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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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Branch, and remained in service there until
incorporated with the New Eleventh. On
the 8th of October, 1778, the Colonel wrote
to Congress an account of his operations in
defense of the frontier extending from Wy-
oming to Allegheny. He asked for a Con-
necticut regiment to garrison Wyoming, and
said, "My little regiment, with two classes of
Lancaster and Berk's County militia, will be
scarcely sufficient to preserve the posts from
Nescopake Falls to Muncy, and from thence
to the head of Penn's Valley. Thomas Hart-
ley, Colonel Commandent on the Northern
Frontiers of Pennsylvania." t An unanimous
vote of thanks to him was passed by the Su-
preme Executive Council on the 10th of De-
cember, 1778, "for the brav e and prudent

»Custis' EecoUectioDs, p. 30-1-306.

Ylhe following is from Glossbrenner's History: Michael
Eurich (father of Michael Eurich, director of the poor-house
in 18-11-'''') enlisted in 1777 as a soldier in Col. Hartley's Regi-
ment for the term of three years, or until the end of the Revo-
lutionary war While he was on command at Wyoming, in the
ivinter of 17S0, his feet, through the inclemency of weather
were nearly frozen off, in consequence of which he was unable
^"L"i„„„i„ ti,P <P,'yice of his country. As Mr. Eurich be-
ue unable to provide for himself and his
i never received any donation land, the
of Pennsylvania, on the 29th of March, 1804, granted
.„ „,o „^..- the donation land to which he would have been
entitled, had he served to the end of the Revolutionary ■n;ar In
remembrance, and as a reward for his services, the J.egi!

came by this
family, and

'wife the widow Catharine Eurich,
umediately, and an annuity of $40 for life.
IV Archives, 8.

the i



conduct in covering the northwestern frontiers
oE this State, and repelling the savages and
other enemies; and that he be requested to
inform the officers and men, who have been
under his command, that this Council is highly
sensible of the difficulties and hardships of
the duty which they have performed, and the
courage and zeal which they have shown dur-
ing the last campaign."*


On the 16th of December, 1778, Congress
resolved that Col. Hartley's regiment, with
some independent companies of Pennsyl-
vania, be incorporated into a regiment, the
Eleventh of the Pennsylvania Line, to form
a complete battalion. This was styled the
New Eleventh. Col. Hartlej' resigned on the
13th of February, 1779, after the regiment
was taken into line.


In this regiment were the following men:
Joel Gray, resided in York County, 1818,
aged seventy-five years; Martin Blumenshine,
York County; William Brown, from Ireland,
resided in York in 1805; Kobert Casebolt,
April 7, 1777, York County; John Kichcreek,
Dover Township; John Snyder, died August
11, 1827, in York County, aged seventy-six;
Dedlove Shaddow, died August 11, 1827, in
York County, aged sixty- nine; was also in
Hazen's Regiment, Col. Hazen's Eegiment
was called "Congress' Own," because it was
not attached to the quota of any of the States.
It served during the war. Maj. James E.
Eeid in it was from York County, promoted
from Captain.


Independent Company of Artillery, Capt,
Isaac Coren; James Bahn, July, 1777, ser-
vant of William VVaugh, Sr,, of Hamilton
Township, York County, now Adams; resided
there in 1814 Patrick Dixon, York County.
Corps of Artillery Artificers, raised by
direction of Gen. Washington in the summer
of 1777; llaj. Charles Lukens, of York.
Col. Benjamin Flower's Eegiment; Capt.
Thomas Wylie's Company of Artillery and
Artificers. Andrew Patterson appointed gun-
ner, April 26, 1779; wounded in the wrist,
discharged after three years' service; resided
in York County in 1807. Invalid Eegiment
— John Eichcreek, from German Eegiment.
Second Regiment of Artillery — Col. John
Lamb, March 15, 1778. John Bennington,
Mattross, York County; John Johnson, Bom-
bardier, Fawn Township; John Kelly, Bom-

bardier, Fawn Township; Michael Kyal, Ser-
geant, Fawn Township; Samuel Laughlin,
Slatross, Fawn Township; Alexander Martin,
Matross, Fawn Township; James Eyburn,
Matross, Fawn Township; George Stewart,
Matross, Fawn Township. Capt. James Lee's
Company. Robert Ditcher, resided in York,
1818, aged fifty- seven.


