Category Archives: Civil War people

Ex-slave of Confederate officer died in Hanover in 1910

In the years following the Civil War, hundreds of former Southern slaves seeking a fresh start settled in the Susquehanna Valley. Among them was George Keyes, a Virginia-born slave who was present at the 1861  battle of Ball’s Bluff near … Continue reading

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The Runaway Balloon

When the Union army headed north in June 1863 for the summer campaign, it left behind its observation balloon which had been floating high enough for riders to observe the distant Confederate lines. Hence, there were no balloons at the … Continue reading

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Black History Month: Events at the Gorsuch Tavern helped spark the 1851 Christiana Riots

Long before the construction of Interstate 83, the York Road was the main thoroughfare between York, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland. The well traveled road predates colonial times. Hungry and thirsty travelers could find rest and refreshment at roadside  inns, including … Continue reading

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One of the Rebels buried in York PA likely identified

Five Confederate soldiers are buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery along N. George Street in York, Pennsylvania. According to local information, all were prisoners of war who were wounded in battle, taken to York for treatment, and then perished from their … Continue reading

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Black History Month: Corporal Henry Bear, 127th USCT

York Civil War researcher and author Dennis W. Brandt is perhaps best known for his award-winning book on the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry (From Home Guards to Heroes). He has also spent countless hours collecting information on Civil War soldiers from … Continue reading

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Black history month: Eli Grey, Civil War-era barber in York

Eli Grey (also spelled Gray in some accounts) was a fixture in downtown York, Pennsylvania, during the Civil War years (1861-1865). Since medieval times, surgeons and physicians often also doubled as barbers (hence the red stripes for blood on traditional … Continue reading

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Escape! Rebel POW slips across rural York County into Maryland: Part 4

Confederate Captain R. D. Chapman, a prisoner of war being transported from Ohio to Maryland, leaped from a train just south of York, Pa. and escaped into the night. He planned to travel southwesterly to Emmitsburg, Md., but unknowingly he … Continue reading

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Escape! Rebel POW slips across rural York County into Maryland: Part 3

Confederate Captain Robert D. Chapman was a determined young man. Taken prisoner at Cumberland Gap when his regiment surrendered to General Burnside’s Yankees, the young Georgian managed to escape only to be captured by the Sizemore gang of thieving mountain … Continue reading

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Escape! Rebel POW slips across rural York County into Maryland: Part 2

Part 1 of this brief series introduced Confederate Captain Robert D. Chapman, a daredevil who was not contented with the prospects of passive captivity as a prisoner of war. He escaped from the Union army at Cumberland Gap, ran off … Continue reading

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Escape! Rebel POW slips across rural York County into Maryland: Part 1

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, a 21-year-old Georgia man named Robert D. Chapman was swept up in the patriotic fervor. With several friends, he enlisted in the 112-man “Miller County Wild Cats,” which soon became Company … Continue reading

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