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

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on the third to the right of Cemetery Hill.
In February, 1864, nearly the entire regi-
ment re-enlisted, and after the veteran fur-
lough, was with Grant in his movement across
the James, heavily engaged, and before Pe-
tersburg. At Weldon Station Lieut. George
C. Stair was captured, and with other officers
made his escape through the enemy's lines.
Oliver P. Stair was promoted to captain and
made brevet major. James Crimmons was
wounded at Antietam, taken prisoner at Get-
tysburg and Weldon Station, and was made
first lieutenant in July, 1865. The regi-
ment was mustered out on the 13th of July,

In the summer of 1862 a company was
raised in York by Col. Levi Maish, and about
the same time companies by Capts. Hamilton
Glessner and Lewis Small, and a company in
Hanover by Capt. Joseph S. Jenkins, which
were mustered into the service at Harrisburg
about the middle of August. These, with five
companies from Cumberland County, and
some recruits from other counties, were
formed into the One Hundred and Thirtieth
Regiment, Henry J. Zinn. of Cumberland,
colonel; and Levi Maish, of York. lieutenant-
colonel; and John Lee, of Cumberland, ma-
jor. Company B, Capt. Glessner; lieuten-
ants, William H. Tomes, Henry Reisinger;
Company C, Capt. Jenkins; lieutenants, Benj.
F. Myers, William Bossier; Company I, Capt.
Small; lieutenants, D. Wilson Grove, Frank-
lin G. Torbet, Jere Oliver; Company K, Capts.
Maish, David Z. Seipe; lieutenants, James

Lece. John J. Frick. The regiment proceed-
ed at once to Washington, and was moved
across the Potomac. After the retreat of Pope
it was assigned in September to French's
division of Sumner's corps, and on the 16th,
but one month after its formation, was in
front of the enemy at Antietam, in the center.

The One Hundred and Thirtieth were post-
ed on the 17th upon the crest of a hill, with
a field of corn in front, and the enemy lay at
the further edge behind a stone wall. Com-
pany K was 100 yards from where the enemy
lay in the rifle pits. The regiment held this
exposed position for hours. " The shot and
shell flew like heavy hail, and the men be-
came deaf from the roar of musketry and
cannon." Gen. French said: "'The conduct
of the new regiments must take a prominent
place in the history of this great battle.
There never was such material in any army."
The officers from York County wounded,
were Col. Maish, Capt. afterward Maj. Jen-
kins, and Lieuts. Seipe and Tomes. Maj. Jen-
kins afterward was attached to the One Hun-
dred and Eighty-fourth regiment, and was
killed in November, 1864, in front of Peters-

At daylight on the 11th of December, the
regiment moved to within sight of the spires
of Fredericksburg, at night assisted in lay-
ing a pontoon bridge opposite the upper end
of the city, and on the following morning
crossed with the division and bivouacked in
the streets of the city, part of which was
still burning, and at night occupied the ruins
of a large brick building on Caroline Street.
The great battle began on the morning of
the 13th by the firing of the artillery on both
sides, and when the infantry was put in mo-
tion, the division of Gen. French was in ad-
vance, which was exposed to a terrific cross-
fire of shot and shell, but pressed on with
broken and thinned ranks until it was com-
pelled to fall back. Among the killed were
Col. Zinn. commanding the regiment, and
Lieut. Torbet, of this county.

Levi Maish was promoted to colonel on the
3d of February, 1863. When the command
of the army devolved upon Gen. Hooker, the
regiment was moved to Chancellorsville, and
it was engaged in the furious battle of the
3d of May, 1863, when Col. Maish was again

On the 12th of May the regiment was re-
lieved from further dut3\ The special order
of Maj. -Gen. French, relieving the One
Hundred and Thirtieth and One Hundred and
Thirty-second, said: "The General command-
ing the division takes pleasure in promulgat-
ing, in orders, their gallantry, soldier-liko



bearing and efficiency, during their entire
term of service." And after referring to the
great battles in which they had been engaged,
said: " Soldiers, you return to your native
State which has received lustre from your
achievements, and by your devotion to your
country's cause. This army, and the divi-
sion to which you are attached, although they
lose you, will always retain and cherish the
credit which yoiu' military bearing on all oc-
casions reflected on them." On the announce-
ment of their return a town meeting was held
for their reception, and on Saturday, the 23d
of May, 1863, they received a handsome and
hearty welcome. The bells were rung, busi-
ness suspended, a procession formed under a
military and civic escort to the United States
Hospital, where a collation was served by the
Ladies' Aid Society, and speeches of welcome
were made and responded to by the Colonel
in praise of the the bravery of his men in
their great battles.

