Category Archives: York County sites

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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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 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 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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Connecticut soldiers played “cowboy”; returned stolen cows to Yorkers

A young Connecticut lad named William Caruthers had quite the experience as a Civil War soldier. His ancestors had immigrated to British North America in the early 1700s, but being loyalists fled the colonies during the American Revolution. Caruthers, born … Continue reading

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Rebels passed by Sultzbach’s Tannery en route to Wrightsville

On a cool Sunday afternoon, June 28, 1863, as rainclouds threatened, more than 2,000 well armed, veteran Confederate soldiers marched or rode past the sprawling Sultzbach tannery in Hellam Township in eastern York County, Pa. Consisting of 1,800 Georgia infantrymen, … Continue reading

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York residents flocked to local photographers during the Civil War

Photography originated in Europe in the early 1800s, with a variety of techniques of using light-sensitive chemicals spread onto a substrate such as paper, leather, pewter, or a glass plate. The resultant image often took hours to develop, so most … Continue reading

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New York soldier described York’s Civil War hospital

From the summer of 1862 until the end of the Civil War, the Union army maintained a military hospital on Penn Common just south of what was then downtown York, Pa. Peaking at more than 2,000 patients at its fullest, … Continue reading

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