Col. Thos. Proctor; William Bergenhoff,
resided jn York County, 1816; Frederick
Leader, in York County, 1834, aged seventy-
four; John Lochert,Du£fy's Company,1776-79,
resided in York County, 1818, aged sixty-


Gottlieb Morris, Surgeon, was promoted from
Surgeon's Mate, resided in York County in
1808; Leonard Bamagartel, resided in York
County in 1835; John Glehmer, resided at
York in 1828; Conrad Pudding, died in York
County in 1828, aged seventy-four; Philip
Shaffer, resided in YorkCouuty in 1828; Lewis
Shelly, died in York County in 1825; Conrad
Stengle, died at York, Pa., ante 1826. Von Ot-
tendorf's Dragoon Corps — Armand's Legion.
Owen Cooley, York, March 25, 1777; John
Eirach, York, March 9, 1777; Adam Brand-
hefer, York, February 26, 1777; John Michael
Koch, January 25, 1777, died in York County,


Frederick Boyer, 1778 to 1783, resided in
York County, 1835, aged eighty-seven. Mar-
tin Miller, resided in York County 1835, aged
seventy-one. Edward Smith, died June 26,
1832, in York County, aged seventy-six.

Pulaski's Legion was recruited chiefly in
Pennsylvania and Maryland. By a resolu-
tion of Congress, while in session in York,
March 28, 1778, Count Casimir Pulaski was
authorized to raise and organize a corps of
sixty- eight light-horse, and two hundred foot.
In 1779, the Count made York the rendezvous
of his legion, before his march to South
Carolina. In the assault upon the British
before Savannah, October 3, 1779, Pulaski
fell mortally wounded; he was carried on
board the U. S. Brig, Wasp, where he died.
His legion was merged into other corps after
his death.

During the stay of the legion in York,
there were complaints about the behavior of
the men, and the Board of -War directed en-
quiry to be made in regard to it. It appeared
that they had been recklessly foraging to the
alarm of the people.

A letter from Col. Thomas Hartlev to Pre-


sident Keed, dated Yorktown, March 17,
1779, says: " Upon my arrival here I found
many inhabitants much dissatisfied with the
determination of Council concerning the
York election. They thought it hai-d that a
majority of the electors should be deprived
of a Representative in Council for . ...
years. Thsy knew they had been as patriotic
as any; that the York district had armed the
first in Pennsylvania, and had furnished more
men for the war, and lost a greater number
of men in it, than any other district on the
continent of the same number of inhabit-
ants. At Fort Washington, only, they lost
300 men, not fifty of which have ever re-
turned (their distressed parents and widows
daily evince the melancholy truth). Yet in
a matter of such high concern as a Council-
lor, they were without a Representative. As
to the taking the oath before the 1st of June,
they were well convinced that more persons
had taken the test in the York district in due
time than in any other county, and .that many
who made the most noise had done the least
in the contest. They talked of petitioning
from the county; should that be the case, a
large and respectable number would appear
as signers. I have endeavored to reconcile
matters. I have recommended unanimity and
the fullest exertions of every individual to
support and carry on our Government. If
there are defects in our Constitution they
will appear. They can be remedied by a ma-
jority of the people on a proper occasion."

On the 1st of August. 1<S0, Colonel Will-
iam Scott who succeeded McAllister as Lieu
tenant of the county, wrote to President
Reed that he '-had paraded one company of
volunteers, and ordered them to march this
morning for Bedford ; but they are now to
set off this evening for Philadelphia, under
the command of Captain James Mackey, a
gentleman who has served several years in
our army and was recommended to me as one
who behaved with bravery. His sub-men are
Lieutenant David Conlson and Ensign
Philip Galacher, both of which have done
duty in the army some time past. The com-
pany consists of fifty men, exclusive of offi-
cers. The other company are not yet full,
and as soon as they can be collected, we will
send them also. 1 have this morning sent
expresses to all the sub-lieutenants in this
county, requiring them to call out the mili-
tia, according to orders.*

On the 18th of June, 1781, Brig. Gen.
Irvin represented to the Council that a num-
ber of spirited inhabitants west of the Susque-
hanna signified their intentions of equipping

*SI Col. Eec, 427.

themselves to act as light horse and volun-
teers. During the summer a company of
light-horsemen was raised, half at Hanover,
and the rest in Marsh Creek. The officers
were William McPherson, Captain ; Robert
Morrison, Lieutenant; James Gettys, Cornet.


