A bug does what a bullet could not do
Henry Free was a native York Countian who served his country in the American Civil War. He enlisted in Company C of the 166th Pennsylvania, a nine-months’ regiment raised in York. Free mustered into the army on November 10, 1862, and was named as a corporal in Company C. The 27-year-old served until mustering out with his regiment on July 28, 1863. He returned to his York residence, married Matilda Hamme and raised a family, with daughter Nettie M. Free and son Henry Jr. They lived in downtown York. Free is listed as a laborer in census data from the late 1800s.
The Rebels were not his ultimate threat, however. He died in the summer of 1907, and his obituary was recorded in a newspaper in New Oxford, over in Adams County.
“Henry Free, a Civil War veteran of York, died from the effects of a bite of an insect on the little finger of his right hand Monday. He was working in his garden when he was bitten. His finger began to swell and he suffered such pain that a physician had to be called. The swelling settled in his right arm and side and finally caused death.
New Oxford Item, New Oxford, PA, June 6, 1907″