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Early’s Raid – Part 3

The old Gettysburg Compiler continues with considerable detail on Early’s occupation of Gettysburg and some information on the march to York County… we now pick up the narrative as it deals with a York resident’s brief description of the chaos on the roads leading through the borough as hundreds of refugees rushed eastward to escape the oncoming Rebels.

“M. L. Van Barman of York tells the following very interesting of what Early’s Division did after they left Gettysburg, when they arrived in York, and what they did there.
For fully ten days previous to entry of the Confederates there was a steady stream of farmers and merchants, with wagons, laden with merchandise, cattle and personal property of various kinds working their way down the Gettysburg pike [today’s U.S. Route 30] from our adjoining counties of Adams, Franklin and Cumberland and portions of Maryland on their way through the borough down the Wrightsville pike over the Columbia Bridge into Lancaster and Chester counties in great haste to avoid capture from the advancing Confederates.
The merchants of York had sent the greater portion of their merchandise by rail to Philadelphia. Many private families buried their valuables in excavations made in gardens and cellars. Everyone was intensely excited not knowing what was in store for them and greatly fearing the consequence of coming events.”
In the next entry, Van Barman discusses in detail the activities in York as the town leaders determine a course of action as the enemy soldiers drew closer and closer.