Category Archives: York

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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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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Sarcastic Gettysburg soldier sent letters home from York’s Camp Scott: Part 3

Union troops train at Camp Scott in York PA in the spring of 1861. Among them were the new recruits of the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry, a three-month regiment which included a company (the “Independent Blues”) from Gettysburg and Adams County. … Continue reading

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Sarcastic Gettysburg soldier sent letters home from York’s Camp Scott: Part 2

This sketch from the New York Illustrated News shows Camp Scott, a Civil War training facility in York, Pennsylvania. In May 1861, a soldier of the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry using the pen name “Bageney” sent several letters  home to the … Continue reading

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Sarcastic Gettysburg soldier sent letters home from York’s Camp Scott: Part 1

Shortly after the start of the American Civil War in 1861, the U.S. government established a series of training bases throughout the North. The largest one in Pennsylvania eventually became known as Camp Curtin, in honor of the commonwealth’s Republican … Continue reading

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1912 newspaper article discussed York’s Civil War U.S. Army Hospital

During the Civil War, York, Pennsylvania, boasted a 2,000-bed U.S. Army Hospital with one of the lowest mortality rates of any military medical facility in the country. Less than 200 patients out of 14,000 during course of the war died … Continue reading

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York County’s Civil War questions: Part 3

A Northern Central Railway train steams into the yard at York, Pennsylvania, in this 19th-century sketch. The NCRW was an important supply route for the Union army and navy during the American Civil War, carrying thousands of troops, as well … Continue reading

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York Gazette described the Confederate invasion

During the Gettysburg Campaign, more than 6,000 Confederate troops occupied the vicinity of York, Pennsylvania, for 3 days and 2 nights (June 28-30, 1863). A few citizens left letters or diary entries concerning the Rebels in their midst, but with … Continue reading

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