Part of the USA Today Network

How many Confederates invaded York County?

Old postcard depicting a Confederate cavalryman (from the author’s collection).

York County author, historian, and Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John T. Krepps recently posted a comment on Cannonball wanting to know if anyone had ever compiled a complete list of all the Confederate regiments and battalions known to have visited York County during the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign. That inquiry led me to take a quick look at Busey & Martin’s classic book Regimental Strengths & Losses at Gettysburg (1982 edition), in which the authors have painstakingly researched the best estimates as to the exact number of soldiers per unit in both opposing armies.
Using that source and others, approximately 11,000 Rebel soldiers marched or rode through York County. Note that this total is only the combatants, and does not include countless teamsters, personal servants, slaves, cooks, scouts, and others who are not on the actual muster rolls of the regiments or batteries.
Dover Township perhaps saw the most individual Rebels within its borders, as most CSA forces at one point or another passed through or camped there.
Here is a list of Confederate units that are known to have been in York County, with the major townships they visited (in a few cases, roving patrols reached other townships not listed, but not the main body of troops). I have also included the number of men in each regiment or battery as listed by Busey & Martin.

Early’s Division (Paradise, Jackson, Dover, West Manchester, Manchester, York, Spring Garden (later split into Springettsbury), Hellam)

EARLY’S DIVISION (16 guns / 5,743 men)
Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early
Hays’ Brigade (1,372)
Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays
5th Louisiana – Maj. Alexander Hart; Capt. Thomas H. Briscoe (209)
6th Louisiana – Lieut. Col. Joseph Hanlon (232)
7th Louisiana – Col. Davidson B. Penn (248)
8th Louisiana – Col. Trevanion D. Lewis (314)
9th Louisiana – Col. Leroy A. Stafford (366)
Smith’s Brigade (835)
Brig. Gen. William “Extra Billy” Smith
31st Virginia – Col. John S. Hoffman (280)
49th Virginia – Lieut. Col. J. Catlett Gibson (280)
52nd Virginia – Lieut. Col. James H. Skinner (271)
Hoke’s Brigade (1,305)
Col. Isaac E. Avery
6th North Carolina – Maj. S. McD. Tate (533)
21st North Carolina – Col. William W. Kirkland (454)
57th North Carolina – Col. Archibald C. Godwin (316)
Gordon’s Brigade (1,912)
Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon
13th Georgia – Col. James M. Smith (336)
26th Georgia – Col. Edmund N. Atkinson (333)
31st Georgia – Col. Clement A. Evans (269)
38th Georgia – Capt. William L. McLeod (343)
60th Georgia – Capt. Waters B. Jones (318)
61st Georgia – Col. John H. Lamar (307)
Artillery (16 guns / 307 men)
Lieut. Col. Hilary P. Jones
Charlottesville (Virginia) Battery – Capt. James McD. Carrington (4-12 pdr Napoleons, 75)
Richmond “Courtney” (Virginia) Battlery – Capt. William A. Tanner (4-3″ Rifles, 95)
Louisiana Guard Battery – Capt. Charles A. Green (2-3″ Rifles, 2-10 pdr parrotts, 64)
Staunton (Virginia) Artillery – Capt. Asher W. Garber (4-12 pdr Napoleons, 64)
Elements of Jones’ Brigade (detached and serving with J. B. Gordon’s command)
35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry – Lt. Col. Elijah V. White (262) (Heidelberg, Manheim, West Manheim, Codorus, North Codorus, Springfield, Jackson, West Manchester, York, Springettsbury, Hellam, Lower Windsor)
Elements of Jenkins’ Brigade (detached and serving with Early’s command)
17th Virginia Cavalry – Col. William H. French (274) (North Codorus, Jackson, West Manchester, York, Spring Garden (later split into Springettsbury), Hellam, Dover, Conewago, Manchester)


Stuart’s Division (Heidelberg, Hanover, Manheim, West Manheim, Codorus, North Codorus, West Manchester, Manchester, Dover, Conewago, Warrington, Washington, Carroll, Franklin; at least one patrol was in Newberry Township stealing horses).

STUART’S DIVISION (6 guns / ~5195 men)
Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart
Hampton’s Brigade (1,978)
Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton III
1st North Carolina Cavalry – Col. Laurence S. Baker (461)
1st South Carolina Cavalry – Lt. Col. John D. Twiggs / Maj. William Walker (383)
2nd South Carolina Cavalry – Maj. Thomas J. Lipscomb (209)
Cobb’s (Georgia) Legion – Col. Pierce B.M. Young (373)
Jeff. Davis Legion (Mississippi) Col. J. Frederick Waring (278)
Phillips (Georgia) Legion – Lieut. Col. William W. Rich (269)
Fitz. Lee’s Brigade (1,814)
Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee
1st Virginia Cavalry – Col. James H. Drake (350)
2nd Virginia Cavalry – Col. Thomas T. Munford (350)
3rd Virginia Cavalry – Col. Thomas H. Owen (436)
4th Virginia Cavalry – Col. Williams C. Wickham (616)
5th Virginia Cavalry – Col. Thomas L. Rosser (170)
W. H. F. “Rooney” Lee’s Brigade (1,328)
Col. John R. Chambliss, Jr.
2nd North Carolina Cavalry – Lieut. Col. William H. F. Payne, Capt. William A. Graham (163)
9th Virginia Cavalry – Col. Richard L. T. Beale (556)
10th Virginia Cavalry – Col. J. Lucius Davis (267)
13th Virginia Cavalry – Maj. Joseph Gillette (338)
Horse Artillery (6 guns / ~75 men)
1st Stuart Horse Artillery – Capt. James W. Breathed
2nd Stuart Horse Artillery – Capt. William M. McGregor


Jenkins’ Mounted Infantry (Monaghan, Carroll, Franklin, Warrington, Washington, Dover)
Jenkins’ Brigade (1,330 men)
Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins
14th Virginia Cavalry – Maj. Benjamin F. Eakle (301) – see note
16th Virginia Cavalry – Col. Milton J. Ferguson (301)
34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry – Lt. Col. Vincent A. Witcher (274) – see note
36th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry – Capt. Cornelius T. Smith (142) – see note
Note: Only the 16th Virginia is known for sure to have been in York County, although there is some evidence that patrols from the rest of Jenkins’ regiments may have also been in the county at one point or another.
So, the grand total is 17 different regiments of Confederate infantry (Early’s other three regiments had been left in the Shenandoah Valley following the Second Battle of Winchester), 6 artillery batteries (including two of horse artillery), and at least 18 regiments or battalions of cavalry.
Please share your family’s oral traditions and history about your ancestors’ interactions with the Confederates. All stories will be eligible for a drawing for a special prize in the spring – a selection of autographed Civil War books! Send your stories via e-mail to