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

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January, 1777, when he enlisted in Gen.
Washington's horse guard in which he served
three years. In 1818, aged sixty-one.

Anthony Lehman, served in the Fifth Regi-
ment of the Pennsylvania line under Col.
McGaw, in the. company of Capt. Deckart,
from February, 1775, till January, 1777.
In 1818, aged sixty-five.

•Samuel Spicer, served in the Tenth Regi-
ment of the Pennsylvania line, under Col.
Hampton, in Capt. Weaver's company, for
about one year before the close of the war.
In 1818, aged eighty-one.

Christopher Nerr, served in the Second
Regiment of the Pennsylvania line, com-
manded by Col. Stewart, under Capt. Patter-
son, from April, 1777, until January, 1/80.
In 1818, aged sixty-five.

William Smith," served in the Second Regi-
ment of the Pennsylvania line, under Capt.
Watson from February, 1776, until the
expiration of one year. Being then in Can-
ada, he returned home and enlisted in the
Fourth Regiment of the Pennsylvania line,
commanded by Col. William Butler, in Capt.
Bird's company. In 1818, aged sixty nipe.

Martin Muller, served in Count Pulaski's
legion, in Capt. Seleski's company, for the
term of eighteen months. In 1818, aged
sixty- nine.

Ltidwig Waltmau. served in the Sixth Regi-
ment of the Pennsylvania line, commanded
by Col. Butler, in the company of Capt.
Bush, from the fall of 17 n for the term of
three years and a half. In 1818, aged sixty.

William Kline, served in Col. Wayne's
regiment, in Capt. Frazers company, from
December, 1775, until March, In.. In
1818, aged sixty-three.




IN 179(1, the General Assembly took action
in regard to the defense of the frontier,
the Indians having continued to harass and
disbress the inhabitants. A conference was
had by Gen. "Washington on the 10th of Jan-
uary, 1791, with the chiefs of the Seneca
Nation, Cornplanter, Half Town and Great
Tree, without much result. The troops un-
der Gov. St. Clair were defeated, and there
was gi'eat alarm. The quotas of the several
brigades of Pennsylvania, toward forming a
detachment of 1(1,768 militia, officers in-
eluded, agreeablv to the requisition of the
President of the United States, May 19, 1794,
were to be in readiness to march according
to the following divisions: Second Division,
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Miller, County of
York, S"22 men, County of Lancaster 750 men.*


The excise laws had been enacted for the
purpose of providing revenue, and laid a tax
on spirituous liquors manufactured in the
province, before the Revolution, and during
the war it was necessary, on account of large
quantities of gi'ain consumed, and of the
depreciation of the cui-rency. Resistance be-
gan in the western counties with the enthu-
siasm of the opposition to the British tax on
tea. The morality of making and drinking
whisky was not then questioned. Although
the Constitution of the United States made
all taxes uniform, yet the tax on one article
would be oppressive in particular sections of
the countiy. In 1791, a law of Congress
laid ?in excise of 4 pence per gallon on all
distilled spirits. Among those who opposed
the law were such men as Albert Gallatin
and Judge Brackenridge. Public meetings
were held in opposition to it and a conven-
tion of delegates met at Pittsburgh. Col-
lectors of excise were tarred and feathered,
and also those who undertook to serve process
against the rioters, who were called " Tom,
the Tinker's men," from the mending the
broken stills. The President of the United
States issued a proclamation enjoining per-
sons to submit to the law. The excitement
caused bloodshed. The State and national
authorities conferred, and committees of dis-
tinguished citizens were sent to the West to
investigate and negotiate. A call for troops

*IV Aicliives, K. S, 764.

Under the requisition of the President of
the United States, 5,200 militia were called
from Pennsylvania. The fourth division,
Lancaster and York, Second Brigade; Yorke
quota-22 cavalry, 551) officers, musicians and
privates. The whole detachment of militia
were to constitute one division, to be formed
into three brigades, to be in readiness to
march at a moment's warning. The third
brigade, York, Gen. James Chambers, 500
men. Cavalry Corps, Russel's, York. 1
colonel, 2 majors, 1 ensign, 4 sergeants, 4
corporals, 1 paymaster, 1 surgeon, 25 jHi-

York county, furnished, on this occasion,
a regiment of well appointed militia, and
two companies of volunteers. The regiment
was commanded by Col. Daniel May. One
company of volunteers was commanded by
Capt. Andi-ew Johnston. Of this company
Charles Barnitz was first lieutenant, and
John Greer, ensign. Of the other, (which
was a rifle company,) James Cross was cap-

