Category Archives: Civilians

Fear in the Susquehanna Valley – the Emergency of 1862: Part 2

  Previous post: Fear in the Susquehanna Valley – the Emergency of 1862: Part 1 Reports circulated in York County the first week of September 1862 that General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was moving northward toward the … Continue reading

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U.S. Committee on War Claims denied Wrightsville residents’ Federal claims

Several residents of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, filed damage claims following the Civil War for the loss of their homes, businesses, and shops caused when the riverfront area caught fire from flaming embers from the burning of the covered bridge (it had … Continue reading

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Knights of the Golden Circle made post-war “appearance”

During the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign dozens of Confederate soldiers, including generals Jubal Early and J.E.B. Stuart, reported encountering Pennsylvania farmers who frantically made strange hand gestures, often while waving yellow pieces of printed paper and/or exclaiming certain words. It did … Continue reading

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Historic Wrightsville, Pa., Museum features Civil War displays

The historic town of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, is nestled along the banks of the mile-wide Susquehanna River in eastern York County. Today it has about 2,300 residents, roughly double its size during the American Civil War. Some accounts suggest that this … Continue reading

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Historic Jonas Rupp House near Mechanicsburg, PA

This old stone house once was surrounded by rural farming country along Trindle Spring Road on the outskirts of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It dates from 1787 when it was built by a man named Jonas Rupp. Now, the road is busy … Continue reading

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Common (and not so common!) myths of the Gettysburg Campaign: Part 2

Background: Part 1 7) Abraham Lincoln wrote part of his Gettysburg Address on the train while at Hanover Junction — One old account says that a small boy peeked into the window while Lincoln’s train was parked at Hanover Junction, … Continue reading

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Did you know? 150 Civil War facts about York County, Pa.: Part 9

121. At the start of the Civil War, the Wrightsville Star was a nonpartisan weekly newspaper serving Hellam Township, Wrightsville, and east-central York County. It had been in business since 1854. Typical of most small town papers, it had only … Continue reading

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150 years ago today: June 27, 1863: Part 2: Telegraph announces the Rebels’ arrival

Daniel Trone, the young telegrapher at the railway station in Hanover, Pa., used this telegraph key to tap out the first message that the Confederates had arrived in York County. This old key is now in the collection of the … Continue reading

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150 years ago today: Nerves are on edge… are the Rebels coming?

On Thursday, June 25, 1863, the gravel turnpike from Gettysburg through York to Wrightsville became a highway to perceived safety for what has been described as thousands of terrifiedĀ  refugees from Franklin County and to a lesser extent Adams County. … Continue reading

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150 years ago today in York County, Pa.: Rumors that the Rebels are coming!

On Wednesday, June 24, 1863, this fine old hotel on West Market Street in downtown York (the National Hotel) was the headquarters for Colonel William B. Thomas, the commander of the 20th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia. Thomas, an early backer of … Continue reading

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