On the first of January, 1781, occurred the
remarkable incident known as the revolt of
the Pennsylvania Line. It was an armed
mutiny, at Morristown, New Jersey, of about
1,500 soldiers, under the lead of their ser-
geants, with artillery, and hence it was for-
midable. It was occasioned by arrears of
pay, want of clothing, and of sufficient food,
depreciation of the currency, and a demand
for the discbarge of the three years' men.
They threatened to march to Philadelphia
and demand redress from Congress. Gen.
Wayne, commandant, behaved with great
coolness in the emergency. President Reed,
with surprising readiness, yielded to their
demands. In a letter to Gen. Washington,
May 17, 1781, in relation to the affair, he
said that before the mutiny the Pennsylva-
nia Line was " deemed the fiower of the
army," particularly the appointments. The
march of the Line to the southward had been
an object of great anxiety. During the in-
subordination, the British sent emissaries
among the soldiers to incite disaffection to
the Continental cause, but the Line remained
true, and they hung the British as spies.
After this, the Line was reduced to six regi-
ments of infantry, one of artillery, one of
cavalry, and one of artificers. They came to
York in May, and marched on the 26th of
that month, under Gen. Wayne, through Lit-
tlestown and Frederick, southward, with 800
effective men.

In February, 1781, orders were given for
the rendezvousing of the Pennsylvania troops
under Gen. Wayne, at York, previous to join-
ing the Southern army under Gen. Greene.
The delay of the State Auditors, who were
appointed to settle and pay the proportion of
the depreciation due the troops, caused some
little trouble, but by the 7th of June this
force, amounting to only 1,100 formed a
junction with Lafayette.

From the journal of Captain Joseph Mc-
Clellan, May 26, 1781: Marched from York
at 9, A. M., under the command of Gen.
Wayne, and encamped eleven miles on the
road to Fredericktown, (with about 800 effec-
tive men.)

May 27th. The general beat at daylight,
and the troops took up the line of march at


sunrise, and halted near Peter Little's town,
it being fourteen miles.

From there they continued the march
through Taneytown to the Monocacy, and
"passed through Fredericktown about 8,
where was a number of British oflieers, pris-
oners, who took a view of us as we passed
through the town."

" On June 10th they formed a part of the
Marquis de Lafayette's troops.about 11 o'clock,
and arrived about the 12th of September in
the neighborhood of Yorktown."

The regiments of the Pennsylvania Line
were reduced to six, January 1, 1781, and re-
enlisted. On the 5th of April, 1781, orders
were issued for a detachment of the six regi-
ments to hold themselves in readiness to
march to York, Pa., immediately. The pro-
portion of officers and men each regiment
was to furnish, will be found in Gen. St.
Clair's order (Penn'a Arch. O. S. Vol. IX,
page 60). It was to amount to 960 men
besides officers. Lieut. -Col. Robinson, of
the First ; Col. Walter Stewart, of the Sec-
ond ; Lieut.-Col. Harmar, of the Third ; Col.
Richard Butler of the Fifth, and Col. Hump-
ton of the Sixth.

When Wayne was about leaving York,
May 26, 1781, there was some insubordina-
tion, which he promptly quelled by shooting
down the offenders.*


Headquarters, PntLADELPHiA, April 5, 1781.

A detachment of the Pennsylvania Line to hold
themselves in readiness to march to and assemble
at Yorktown immediately.

First and Second Regiments are to form
One Battalion, 8 comp. of 40 R. & Pile each 320 men.
Third & Fifth Do. One Battalion 320 men.

Fourth & Si.xth Do. One Battalion 320 men.

By Order Majr.-Gen. St. Clair.

Joseph H.\rmar, Lt.-Col.

General Wayne wrote to President Reed :
Yorktown, 26th May, 1781.

Dear Sir: I steal a moment whilst the troops
are marching thro' the town to acknowledge your
favor of the 21st Instant and to thank you for the
inclosed intelligence. We have a rumor this
moment from Baltimore that Genl. Philips and
Lord Cornwallis have formed a junction in Virginia,
which is very probable, as they were but Eighty
miles apart yesterday two weeks. I am happy to
Inform you that harmony and Discipline again per-
vade the Line — to which a prompt and exemplary
punishment was a painful tho' necessary prelude.
I must beg leave to refer you to Genl. Irvine for
particulars who can precure a Return of the Detach-
ment from the Board of War if necessary.

Permit me to wish you all happiness, & believe
me yours most sincerely,

Anthony Wayne.

In Major Denny's Journal,* is the follow-
ing :

Carli.sle, May 1st, 1781.