Col. Alexander Russell to Gen. Harmar:
Yorktown, September 6, 1794. "Five hundred
to 10( •( I stand of arms and accoutrements care-
fully put into hands of select volunteer com-
panies would give new vigor to the troops
and cheerful compliance with a call.''f Sep-
tember 11, 1794. — Orders of Gen. Josiah
Harmar, adjutant-general of the militia of
Pennsylvania, on requisition of the Presi-
dent of the United States, for assembling the
quota of militia, drafted. The quota of
York County to assemble at Yorktown, there
to be furnished with arms, equipments and
camp equipage, and to proceed direct to Car-
lisle. Each company complete will be al-
lowed one covered wagon with four horses,
which is to carry their tents and camp kettles,
but to be encumbered as little as possible
with baggage, and every man is to carry his
own pack.^

Secretary of War Hamilton, wrote to Gov.
Mifflin, September 18, 1794, " that a detach-
ment of the troops of the United States, under
the command of Lieut. Daniel Bissell, is to
march from this city as an escort to a train
of artillery and military stores, intended for
the Maryland and Virginia Militia called out
against the Western insurgents. This detach-
ment will march through Lancaster and
Yorktown and from thence to Williamsport,
in Maryland. I have to request that your
excellency would be pleased to give instruc-
tions to the commanding officer of the militia
at York, to furnish a reinforcement from his



militia to the said escort, if Lieut. Bissell
should think it necessary, for the protection
of his important charge." This was com-
municated by Gov. Thomas Mifflin to Alex-
ander Russell, Esq. , brigade inspector of the
county of York, the same day. Gov. Mifflin
wrote to Gen. Edward Hand, on the 27th of
September, that he had " just, received a
letter from the brigade inspector of York
CouDty, informing him that he was in want
of rifles, and requesting that an order might
be given for putting into his possession from
fifty to one hundred of those which you have
contracted for in York "*

On the 29th of September, 1794, Secretary
Dallas wrote to Dr. Wales, of York, from
Yorktown: "The governor has I'eceived a
very honorable recommendation, for issuing
a commission in your favor, as surgeon to
the Marsh Creek troop of Horse, on the
Western expedition, and he directs me to in-
form you that the recommendation shall be
complied with upon our arrival at Carlisle, "f
A conference was held by the governor with
the brigade officers of York County, at York,
on the 29th of September.

On the 10th of October, President Wash-
ington was at Carlisle, having passed en
route through the upper part of York County.
He left there on the 11th for Chambersburg,
and went as far as Bedford, where he re-
mained two or three days. But the people
of tlie West had yielded and consented to
obey the law, and orders were issued for the
return of the troops on the 17th of Novem-
ber. X

THE WAR OF 1812-14.

The prosperity of the United States, after
the achievement of their independence, was
interrupted by the war between England and
France, during the career of Napoleon.
Those nations mutually declared each other's
ports to be in a state of blockade, which
closed them against American commerce.
The British government claimed the "right
of search" — to take from American vessels
the sailors they claimed to be of English
birth and impress them into their service.
The American people demanded " free trade
and sailors' rights," and the outrages perpe-
trated were so great that they insisted upon
a surrender of the British claim of search.
The Government of the United States refused
to negotiate on the subject, an embargo was
laid upon all ships in American ports, and
war was declared by Congress against Great
Britain in June, 1812.

«IV Archives, N. S., 321.

James Madison, the President of the
United States, issued a proclamation calling
on the militia of the several States. In
May, 1812, a draft of 14,000 men, as the
quota of Pennsylvania of 100,000 militia,
had been ordered by an act of Congress, and
Gov. Snyder had issued his general orders
for their organization, and volunteers from
all parts of the State had tendered their ser-
vices to the Government by the time war was
declared. This war with Great Britain re-
sulted in great glory to the American arms
on sea and land, as in the celebrated naval
battles of the Constitution and Guerriere
and of Lake Erie,* on the water, and of
Fort George, Lundy's Lane, North Point and
New Orleans, on land.

The war was opposed by the Federalists, but
York County was Republican, and it required
but the near approach of the enemy to rouse
their patriotism. This did not occur until
the summer of 1814, when the enemy inva-
ded the country by the way of the Chesa-
peake Bay and the Potomac River. The
City of Washington was captured by Gen.
Ross, on the 25th of August, 1814, and the
capitol was burned, the President' s house and
other public buildings, and then an expedi-
tion was undertaken against Baltimore,
which that ill-fated general boasted he would
make " his winter quarters, and that with his
command he could march where he pleased
in Maryland." When word of these outrages,
and of the threatened danger to a neighbor-
ing city came here, companies were speedily
formed and ready to march to its defense.

