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Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Rebels raid the Ilyes farm

During the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign, more than 11,000 Confederate soldiers passed through or occupied York County, Pennsylvania, the next county east of Gettysburg and Adams County. Author James McClure and I have discovered nearly 200 fresh stories from the Civil War from previously unknown letters, diaries, journals, family accounts, reminiscences, and other source material. These have been excerpted in our new book Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign (Colecraft Industries, 2011).
More than half of the stories involve the Gettysburg Campaign, with a focus on the interactions between the civilians and the Rebel soldiers.
Here is one such human interest story from Civil War Voices, which is available on, or from local York / Gettysburg bookstores, or autographed from the authors.

The John Ilyes farmhouse still stands along Water Street near Jacobus, Pennsylvania. Across the street is the foundation of the old Civil War-era barn, on which someone has built a dwelling.
A mounted patrol of Confederates stopped at John Ilyes’s stone house on Water Street, near New Paradise, later Jacobus.
They dismounted and watered their horses at a trough near the barn across the road.
One of Ilyes’s boys started to climb to the attic to shoot the troopers. Luckily, the father stopped him before any harm was done. After their horses drank their fill, the cavalrymen moved on without incident.
The cavalrymen were likely a roving patrol of White’s mounted men. Foragers ranged for miles on either side of the main column, searching farms for fresh horses and any supplies of military value. Springfield Township’s New Paradise was a prime farming area.
Springfield Township farmers Jeremiah Krebs and Jacob Bowman each reported losing horses that day.
Krebs’s encounters with the army were not over. This time, it was riders in blue.
On July 1, a division of more than 5,000 Union cavalrymen rested most of the day on his farm along what is now Route 616, feeding and watering their horses.
They took a ton of hay from his barn without payment.
Excerpted from Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign. Used by permission of Colecraft Industries. Copyright 2011 James McClure and Scott L. Mingus, Sr.
Photo by Scott Mingus April 2011 while visiting the site with John Ilyes’s direct descendant, Paul Ilyes, Jr. of the York Civil War Round Table.