob Aldinger (York)
1823 Levi Hartman (York)
1822 Amos Holtzapple (York)
1854 Emanuel Lehman (York)
1861 Andrew Myers (York)
1860 John Myers (York)
1892 Aaron Strickler (York)

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One Response to List of York County’s conscientious objectors during the Civil War

  1. Art Bergeron says:

    Not conscientious objectors or from York County but interesting:
    “PENNSYLVANIANS JOIN THE CONFEDERATE FORCES.–The Richmond Dispatch is assured, upon the statement of an officer of the Confederate army who arrived in that city on Monday and who left Frederick a few days ago, that a company of Pennsylvanians from Adams County, numbering 115, arrived at Frederick last week and tendered their services to the Confederate government. This company was regulary organized with its own officers before they left their own State, and declared that they were unwilling to stay at home and be drafted into the Abolition service.”
    “Mobile Register and Advertiser,” September 23, 1862

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