Newspaper coverage of the dedication of the Dover Civil War plaque
This memorial plaque commemorating the Gettysburg Campaign activities in the Dover, Pennsylvania, region now sits in front of the local fire station on East Canal Street.
Background post: Old memorial plaque recalls J.E.B. Stuart’s occupation of Dover PA
An old Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article from November 1907 describes the ceremony in Dover to dedicate the Civil War marker.
This newspaper scan is courtesy of NewsInHistory.com, a fascinating new website that was reviewed in Cannonball recently.
The text of the newspaper article follows:
Tablet at Dover, Pa., to Soldiers’ Memory
Miss Mary Lanius Unveiled Shaft Where Union Prisoners Were Paroled.
York, Pa., Nov. 23 – A memorial tablet marking the scene of the paroling of about two hundred and fifty Union soldiers and other events leading up to the battle of Gettysburg was unveiled in Dover, this county, today, in the presence of several thousand persons. The ceremony was preceded by a parade in which nearly one thousand persons took part. These represented the Dover firemen and secret societies, as well as the secret societies of the city. Several bands of music were in line. A number of members of Yorktown Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, were present. One of their members, Miss Mary Lanius, unveiled the tablet. The opening prayer was by Rev. A. G. Fastnacht, D.D.; the address of welcome by Chief Burgess Gross; the historical address by Robert C. Bair, of York; the oration by Rev. A. R. Stock, D.D., of this city, and the benediction by Rev. M. Shultz.
W. Fissell was chief marshal of the parade. Prominent in it were Company A, Eighth Regiment, N. G. P., of this city, and the York Cadets, also of York. Miss Lanius and other women were received at the reviewing stand by the women’s committee of Dover, while Captain W. C. Kraber, of the York Cadets, Burgess Gross, and Marshal Fissell received the male visitors. The master of ceremonies was R. H. Bowersox. The tablet is of cast iron, copper plated and contains the following inscription:
“General J.E.B. Stuart, with three brigades of Confederate cavalry, commanded by Wade Hampton, Fitzhugh Lee, and John R. Chamblis[s], in all, 6,000 men, entered Dover the morning of July 1, 1863, the day the battle of Gettysburg opened. Stuart had been defeated by Kilpatrick’s cavalry at Hanover, June 30, and marched all night with a train of 125 wagons through Jefferson to Dover to meet Early’s infantry division, which had taken possession of York on June 28. After Stuart had heard that Early had withdrawn from York, he marched with his entire column toward Carlisle, and from thence to Gettysburg. Before leaving Dover he paroled about 250 Union prisoners who had been captured at Hanover and elsewhere.
Erected by the citizens of Dover.”
The committee of arrangements was composed of Captain W. C. Kraber, chairman; George L. Baublitz, Amos Swartz, Dr. J. M. Gross, George H. Daron, O. M. Stough, R. H. Bowersox and J. A. Moul.
It is interesting to note that the Daron and Bowersox families had lost horses to Stuart’s passing column, and Oliver Stough, 16 at the time of Stuart’s occupation of Dover, also played a direct role in the adventure. Postmaster Alexander Spangler handed the sacks of mail to young Stough, who galloped off to Rohler’s Church to conceal them in a stone quarry. Dr. Gross at the time of the tablet dedication was the senior physician in Dover. He had purchased the practice and office of his predecessor, Dr. John Ahl. The parole of the prisoners had taken place in the Gross-Ahl medical office building on the town square.