On the 18th of August, 1814, Gen. Win-
der, commanding the Tenth Military District
of Maryland, wrote from Washington City
to Gov. Snyder, that, " In consequence of the
arrival of large reinforcements to the enemy
at the mouth of the Potomac, I am author-
ized and directed by the President to require
from you, immediately, the whole number of
the militia of Pennsylvania designed for
this district, out of the requisition of the
4th of July last, to wit : 5,000 men. . . _.
The danger to the capital of our country is
extreme, and I am authorized by the Presi-
dent, without regard to the designated quotas
of the late requisition, to call such militia
aid as may be necessary. In the present
state of things, therefore, and the imminent
danger which threatens my district, I must

Elliott commanded the auited States Frigate Niagara, in that
brilliant engagement, and for his gallant conduct was voted a
KOld medal by Congress. It was from the Lawrence to the Niag-
ara that the celebrated transfer of the flag, inscribed '-Don t^give
up the ship," by Com. Oliver Hazard Perry, in the heat of the
engagement, took place. Com. Elliott subsequently commanded
thefarfamed frigate, Constitution.



beg you to call out and send to me, from the
counties nearest my district, either as volun-
tefsrs, or in any other manner, all the force
yon can detach." In consequence of this,
the Governor issued the following general
order :


Harrisburg, August 26. 1814.

To John M. Hyneman, Adjutant- General: — You
are commanded, in conformity to a requisition from
the constituted authorities of the Union, to have pre-
pared for marching, and to have marched to York-
town, in the county of York, the place of rendez-
vous, .5,000 men. Pennsylvania militia, from the
Second Brigade, Third Division, and from the
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Divisions, which detach-
ment is to consist of volunteers who have, or who
may tender their services of flank companies, in-
fantry and riflemen, who are to march in compan-
ies, and of drafted militia designated for service
under general orders of the 22d of July, last past.
which shall be organized into one division and two
brigades (if not as herewise directed), on the .5th
day of September next, agreeably to law, and con-
formably to the regulations prescribed for the Uni-
ted States Army.

For the command of which division, I designate
Maj.-Gen. Watson and Brig.-Gens. John Forster
and JohnAddams. The major-general and the offi-
cers and men under liim are to obev the commands,
and execute the orders of Gen. William Winder,
Commandant for the United States, within the
Tenth Militia District.

The troops may be marched from York, either in
division after organization, or in small bodies be-
fore organization', if it further the service, and Gen.
Winder shall so direct, and to such place as by him
shall be designated. The term of service to "be six
months, unless sooner discharged by the authority
of the United States.

Simon Snyder,

Oovernor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

On the same day orders were sent to
Archibald S. Jordan,* Brigade Inspector of
York County, to " direct such volunteers and
flank comjianies, as soon as practicable, to
march on toward Baltimore, or to such other
point as your information may enable you to
judge most proper at this crisis, without any
regard to the time fixed for the general ren-
dezvous, and direct the commanding officer
of each company or detachment to report
himself to Gen. Winder, or any other officer
commanding under the United States." And
on the 27th, on behalf of the adjutant gen-
eral, it was communicated to the same, with
regard to making arrangemeats to provide
provisions for the men as they shall arrive at
the place of rendezvotxs. All the camp equi-
page belonging to the State was at Philadel-
phia, and had been ordered to York.f

Among the general officers of the war of
1812-14, in the roll of Pennsylvania Volun-
teers, are the names of Christian Hetrick,
Brig.-Gen York, 1812, and Archibald S. Jor-
dan, York, brigade inspector, 1812.


■oni Hopewell T
ives, 2d. S., 714.

Volunteers at Baltimore, 1814. — Head
quarters at York, September 16, 1814. The
detachment of Pennsylvania militia, ordered
to rendezvous at York were organized into
four regiments and one battalion, forming
two brigades, under command of Maj.-Gen.
Nathaniel Watson. First Brigade, Brig-Gen.
John Foster.« Second Brigade, Brig-Gen.
John Addams.

The companies at York, in September,
1814, of the First and Second Brigades of
Pennsylvania militia, were from Leijanon,
Bucks, Dauphin, Schuylkill, Lancaster,
Berks, Chester and York Counties., and
companies of riflemen, from Lancaster and
other counties. These were in service from
September 1. 1814. to March 1, 1815.

