“Intense excitement” at Shrewsbury!
“The Rebels have come! The Rebels have come!”
As news spread throughout southwestern York County, Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon, June 27, 1863, that Confederate cavalry was raiding f arms and stealing horses in the region, hundreds of residents went into their barns, stables, and fields and made preparations to take their horses and livestock to safety. Some hid their animals in out-of-the way woods, ravines, or hollows. Others took to the roads in an attempt to make it to Lancaster County or deeper into rural southern York County, correctly (as it turned out) assuming the Rebels would concentrate their raiding to those towns and farms along the railroad.
This snippet from a period Baltimore newspaper is illustrative of the chaos and migration caused by the raid of Lt. Col. Elijah V. White and the 35th Battalion,Virginia Cavalry.
Lt. Col. Elijah V. White, CSA, led the cavalry raid through southwestern York County that created so much concern for the local residents, many of whom were then preparing for the summer harvest season.
“The quiet village of Shrewsbury, eight miles south of Hanover Junction, was thrown into a state of intense excitement about five o’clock on Saturday afternoon. At that hour, when people were not apprehensive of immediate danger, a cavalcade of people, with their horses and stock, wagons and such things as they could gather, passed through and announced the approach of the Confederates toward Hanover. Immediately the people of Shrewsbury got their horses and followed in the wake of their neighbors from Hanover. They expressed the determination to push on until they should get beyond the Susquehanna River. Some horses were brought to this city (Baltimore).”
Google Map showing the relative location of Shrewsbury (red star), Hanover (to the west), Gettysburg (farther west), and York (to the north of Shrewsbury). Baltimore is off-map to the south. Courtesy of www.google.com