Category Archives: York County sites

New booklet on JEB Stuart’s Ride through York County

A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts (the “In the Footsteps of J.E.B. Stuart” series) on the damage claims York County farmers filed after the Civil War for horses, supplies, and personal goods taken by … Continue reading

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“Kindly Friend Willis” was conductor on the Underground Railroad

According to the Library of Congress, the Willis House is the most pretentious and academically correct example of eighteenth century English domestic architecture in York County. The builder, William Willis, was a Quaker farmer and mason who built the York … Continue reading

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Railroad traveler liked York, but not Wrightsville

A traveler calling himself “P.M.” visiting Baltimore in the early winter of 1850 sent back a letter to the editor, Ephraim Cowan, of the Warren (Pa.) Mail. He took a train most of the way, including the Pennsylvania Railroad from … Continue reading

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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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