On the 6th of September. 1814. Gov.
Snyder, issued an order to the keeper of
military stores at Carlisle, to deliver to the
order of Gen. Nathaniel Watson such number
of muskets and equipments as he may require
to supply the militia under his command at
York, who have been called into the service
of the United States. And also such a num-
ber of tents and camp equipage as he may
require for the accommodation of the men.*
War Department, Sfpti-mbcr 1M 1*11.

Maj.L.Marsteller, Qoakteum \ - ti i: i :i m.kal.

8ir: — All tlie arms which are ni I'lvd, i :, kiown
will be immediately transported lowmd niliimore,
reporting their progress to the comiiiaiidinu general
at that place, that his direction may be givcii in re-
lation to their final destination; reporting.also. that
the arms are for the use of the Pennsylvania troops,
marching from York to Baltimore. Should there
be less than 5,000 stand of arms at Freder-
icktown, the balance, to make up that number,
must have the same direction from Harper's Ferry.
The commanding general of ordinance has been
directed to send 10,000 stand of arms from
that place to Carlisle, the above order will embrace
a part of that number. The residue of the
10,000 you will have immediately transported,
one half to Fredericktown and one half to York, in
Pennsylvania. You will report to me your proceed-
ings under this order as soon as practicable. I am

Your obedient servant,

James Mon ROEf

The following in relation to "The York Vol-
unteers" who had marched in the meantime,
and participated in the battle of North Point,
fought September 12. 1814, is from Gloss-
brennar' s history of York County.

The "York Volunteers" were nearly one
hundred strong, and were composed princi-
pally of young men, ""the flower of the
county," and were commanded by Capt.
(afterward colonel) Michael H. Spangler, of
the borough of York. This gallant company
marched from York on the 29th of August,
1814, without any provision other than that

*XArchives, 2a.'*., p 7.34.



contributed by the citizens of the borough.
Immediately upon their arrival at the city,
they tendered their services to the general in
command, and in consequence of their respec-
table appearance and discipline, were solicited
to attach themselves to the Fifth Regiment,
a fine body of Baltimore troojas, under the
command of ' Col. Sterett. They were
marched with their regiment to oppose the
enemy at North Point, and. until overpow-
ered by numbers, fought with the bravery of
veterans. Notwithstanding the formidable
host opposed to them, they resolutely main-
tained their ground, until a retreat, thrice
ordered, became absolutely necessary to pre-
vent their being surrounded and cut off.

Two of their number were taken prisoners
and severely wounded, one very severely.
After the battle, and until the enemy retired,
their duty was of the most severe and arduous
kind, and they acquitted themselves in a man-
ner fully satisfactory to their commanders
and highly honorable to themselves. In tes-
timony of the gallant bearing of the "Vol-
unteers" at Baltimore, we subjoin the dis-
charge of Gen. Smith, a private letter of
Maj. Heath, and an extract from the regi-
mental orders of the brave Col. Sterett of
September 20, 1814.


September 20, 1814.
Capt. Spangler and his company of volunteers
from York, Penn., having honorably performed the
tour of duty, for which they had bfiered their ser-
vices, are hereby permitted to return to their homes.
In taking leave of this gallant corps, the major-
general commanding has great pleasure in bear-
ing testimony to the" undaunted courage they dis-
played in the affair on the 13th inst., and in tender-
ing tliem his thanks for the essential aid they con-
tributed toward the defense of the city.

S. Smith, Maj. -Gen. Commanding.

B.\LTiM0KE, September 30, 1814.
To Capt. Spangler:

Dear Sir— Hearing that you are about to dspart
from our city with your brave corps, I can not do
justice to niy own feelings without expressing the
obligations I am under, to you and them for the
promptness with which you uniformly executed m}'
orders, your readiness at all times to perform your
duty, and the cool and manly conduct manifested
by the officers and men under your command during
the action with the enemy oil the 13th Inst. May
you all return in health to the bosoms of your fam-
ilies, and long enjoy happiness uninterrupted.

I am. Sir, with sentiments of sincere respect.
Your friend and humble servant.
R. K. Heath, First Major, Fifth Regiment.

Regimental Orders— Fifth Regiment.

B.VLTi.MOKE, September 20, 1814.
Capt. Spangler's company of York Volunteers
having permission to return to their re.5pective
homes, the lieutenant-colonel can not permit them
to depart without thanking them for their soldier-
like and orderly conduct. The few days they were

attached to the Fifth Regiment was a momentous
period of trial— they not only had to face the dan-
gers of battle, but to bear the inclemencies of
weather, and suffer all the inconveniences of fa-
tigue, watching and hunger, to which the soldier is
liable in the hour of alarm — these were met and
borne by them with manly fortitude, which does
them honor and entitles them to the gratitude of
Baltimore, and particularly to the friendship and
esteem of the officers and men of the Fifth Regi-
ment, which are thus publicly and cheerfully ac-
corded to them."

