Category Archives: York

The surrender: did York really have a choice?

For more than 150 years, residents and writers have debated whether the civic leaders of York, Pennsylvania, should have surrendered their town to a Confederate general during the Gettysburg Campaign. On Saturday, June 27, 1863, Chief Burgess David Small, two … Continue reading

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Army Hospital ramped up in the summer of 1862

The spring and summer of 1862 were the bloodiest (to that date) in the history of the now-divided United States. Heretofore obscure places such as Shiloh, Kernstown, Front Royal, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, Fair Oaks, and dozens more were now … Continue reading

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“Extra Billy” Smith is the subject at the York CWRT on Oct. 18

More than 11,000 Confederate soldiers marched or rode through York County, Pennsylvania, during the week before the battle of Gettysburg. Perhaps none was as colorful, or controversial, as Brigadier General William “Extra Billy” Smith. Today, few Civil War buffs know … Continue reading

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“Inferior in every particular”: Newsman visited Camp Scott in York

Shortly after the beginning of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion. Training camps soon sprang up across the North, including Camp Scott at the York Fairgrounds (at the intersection of King … Continue reading

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“Charming in every degree”: York impressed Altoona soldiers — Part 2

In my last post, we looked at a description of York from a soldier, A.J.G., in the 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry. He and his comrades from Altoona, Pa., occupied various homes and hotels in York before being congregated at Camp Scott … Continue reading

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“Charming in every degree”: York impressed Altoona soldiers — Part 1

Within weeks of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter in mid-April 1861, the U. S. army established a military training camp in York, Pennsylvania, calling it Camp Scott in honor of the army’s commanding general-in-chief, Winfield Scott. Situated on the … Continue reading

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York soldier deserted after being reported as killed in railroad accident

Railroad travel in the 19th century at times could be risky at times. Poor track conditions such as broken or loose rails could cause a train to derail. Excessive speed, poor weather conditions, two trains on the same track headed … Continue reading

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New book covers the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad in the Civil War

Railroad travelers from Harrisburg or York, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore typically took the Northern Central Railway. From Baltimore, there were convenient connections to Washington, Hagerstown and points west using the Baltimore & Ohio. Once finished with business in Baltimore, the traveler … Continue reading

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New book on the 38th GA includes fresh York stories

D. Gary Nichols has recently published a new book-length account of the 38th Georgia Volunteer Infantry during the War Between the States / Civil War. The limited edition, dust-jacketed hardback sold out in pre-sale subscriptions. I have communicated with the … Continue reading

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York cavalryman murdered fellow soldier after dispute

Edward Jacoby, born in York County in 1834, had been a carpenter before the Civil War. In August 1861, the 25-year-old Jacoby went to Columbia in Lancaster County and enrolled in Jackson’s Cavalry, a company of volunteers from the river … Continue reading

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