Category Archives: York

10,000 Saw Civil War Reenactment on York’s Fairgrounds in 1906

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, as Civil War veterans aged and reflected on their service in the early 1860s, they erected monuments at leading battlefields, gathered at veterans organization events, marched proudly in popular Memorial Day and Independence … Continue reading

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Hospital patient accused of thievery at York bar

During the first winter of Civil War (1861-82), the Union Army operated a training camp for the 6th New York Cavalry on Penn Commons (now Penn Park) on the south side of York, Pennsylvania. Colonel Thomas Devin, later to lead … Continue reading

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Confederates camped around York before the battle of Gettysburg

In giving frequent talks and presentations on Civil War topics related to York County, one of the most frequent questions I receive is the location of the various Confederate campsites in and around the city of York. Sometimes, the person … Continue reading

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York soldier saved & inscribed old book in Virginia

The 87th Pennsylvania is perhaps the best-known infantry regiment from York County, Pennsylvania, where the majority of its companies were raised. Perhaps a close second is the 200th Pennsylvania, which saw hard fighting in the Army of the Potomac during … Continue reading

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Entertaining the Yorkers: Extra Billy Smith’s Sunday parade

More than 11,000 Confederate soldiers passed through York County, Pennsylvania, in the last days of June 1863 during the Gettysburg Campaign. Days later, most of the men, other than 100 or so deserters picked up locally by Federal authorities, fought … Continue reading

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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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