The Pennsylvania Line, after the revolt and dis-
charge of the men, last winter, were reduced lo six
regiments ; the officers ordered to different towns
in the state to recruit. An appointment of Ensign
in the 7th had been obtained for me in August lak;
the 7th and 4th were incorporated, and. under com-
mand of Lieut.-Col. Comt. William Butler, rendez-
voused at this place— companies now about half full.
The ejlective men were formed into four companies,
and marched to Little York ; I was arranged to one
of the marching companies, Samuel Montgomery,
Captain, and George Bluer, Lieutenant. All the
recruits, fit for service, from the different stations,
were brought to York, formed into two regiments
of eight companies each, destined for the State of
Virginia. A few days spent in equipping, etc., and
for the trial of soldiers charged with mutinj-, Gen-
eral Anthony Wayne, the commanding officer, influ-
enced no doubt by the experience of the revolt
last winter, expresses a determination to punish
with the utmost rigor, every case of mutiny or dis-
obedience. A general court martial continued sit-
ting several days ; twenty odd prisoners brought
before them ; seven were sentenced to die. the
regimentsparaded in the evening earlier than usual ;
orders passed to the officers along the line to put to
death instantly any man who stirred from his rank.
In front of the parade, the ground rose and de-
scended again, and at the distance of about 300
yards over this rising ground, the prisoners were
escorted by a Captain's guard ; heard the fire of one
platoon, and immediately a smaller one, when the
regiments wheeled by companies, and marched
round by the place of execution. This was an
awful exhibition. The seven objects were seen by
the troops just as they had sunk or fell under the
fire. The sight must have made an impression on

Provisions for transporting baggage, etc.. and
other necessary preparations, commenced our
march for Virginia ; the weather pleasant and the
roads tolerably good. Passed through Frederick
Town (Maryland), where were some British prison-
ers quartered, they turned out to see us. Next
day reached the Potomac ; here we were detaineil
for want of craft — boats few and in bad condition.
The artillery passed over first (a battalion of artil-
lery accompanied the brigade). The second flat-boat
hadleft the shore about forty yards, when the whole
sunk. Several women were on board, but as hun-
dreds of men were on the bank, relief soon reached
them ; none were lost— got all over. Proceeded a
few miles and encamped. Struck our tents every
morning before day. About 8 or 9 o'clock, as we
found water, a short halt was made ; the water-call
beat, parties, six or eight from each company, con-
ducted by a non-commissioned officer, with can-
teens fetched water. Seldom allowed to eat until
12 o'clock, when the arms were stacked, knapsacks
taken off and water sent for by parties as before.
Officers of a company generally messed together,
sometimes more ; one of their servants carried
cooked provisions for the daj-, no cooking until
nisht. Not acquainted with the country on our
route, but understood that we w. re marching much
about — very circuitous— keeping off the Blue Rid,>:e
close on our right. Tliis to avoid the enemy and
secure our junction with the Marquis Lafayette.

In -'The Yorktown Campaign," is the fol-
lowino- : "The delay in the arrival of Wayne

.Joined the First rennsylv

I Kegi]



and his corps was to be referred mainly to
these common and vexing causes which had
embarrased American operations from the
beginning of the war — lack of supplies, quar-
ter-master's stores especially, and unsat-
istied pay-rolls. This officer had been ordered
southwai-d in February, but could not leave
until May. His force, composed of the
greater part of the Pennsylvania line, as
reorganized since its mutiny in January, con-
sisted of three regiments — in all a thousand
men — commanded by the brave and experi-
enced Colonels, Richard Butler, Walter
Stewart, and Richard Hampton. Nine offi-
cers and ninety men. with six field pieces,
from Proctor' s Fourth Continental Artillery,
completed the detachment. Nor, when all
was in readiness, were the men to leave in
the best of humor. They had recently been
paid off in the current notes without their
depreciated value added, and dissatisfaction
at once ran high. Certain leaders went so
far as to manifest the old dangerous spirit
of insubordination, which called for and
received prompt and effective treatment. A
drum-head court- marshal was held in camp,
and seven of their number tried and executed.
This disturbance quelled, the troops left
York, Pennsylvania, in the morning of May
"28, 1781, and on the 3t)th were at Frederick,
Maryland. There, in reply to urgent letters
to push on to Virginia, Wayne wrote as fol-
lows to Lafayett: "I well know the necessity
of an immediate junction, and beg leave to
assure you that our anxiety for that event is
equal to your wishes ; may it be speedy and
propitious. I wish our numbers were some
thing more ; however, we must endeavor to
stem this torrent ; and if we have it not in our
power to command success, I trust, my dear
Marquis, that we shall produce a conviction to
the world that we deserve it.''


