Author and newsman Jim McClure will be the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the York (PA) Civil War Round Table at 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 16. The meeting will be held at the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market Street in downtown York. The talk is free, as is parking.
During the tumultuous summer of 1863, the tranquil lives of the residents of York County, PA changed dramatically when three separate columns of Confederate soldiers marched or rode into the area. With the exception of the southeastern portion of the county, nearly every section experienced the visitors from Dixie, who numbered more than 11,000 men. Residents lost more than a thousand horses and mules needed for the summer harvest season, as well as supplies, food, heirlooms, furniture, and anything else the Rebels fancied.
York became the largest Northern town to fall to the Confederate army during the entire Civil War. A delegation of civic leaders “surrendered” the town to Maj. Gen. Jubal Early’s forces, allowing them to freely occupy the region and rob it blind.
Controversy raged then (and now) as to the wisdom of the negotiations and their outcome. Jim McClure of the York Daily Record will explore these arguments, focusing on how York Countians viewed themselves, their fellow citizens and leaders, and the Rebels, from the 19th century down to today.
But the story of York County in the Civil War is not just about those few days in June and July 1863 when the war came to Pennsylvania. Jim will examine the attitudes of the locals toward the war itself, the policies of Abe Lincoln, draft and conscription laws, and supporting the troops from this region.
Using primary sources and illustrations, Jim will bring these views to light and open the floor for questions and discussion of York County’s view of the Civil War, then and now. It promises to be an excellent and educational session!
James McClure has been editor of the York Daily Record/York Sunday News since May, 2004. Before that, he was the managing editor of the York Daily Record for 15 years.
McClure is past president of Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing
Editors and past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper
He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of
Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a master’s degree in American Studies from
Penn State Harrisburg, where his research focus was on York County journalism history.
McClure is the author of five books on York County history — “Never to be Forgotten, A Year-By-Year Look at York County’s Past,” “Nine Months in York Town, American Revolutionaries Labor on Pennsylvania’s Frontier,” “Almost Forgotten, A Glimpse at Black History in York County, Pa.,” “East of Gettysburg, A Gray Shadow Crosses York County, Pa.” and ” “In the Thick of the Fight, York County, Pa., Counters the Axis Threat in WWII.”
His current research and interests include writing on his York County history blog, yorktownsquare.com, and editing a scholarly journal for the York County Heritage Trust.