Stuart’s two-day ride through York County caused calamity for the citizenry. His division’s horses were exhausted from the long ride from Salem, Virginia, through Maryland and then the mounted fighting at Hanover, Pennsylvania, on June 30, 1863. Then, the weary columns rode north in an effort to locate Jubal Early’s infantry division near York. Hundreds of horses played out. Roving patrols of Rebels appropriated nearly every fresh horse they could find in farm fields, barns and stables, or hidden in woods and thickets. Other cavalrymen took food and supplies, and, at times, personal property.
More than four decades later, on November 23, 1907, Dover erected a metal tablet commemorating Stuart’s ride as a perpetual reminder of local history. More than 4,000 people attended the parade and unveiling ceremony. A York Daily reporter covered the events, focusing on a lengthy speech given by the president of the Historical Society of York County, Robert C. Bair, in which he opened with a discourse on why it is important to remember historic places and events.
Now, in part 3 of this series, we present Mr. Bair’s initial comments on the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and York County in particular, as taken from the November 25, 1907, York Daily. After setting up the historical context for the invasion, he relates an interesting story related to a group of professional spies sent into York County well in advance of the Confederate army.