Two companies marched out of Hanover
for Baltimore, in September, and were at-

! tached to a Maryland regiment participating

I in the battle of North Point — of one Freder-
ick Metzgar was captain; .John Immell, first
lieutenant; of the other, John Bair, captain,
and Henry Wirt, first lieutenant. These
companies contained from fifty to sixty men.
The following is a list of the officers and
men composing the company of "York Vol-
unteers," when that company marched from
York on the invasion of Baltimore — August
29, 1814:

^ Michael H. Spangler, captain; Jacob Bar-
iiitz, first lieutenant; John M'Cardy, second

! lieutenant; George F. Doll, ensign. Musi-
cians: John A. Leitner, Daniel Small, G. P.

I Non-commissioned officers: John Hay,
Adam King, Joseph Schall, David AV'ilson,
Charles Kurtz, Michael Hahn, John Kuntz,
Daniel Updegraff.

Privates: Peter Lanius, Henry Sleeger,
James Gibson, G. W. Spangler, Hugh In-
gram, John Brickel, Thomas Miller, Jacob

I Lehman, Jacob AViesenthal, Jacob Frey,
George Dunn, John M' Clean, George Holter,
Michael Miller, John Devine, John M'Anul-
ty, John Linn, Anthony T, Burns, Jacob Gart-
ner, Peter O'Conner, Charles Stroman, Enoch
Thompson, Henry Wolf, David Hoffart, Rich-
ard Coody, Jame.f Dugan, Andrew Kauffman,
Charles Stuck, Hugh Stewart, Jacob Lolt-
man, Jacob Sheiier, Peter Siers, Jacob Rei-
singer, William Burns, Jacob Glessner.Eman-
uerRaab, Jacob Eupp, Grafton Duvall. Sam-
uel Hays, George Beard, Christian Eshbach,
Joseph Kerr, John Taylor, John Byron, Dan-
iel Coyle, Jacob Herbst, Peter Grimes, Hugh
M'Cosker, Abraham Keller, Henry Mundorf,
G. M. Leitner, Walter Bull, William Ness,
Aaron Holt, Daniel Heckert, James S. Connel-
lee, David Trimble, I. W. Altemus, Thomas
Thompson, Chester Smith, E. W. Murphy,
Robert Pierson, Daniel Baumgardner, Fred-
erick Witz, Frederick Kircher, Jacob Noell,
George Ilgenfritz, Joseph Woodyear, Joseph
M'Conniken, John Fisher, John Gieay, Jacob
Levan, Jacob Stocar, Peter Cooker, Hugh
M'Alear, Sr,, Hugh M'Alear, Jr., David


Eauifman, William Watson, Dennis Kear-

On the 2Sth of November, Gen. Wat-
son, who had commanded the troops rendez-
voused at York, received the order of Qen.
Wintield Scott for the payment and discharge
of his division. He issued his orders that
the First and Second Brigades of Pennsyl-
vania militia, under Gens. Foster and
Addams, should, when mustered and paid,
proceed forthwith to York and be discharged.
He thanked them for their uniform good
conduct. "The men had borne the severity of
the wet and inclement season in their tents
with patience and forbearance."!


Texas had declared independence in 1836,
and was acknowledged an independent repub-
lic by the United States. That independence
had been achieved by American settlers, so
that it came asking for admission at the first
congress in the new administration, and was
made one of the States of the Union in 1S45.
The year following found the government
embroiled in a war with Mexico. Volunteers
were asked for and all parts of the country
quickly responded.

York county furnished her proportion of
brave men to carry the flag of the United
States to the halls of the Montezumas. Sev-
eral volunteers left the borongh of York for
the Mexican war, who were attached tu the
First Pennsylvanian Regiment under Col.
Francis M. AVynkoop, Lieut. -Col. Samuel
Black, in Company C. , Capt, Will iam A. Small.
There were nine of them and they partici-
pated in many bloody but victorious battles,
under the great chieftain. Gen. Winfield
Scott, from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico,
through the ba\tles of Cerro Gordo, Churu-
busco. National Bridge, Molino del Eey,
Chapultepec, Contreras, Huantla, where the
renowned Capt. Samuel Walker was killed,
and at the siege of Puebla, where William
Enrich, one of their number, was killed and
Jacob Danner died. Peter Ahl, Esq., was

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 35 of 218)