In all great wars, as was remarked in not-
ing the events of the Revolution, the first
volunteers are not sufficient to the con-
duct of a prolonged war, and especially in
the recent war, carried on upon such an im-
mense scale, a draft was necessar}-. On
two occasions there was a draft in York,
on October 16, 1802, and in August,
1803. There were other calls, and partial
drafts, but, generally, on the announcement
of the quota for any district it was filled
either by volunteers or by means of subscrip-
tions for the purpose. Many took their
chances of the draft and went in person when
drawn. It is the experience of army officers
that men raised by this means are as steady
and efficient as any other troops.

The One Hundred and Sixty -sixth Regiment
was formed, in large part, by men raised under
the draft of 1862. It was organized on the
29th of November in that year, on the fair
grounds, named Camp Franklin, after Maj.-
Gen. William B. Franklin, with the fol-
lowing field officers: Andrew J. Fulton, late
captain of Company C, of the Eighty-seventh,
colonel; George W. Reisinger, lieutenant-
colonel, and Joseph A. Renaut, Major. The
troops comprising this regiment were exclu-
sively from York County, and proved them-
selves to be good soldiers. On the 8th of
November, the regiment proceeded to Wash-
ington, and from thence to Newport, and
nnder Gen. Peck, to Suffolk, which place
was besieged by Gen. Longsti-eet for more
than three weeks, who failed to reduce it.
While there, companies of the One Hundred
and Sixty-sixth were engaged in heavy
skirmishes with the enemy, and s

considerable loss in killed, wounded and
prisoners. Companies D and I had a severe
conflict on the 14th of May, near Carnsville.
After further service in the destruction of
railroads leading North, during which they
were exposed to the fire of the enemy, especi-
ally at Hanover Junction, while engaged in
destroying the Richmond & Fredericks-
burg Railroad. At the expiration of their
term of service, on July 28, 1803, they
were mustered out. The regiment left with
over 800 men and about 050 returned —
9 were killed, about 25 died, and others
were left sick at Fortress Moni-oe.

In the meantime, events at home gave our
people work to do; and in all cases when
called upon to furnish provisions or give aid
to the sick and wounded, they were ready
with abundance, and with sanitary help.
The Second Regiment of the Ira Harris
cavalry (Sixth New York) took up winter
quarters here about Christmas, 1861. In
the course of the winter barracks were erected
on the commons for their accommodation.
This regiment ha J occasion to express their
appreciation of the hospitable attention they
received from our citizens. Gen. Havelock,
a distinguished British officer, a volunteer on
the staff of Gen. McClellan, as Inspector-
General of Cavalry, visited York, in March
1802, for the purpose of superintending the
transportation of the New York regiment,
which soon after left us. The barracks
erected for them were converted into a mili-
tary hospital, in the course of the summer,
in which many hundreds of soldiers were
placed. The ladies of the borough formed a
society for the relief of sick and wounded
soldiers, Mrs. C. A. Morris, president, which
was perfect in organization and effectiveness,
and the attention, sympathy and aid afforded
by it have been gratefully remembered.

Great apprehensions were excited by the
retreat of the army under Gen. Pope, in Sep-
tember, 1862, and still further increased by
the crossing of the Potomac by the rebels in
large force, and the occupation of the city of
Frederick. In consequence of the reported
advance of the enemy toward the Pennsyl-
vania line, a meeting of the citizens of the
borough was called, on September 8, 1862,
and it was resolved to form companies in
the respective wards, and voluntary organ-
izations were thereupon immediately formed,
in the First, Second, TMrd, Fo urf h and Ffth
Wards, two in the Fourth, and an independ-
ent company being the seventh, called the
Keystone Guards, and a cavalry company
called the Videttes. The captains of these
companies secured 700 stand of arms


and necessary accoutrements. Places of
business were closed at 6 o'clock, to give
an opportunity for drilling, and to acquire
proficiency in case the companies were needed.
They were all mustered into the serivce
on September 12, 186'2, and were not
discharged until the 24th. The Keystone
Guards were fully armed and equipped ready
to march when the order to move was counter-
manded. The reception of the news of the
battle of Antietam, and the retreat of Lee
across the Potomac, quieted the country.