In 1781, an act of Congress directed that
the British convention of prisoners in Mary-
land and Virginia be removed to Yorktown,
Pennsylvania, from fear of rescue by Corn-
wallis, and the York county militia were
orderd out to guard them. It appears by a
letter from President Reed to William Scott,
lieutenant of this county, June 28, 1781, that
these prisoners were ordered to be placed in
huts near York.* Four and a half miles east
of town, in Windsor Township, about twenty
acres of woodland were cleared and cultivated
by them, surrounded by a picket fence fifteen

«Col, James Wood wrote from Lancaster, on the 30th of June,
f.Sl, that he intended to "hut" the prisoners near York ; and
subsequently a spot four and a half miles east of the town was

! feet high. The huts were mostly of stone.
Some of the timber of the fence and stones of
the huts yet remain. While there a plague
of some kind broke out among them, and a
large number of them died. Their graves are
still visible, marked with stones. Until
within some thirty years past, a scaffold, con-
sisting of two trees cut off, with a cross piece,
was standing there. The story told, is that
one night a party, supposed to be marauders,
came to the house of William Morgan, (one of
the family of that name said to have been the
only English one that settled in Kreutz Creek
valley,) and called for something to eat.
Morgan perceiving that the}^ were Hes-
sians, shut the door upon them ; whereupon
they fired through the door, wounding him,
and then left. A neighbor rode to camp and
gave information of the occurrence to the offi-
cer in charge. The roll being called it was
readily found ovit who were missing ; and
on the return of the party they were court-mar-
tialed and hung.

England did not carry on the war for the
subjugation of the American Colonies alto
gether with her own soldiers, but employeti
mercenaries, known to us as Hessians. The
profession of a soldier has always been held
honorable, and is none the less so because
he receives pay. He is under obligation to
give his life, if need be, to the government
that employs him, and is authorized by the
law of nations to take life in open war. It
is not the pay of the individual soldier that
makes him a mercenary; it is the hire of his
services by his sovereign to another poten-
tate. The price of such hire in the case of
the Hessians who were engaged to fight our
people was enormous. The Landgrave of
Hesse- Cassel kept up a splendid court on the
price he received from the British Govern-
ment, some §15,000,000, for the hire of 20,-
I 000 soldiers and upward.
I From time to time during the war large
I numbers of prisoners, principally Hessians,
I were brought to York, under the escort of the
j militia. In individual instances, by per-
I mission of the Council of Safety or the Board
I of War, prisoners were discharged on parole
t and allowed to take up 'a residence from
choice; and some Hessians settled in York
■ County.

By the convention made at the surrender
of Burgoyne to Gates, several thousand pris-
oners fell into the hands of the Americans,
called the "convention prisoners." The
militia of the several counties, Philadelphia,
Bucks, Chester, Lancaster and York, were
ordered to escort them through the limits of
each county, the York County militia being


ordered to meet them at Wright's Ferry.
But by subsequent arrangemonts these pris-
ODers passed, under escort of Continental
troops, through York and Hanover to Fred-
erick, Md. "Wherever the Hessian prisoners
passed, the people thronged to see these ter-
rible beings, and they were hooted as hire-
lings to the trade of blood. Some of them
were men of education and intelligence, who
published accounts of their experience in the
American war. They tell in particular of
the scoldings they received from the women
for coming to rob them of their liberty. Gen.
Washington had to cause notices to be put
up through the country that they "were in-
nocent of tlie war and had joined in it not
of free will, but through compulsion.''*

In Lieut. Anberry'sf " Travels in Amer-
ica" is the following:

Fredeeicktown, in Maryland, )
December 25, 1778. \

My Dear Friend :

After we left Lancaster, we crossed the Susque-
bannah, which, though a large, broad and beautiful
river, is extremely dangerous on account of the
rapidity of the current and innumerable small
rocks that just make their appearance above the
surface; in crossing it we were not without our
fears, for a scow belonging to the Second Brigade,
in whicli Lord Torphinchin and a number of officers
and soldiers of the Twenty-first Regiment was near
being lost by striking on one of these rooks. This
river falls into the Chesapeake, and forms the head
of that vast water, which, though one of the largest
and most beautiful rivers in America, is the least
useful, as it is not navigable above twelve or fifteen
miles at the farthest, and above that scarcely so for
canoes; the^utility of this river would be great if
the navigation, even for canoes, was practicable, as
the source of the last branch of this river in the
Mohawli country, and from thence to the mouth in

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 33 of 218)