Civil War graves – Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church cemetery
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church meets at an impressive old stone church building that dates from before the Civil War. It is located at 6084 W. Canal Road in Paradise Township, York County, Pennsylvania, just northeast of Abbottstown. It is likely that outriders from Maj. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederate infantry division may have visited this area in late June 1863 during the Gettysburg Campaign; many nearby farmers reported losing horses to the Rebels.
The small cemetery has graves dating from before the war, back well into the 1850s (the church was founded in 1842). Catholic churches were not common in York County in the 19th century, with the largest congregations in York and Hanover. Country congregations such as IHM were few and far between.
At least three Civil War veterans are buried in the IHM cemetery among the 250+ graves.
James Moran was according to this marker a soldier in Company K of the 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry, a regiment organized in the Pittsburgh region. However, local tradition says that this is the actually grave of an artilleryman who died during the June 30, 1863, battle of Hanover when a caisson or limber he was riding exploded. No one is quite sure exactly who is buried here.
Michael Dellone is listed on this marker, with the bronze star grave marker from the post-war Grand Army of the Republic. However, no one by that name is listed in various Civil War databases, including state records and the National Park Service’s on-line Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System.
James Felix served in two regiments during the Civil War. Born in Adams County in February 1821, he moved to West Manchester Township in York County before the war and was listed as a laborer in records of the period.
He was drafted on Nov. 6, 1862, into Company F of the 166th Pennsylvania. Felix served until mustering out honorably on July 28, 1863, when his 9-month term expired. He was 5′ 10″ tall with sandy hair and blue eyes. In late February 1865, he returned to the army, this time as a volunteer private in Company G of the 74th Pennsylvania. He mustered out with his regiment at the end of the Civil War on August 29, 1865.
James Felix died on March 18, 1897.