"lii June, 1863, our people were again
thrown into a state of excitement from an
apprehended rebel invasion. Two military
departments were erected and Gen. Couch
was given command of the eastern depart-
ment, and orders issued for the formation of
the army corps of the Susquehanna,^ but the
enemy moved with more rapidity than was
expected. Dr. Palmer, surgeon in charge of
the United States Hospital, received orders
to remove the patients and stores to a place
of greater security, the rolling stock of the
Northern Central Eailway was removed north-
ward, and citizens were warned to take care
of their valuables, especially their horses. A
large meeting was held on the 15th of June,
and a Committee of Safety formed. Maj.
Granville O. Haller, Seventh United States
Infantry, who was in York at this time, was
placed in command of military preparations
here by order of Gen. Couch. Gen. William
B. Franklin, U. S. A., was also present in
, York. These officers met in consultation
with the Safety Committee. Large bounties
were offered by the borough and county
authorities. A company under Capt. Seip
was organized and sent to Hai-risburg, and a
company of horsemen acted as scouts. But be-
fore any further organizations could be effect-
ed, the rapid movements of the enemy brought
him to our doors. They came nearer and
nearer, heralded by flying families, and
horses and cattle, removed by the orders of
Gen. Couch, to the east of the Susquehanna.
On the 2Gth of June, Gettysburg was occu-
pied by a large force. Ijate at night the
Philadelphia City Troop arrived with jaded
horses, and reported that they had been chased
several miles this side of Gettysburg. Maj.
Haller arrived at midnight, having narrowly
made his escape from that place. The enemy
were reported the next day, Saturday, at
Abbottstown. The troops here, consisting of
the Patapseo Guards, about 60 men, and 200
convalescents of the hospital and some
citizens, the City Troop, a cavalry company
from Gettysburg, in all about 350 men
(companies of citizens were not ordered out)

were at first moved westward, but it was

deemed that such resistance as they might

make would likely result in disaster to the

I town, and they were moved toward Wrights-

j ville.

I On the 28, June, 1863, the rebel army
j entered York. They marched into town about
i 10 o'clock, on Sunday morning, entering the
I west end of Market Street ; the church bells
had commenced ringing and the citizens
crowded the streets. jLadies on their way to
church stopped on thb porches and sidewalks.
The whole population soon thronged the
streets, and men, women and children looked
with curious eyes, mingled with undefined
apprehensions, upon the motley procession
of cavalry, infantry and artillery marching
up Market Street, the soldiers looking
curiously from side to side, astonished not
less at their observers than their observers
were at them. The people were in holiday
or Sunday costume, the ladies in all their
fashionable finery, and the men looking well
dressed and comfortable, in strange contrast
with the ragged and worn appearance of the
invading army.f These first troops that
entered the town were Gen. Gordon's brigade
of 2,500 men, who marched up Market Street
and on toward Wrights-yille. The Union
flag was floating in the center square and
was taken down and carried off by them.

Two regiments of infantry, with ten pieces
of artillery, followed, and with them, Maj.-
Gen. Early, commander of the division.
This last brigade took possession of the hos-
! pital grounds, the commons. Gen. Early
established his headquarters in the court
; house. York was the only place of anj' con-
I siderable size and wealth they had in their
I grasp. They saw the rich valley, and the
[ evidences of prosperity a'll around us, and
made their demands accordingly. Although
the men were restrained from violence and
citizens were treated with respect, the iron
hand of an enemy was felt. A requisition
was made for provisions and articles of cloth-
I ing and .§100,000 in money. Our prominent
: business men, by their efforts, partially tilled
the requisition, raising some $28,000.
Threats were made of burning the railroad
buildings and car shops, and prudence dictat-
ed compliance as far as possible.

Four- brigades were in York and vicinity,
; commanded by Gens. Gordon, Hayes. Smith
; and Hoke. The brigade of Gen. Gordon
marched to Wrightsville, reaching there about
6 o'clock, in the evening. The few Union
troops there retreated across the bridge, after
the exchange of a few shots with the enemy.
The bridge was fii-ed about midway, and soon


the whole was enveloped in flames. The in-
vading troops left hastily on the morning of
Tuesday, the 30th of June, between 4 and 5

There were some incidents connected with
the rebel invasion of the borough of York,
which gave rise to much excitement and mis-
representation at the time and afterward, and
as a part of the res gestae, as the lawyers say,
cannot pass unnoticed. Sufficient. time has
elapsed since the war, to view the proceed-
ings calmly. A visit was made to the camp
of the enemy, on the evening preceding
his entry into town, by the request of the
Committee of Safety, in order to assure the
alarmed citizens of the safety of persons and
property, an assurance which accounts for the
calm manner in which the presence and
control of a hostile foe, was viewed by
our people the nest day; and the flag, in
Centre Square, was left flying to show that
the town was not surrendered. It was
soon after replaced by another flag, presented
by AV. Latimer Small, Esq., to the borough.

