Cannonball

Part of the USA Today Network

147 years ago today here in York County PA

Detail from the Virginia Monument at Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo courtesy of Becky and Mike Sterbank. For more of their marvelous photographs, please visit their Flickr site. used by written permission.
* JEB Stuart’s cavalry rides from Dover PA to Dillsburg, with Fitzhugh Lee’s brigade going on to Carlisle. More than 600 horses are stolen from farmers and residents in northwestern York County. None will receive compensation despite filing damage claims with the state. A vast cloud of dust can be seen hanging in the sky as the Rebels pass through Dover, Warrington, Washington, and Carroll townships.
* In downtown York, citizens are recovering from the three-day occupation of Jubal Early’s 5,500-man infantry division, plus another 450 cavalrymen under William Harrison French and Elijah V. White and several hundred artillerymen from four batteries.
* I. E. Avery’s North Carolina brigade has left the US Army Hospital where they quartered filled with lice. Men are hired to clean out the facility’s buildings with water hoses. They also must clean the local market houses.
* The First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry and their horses ride flatboats across the Susquehanna River from Columbia to Wrightsville, and then begin patrolling York County looking for Confederate deserters. They will pick up almost 100 of them in the next few days, amny of which seem to have congregated in the hollows between York and Hanover (the cavalrymen will be very active in the area around today’s Route 116).
* Union troops ride or march through southwestern York County en route to the Battle of Gettysburg, the sound of which can be readily heard throughout much of the county. Among the soldiers hustling through this county is Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine, who is destined for fame at Little Round Top.
* Confederate deserters break into locked houses, many of which are in the southern part of the county. Jacob Smeich is among the York County residents whose places are ransacked. The Rebels even break his wife’s looking glass.
* Hanover residents are still recovering from the June 30 battle in their streets. Many wounded soldiers are being treated in private homes and public places. Fresh graves mark where the fallen have been interred.
* In Wrightsville, residents begin to return across the river to their burned-out riverfront. In some cases, homes have been destroyed or damaged by the firestorm created as collateral damage from the burning of the world’s longest covered bridge under orders from Col. Jacob G. Frick of the 27th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia.