150 years ago today in York County, Pa.: June 27, 1863: “The Confederates are here…”
“The Confederates are here and I guess I will pull up.”
With those brief words tapped out via telegraph from the railway station in Hanover, Pennsylvania, young telegrapher Daniel Trone relayed the message that after days of anxiety and rumors, the Rebels really had arrived in York County. More than 250 cavalrymen from Virginia and Maryland rode into Hanover on Saturday, June 27, 1863. Their commander, Lt. Col. Elijah V. White, led elements of the 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry into the railroad yard and then down through the main street while other detachments sealed off the roads. Telegraphs lines were cut, and Hanover was now isolated from the world and under Confederate control.
Later that day, Confederate flags waved in the streets of Jefferson, Hanover Junction, Seven Valleys, and Spring Forge as White raided southwestern York County.
In the afternoon, another column of Confederate cavalry entered northwestern York County, and Dillsburg became the next town to see enemy troops in their midst. By evening, a 6,000-man powerful division of infantry marched into western York County through several roads, pausing for the night at Big Mount and at Farmers.
Seven York County towns… all now had first-hand experience of seeing Rebel soldiers ride or tramp through their neighborhoods.
And, it would only get worse in the days ahead…
In downtown York that fateful Saturday morning, civic officials and leading businessmen met in the counting room of P. A. & S. Small’s hardware store on the northeast corner of Center Square. They could see and hear the throngs of terrified refugees who were passing eastward on Market Street, heading for the Columbia Bridge. The authorities were debating what to do when word came that Hanover had fallen. Young businessman A. B. Farquhar rode west to find the Rebels and negotiate for the safety of the women and children. He would locate them near Abbottstown and parlay with Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon.
Returning in the late afternoon to York, he and a handful of other leading citizens hopped back into his carriage and rode west a second time to meet with Gordon, this time finding the Georgia general at Farmers. In the tidy farmhouse of the Altland family, the terms of the occupation/peaceful surrender of York were finalized.
Well after dark, Farquhar and the committee returned to the square and informed the anxious citizens of the results.
Tomorrow would see the Rebel flag waving in downtown York.
Upcoming 150th anniversary events!
- DISCOVER – The community’s connection to national people and events:
- EXPLORE – An array of period artifacts, objects, and unique papers, documents, and printed items:
“Yes, our unhappy condition we must ascribe to our own follies and wickedness, which has kindled the wrath of God, and caused Him to send this bloody strife upon us as a just punishment.” – The Present Conflict of our Country by Rachel Bahn of Hellam, September 1861
- EXPERIENCE – The fears, sacrifice, and loss as well as the joy, pride, and beliefs of a community and its’ citizens who witnessed the war first hand. FEEL the uncertainty of a community invaded by a enemy army Before, the Battle of Gettysburg:
“Sunday morning Mother, Mary and I, dressed for church; all the rest expected to stay at home. Just as the bells rang, the cry was heard, ‘They are coming!’ Oh, Lissy, what did we feel like? Humiliated! Disgraced! Men who don’t often weep, wept then.” – Cassandra Morris Small letter to her cousin about the Confederate occupation in York, June 30, 1863
PUBLIC OPENING JUNE 29, 2013-FREE ADMISSION
Paddy Has Gone for a Soldier
Songs and Stories of the Soldiers of the Irish Brigade (Mezzanine)
Through stories and songs Mike Plunkett brings to life the experience of the Irish immigrants who became American patriots. His music is lively and engaging with songs ranging from old Irish ballads to Civil War era songs of both the North and the South. Mike sings and plays guitar, mandolin, and octave mandolin.
2:00-4:00 – Bonham House “Open House”
Walk through the elegant Bonham House and discover what the culture and wealth of high society looked like in the years following the Civil War. Costumed interpreters will offer highlights on the Victorian home.
Campaign I : Battle II
June / 2013