New Civil War book now available at the York Emporium!
The Louisiana Tigers were one of the most publicized (and feared) brigades in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Author Scott L. Mingus, Sr. has assembled many of the stories of the Tigers’ invasion of southern Pennsylvania (including York County) in this major new work from Louisiana State University Press.
Pleasureville merchant receives visit from the Louisiana Tigers
A Louisiana Tiger describes York
Loucks Mill was a major Confederate campsite
The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign: June-July 1863 is the latest book from long-time Civil War author, wargamer, and tour guide Scott Mingus. It includes a significant section dealing with the Tigers march into York County, the interactions of the soldiers with the local populace, their campsites north of the town of York, their exploits as they raided stores in downtown York, the “drunk pen”, and their perceptions of York Countians. Drawn from a myriad of contemporary sources including letters, diaries, journals, newspaper accounts, and similar primary accounts, the book contains many human interest stories and anecdotes. The book is now in stock and for sale at the York Emporium, the first stocking location in York County.
The York Emporium is located at 343 West Market Street (the Lincoln Highway) in York, Pennsylvania, just a couple of blocks west of the Codorus Creek. Call the owner, Jim Lewin, at 717-846-2866 for more information.
Here are a couple of excerpts from this new book, which offers the first sweeping narrative of the Louisiana Tigers in the entirety of the Gettysburg Campaign and has been called the “definitive work” on the brigade’s activities in Pennsylvania.
One prominent clothing merchant in downtown York had concealed most of his inventory. An officer from the Louisiana Tigers knocked on the door, and the old man responded that he had nothing left to sell. The Confederate offered gold for some fresh shirts, and the storekeeper opened his locked store and allowed the Rebel to select what he wanted. The Southerner returned to his quarters and declared to his men where they could obtain shirts. Several Tigers headed into downtown York, stopped at the old man’s store, and asked for shirts. The merchant refused to sell any to them for worthless Confederate scrip, so the Rebels pushed him aside and entered the store to check for themselves. They found the shirts, as well as a supply of aged whiskey and other choice liquors.
When the merchant refused to give them any alcohol, the Tigers locked him out of his store and proceeded to “indulge in a great spree.” Soon, a crowd of onlookers huddled outside his windows, peering at the commotion inside. The soldiers emerged with their arms loaded with large quantities of merchandise and asked the shopkeeper to tally the bill. They handed him Confederate currency, leaving him with a “rueful countenance, notwithstanding the assurances of the officers that the day would come when he would be glad to have some Confederate money in his possession.”
The identities of the Tigers involved in the escapade are unknown, but it is possible they were Private Thomas Benton Reed and some of his merry friends from Company A of the 9th Louisiana. He wrote in his diary, “We lay still today, and some of the boys made a raid on the merchants of York and got a lot of hats and shoes. I got a nice hat, which I was very proud of.”
Upon returning to camp, Reed went on picket duty. A group of Irishmen in Company E drank too much and soon became intoxicated from the effects of “Old Red Eye.” Soon, a brawl broke out in camp and one lieutenant was “badly used up.” Reed and other pickets finally broke up the fight and placed several of the brawlers under guard in the “Bull Pen.” The Irishmen soon dozed off and slept off the effects of the York County whiskey.
The clothing merchant in the above incident may have been Nathan Lehmayer, who later filed a significant claim with the Pennsylvania state government, citing the loss of 225 coats, 100 hats, 387 shirts of various styles and colors, 50 undershirts and drawers, 50 pairs of suspenders, 50 pocket handkerchiefs, and 50 pairs of woolen socks. The nearby clothing store of Lebaugh & Bro. was also hit hard, and owner Joseph Lebaugh is another possibility as the merchant who found himself face to face with the Louisiana Tigers.