The following is a copy of the requisition
made upon the borough of York by Gen.
Early, during his occupancy of the town,
also a list of the articles and amount of
money he received:


One hundred and si.xt.v-five barrels of flour, or
twentyei^lit thousand pounds baked bread.

Thirty-five hundred pounds of sugar.

Sixteen hundred and fifty pounds of coffee.

Three hundred gallons molasses.

Twelve hundred pounds salt.

Thirty-two thousand pounds fresh beef, or
twenty-one thousand pounds bacon or pork.

The above articles to be delivered at the Market
House on Main Street, at 4 o'clock P. M.

Wm. W. Thornton,
Capt. & A. C. S.


Two thousand pairs shoes or boots.

One thousand pairs socks.

One thousand felt hats.

One hundred thousand dollars in money.

0. E. Snodgrass,
Major & Chief Q. M. Early's Division.
June 28. f863.

Approved, and the authorities of the town of
York will furnish the above articles and the money
required, for which certificates will be given.

J. A. Early,
Major-General Commanding.

A meeting of prominent business men was
called, and a committee appointed to fill the
above requisition. After every effort was
made with unexampled labor on their part, a
sum of money and the following articles were
furnished, with which Gen. Earley expressed
satisfaction, viz.:

Twenty-two thousand pounds of beef, 3,500
pounds sugar, 1,200 pounds salt, 2,000 pairs
boots anfl shoes, 1,000 hats, 1,000 pairs socks,
105 barrels flour, and 300 gallons molasses,
3,500 pounds sugar, 1,650 pounds coffee, and
828,610 in money.

The Confederate army evacuated York early
on Tuesday morning, and our people were cut
oil" with communication with the outside
world and news from the ai-my until Tuesday
evening, July 2, when a scouting party of
twenty of Kilpatrick's calvary, from Hanover,
came galloping into town. The feelings of
our people were worked up into a fever of
excitement, and the scouts were received with
great joy. A collation was at once spread
for them in the market house in Centre
S(|uare, and as the hungry men were about to
partake of it, the sentinel on duty a short
distance down Market Street gave the alarm,
that a body of horsemen were approaching
from the west. The officer in command, gave
the order "to horse" and quicker than it can
be written, every man vaulted into the sad-
dle, and with drawn sabre and carbine in
readiness, were in line, eager to make a dash
down the street, upon the reported advance
of the enemy. The officer poised his field
glass, but instead of an enemy, discovered a
peaceable farmer coming into Bottstown, with
a load of hay, drawn by six horses. J'he
soldiers laughingly dismounted, and did full
justice to the viands spread for them by the
patriotic people of York. After ascertaining
that the army under Earley, had left this sec-
tion of the country the cavalry left for Han-
over, to join Kilpatrick and take a hand in
the bloody fight at Gettysburg.

The Committee of Safety of the borough
of York, organized in June, 1803, for the-
defense of the borough of York,. for the in-
formation of the public, published the fol-
lowing statement :

On Monday evening, the f.ith of June, 1863. at
the call of the chief burgess, a large meeting was.
held in the court house, which resulted in the ap-
pointment of the following Safety Committee :

First "Ward— Frederick Stallman, William H.
Albright, Gates J. Weiser.

Second Ward — David E. Small, John Gibson, E.
H. Weiser.

Third Ward— Thomas White, Jacob D. Schall,
W. Latimer Small.

Fourth Ward— Col. D. A. Stillinger, Gen. George
Hay, George A. Barnitz.

Fifth Ward— Fred. Baugher, Lewis Carl. Joseph

The Safety Committee met at 9 o'clock on Tues-
day morning, and issued a call in obedience to the
governor's proclamation, for the formation of mili-
tary companies to be sent to Harrisburg for the
defense of the State.

A company of men for six months was organized
in the borough, under Capt. Seip, and sent to Har-



aisburg, who are now in the service of the United

The.y also used every effort with the comraission-
■ers of the county to secure to every volunteer a
bounty of |25, in which they did' not succeed.
They, however, through a town meeting called by
them, on the evening of the 17th of June, obtained
from the town council of the borough of York a
sum sufJicient to pa}' the recfuired bounty, which
was accordingly done.

The committee further recommended the citizens
of the borough and county to form a company of
horsemen, to act as scouts. This latter company
was immediately organized, and were very service-
able to the committee in furnishing them with in-

Despatches were, from time to time, received
from Maj. G. O. Haller, Seventh United States In-
fantry, at Gettysburg, of the movements of the
enemy. Maj. Haller had been appointed aid to
Oen. Couch, and placed in charge of the defenses
here, and he frequently consulted and advised with
the committee as to the means to be used for the
protection of the borough. The committee met
twice a day, and all information received by them,
by telegrams or otherwise, was immediately given
to the public.

On the 23d of June, 1863, an order of Gen. Couch
was published, by hand-bills, to the people of the
county, '.' directing that all horses, except those' for
cavalry or scouting purposes, and all cattle, be sent
north or east of Harrisburg," thus giving ample
notice to all persons to place in security property
most liable to capture by the enemy.

On the 24th of June, reliable information from
Gettysburg was received through Maj. Haller that
the enemy were on the South Mountain with a large
force, consisting of infantry, cavalry and artillery.
The committee, at that time, not apprehending
anything more than cavalry raids in this vicinity,
issued a'call to the citizens of the borough to form
companies of minute men for home defense. To
effect this, places of business, at the request of the
Safety Committee and of the chief Burgess, were
closed at 6 o'clock P. M. The next day, Friday,
June 26, the places of business were closed at 12
o'clock, noon, and those desirous of joining mili-
tary organizations for the defense of the borough,
were requested to meet at the court house, at 2
o'clock P. M. A large gathering of citizens re-
sponded to the call, and the company rolls were

During the meeting, a dispatch from Maj. Haller
was received, informing the committee that the
enemy were moving upon Gettysburg with infantry,
cavalry and artillery, and urging the citizens of
York to organize and arm themselves, that perhaps
York County could be saved. A meeting of citi-
zens assembled at 7:30 o'clock in the evening, at
which addi'esses were delivered and the rolls again
opened. One company, numbering seventy men,
under Capt. John Hays, was organized.

At a late hour on Friday night information was
received of the occupation of Gettysburg and of the
retreat of our forces from that town. Places of
business were closed on Saturday during the entire
day. Notice of the rebels being at Abbottstown was
received about 3 o'clock in 'the afternoon. The
forces here were ordered out by Maj. Haller, con-
sisting of the convalescents of the United States
Hospital, the hospital guard a few men of the
Eighty-seventh Pennsylvannia Volunteers, the Phil-
adelphia City Troop,a volunteer company of cavalry
from Gettysburg and vicinity, and some citizens of
York, in all about 3.50 men. This force, about 6
o'clock, was ordered to fall back to Wrightsville,
leaving the borough of York without a soldier to
■defend it.

At the request of the chief burgess, the Safety
Committee was convened at half-past seven o'clock.
The following committee immediatelj' adopted the
following resolution:

Resoloed, That the American flag be raised in
the Centre Square.

The chief burgess informed the committee that
Mr. Arthur Farquhar, a citizen of the borough had
reported to him an interview with Brig.-Gen. Gor-
don, of the rebel army, a few miles from town, and
that he was authorized to inform the borough
authorities that in case no resistance was made to
the occupation of the town, private property and
unarmed citizens should be respected; whereupon
the committee adopted the following resolution:

Resolved, That finding our town defenceless,
we request the Chief Burgess to surrender the town
peacefully and to obtain for us the assurance that
the persons of citizens and private property will be
respected, the Chief Burgess to be accompanied by
such of the committee as may think proper to join

The following named gentlemen were appointed
a special committee to accompany the Chief Bur-
gess: Gen. George Hay, President of the Committee
of Safety; W. Latimer Small and Thomas White,
Esq. These gentlemen with the Chief Burgess and
Mr. Farquhar left town about eight o'clock Saturday
evening, and returned about one o'clock the follow-
ing morning. They reported an interview with
Brig. Gen. Gordon in which they informed him that

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 37 of 218)