Rebels visit Dover – part 5
This covered bridge spanned Little Conewago Creek east of Dover, Pennsylvania. Photo from an old postcard.
Confederate horsemen were quite active in Dover Township visiting farms and mills collecting horses, mules, grain, and flour. On June 28 and 29, Col. William H. French‘s 17th Virginia Cavalry roamed the region, raiding more than forty farms and taking horses. Recruited in the mountain region of what had since become West Virginia, they were proficient foragers, and scores of York Countians were paid a visit by these troopers. At the same time, Major John Campbell of the First Louisiana Brigade (the famed and feared Louisiana Tigers) and a large contingent of infantrymen and wagons were raiding mills and nearby farms north of York, including roaming into Dover Township.
Bentzel’s Mill was among the many York County grist mills visited by Confederate foraging parties. The mill is on Greenbriar Road along the Little Conewago Creek north of York and east of Dover.
One of Major Campbell’s patrols of Louisiana Tigers were foraging in the Canal Road region well east of Dover. Manchester Township residents John C. Hake, John B. Rutter, and Adam Hake had taken three horses to a secluded field near Trout Run. The Rebels spotted them and, at gunpoint, compelled the party to surrender the animals. Nearby, the same group of Confederates took a 8-yr-old bay, a 5-yr-old bay, and a 7-yr-old bay mare from another member of the Hake family Another group of Louisiana Tigers broke into the locked mill of Josiah Myers, taking a wagonload of grain and flour. Other groups raided a score of farms.
French’s boys visited the Dover Township farm of Daniel Hamm, taking his horse and then loading shelled corn from his crib into an empty supply wagon. Benjamin Harlacher lost a 13-yr-old black mare, 12-year-old dark bay mule, 3 bushels of corn, a saddle, bridle, 2 tons hay, 10 bushels of oats, and a ton of grass.
During Sunday morning, June 28, a patrol of French’s 17th Virginia raided the store of George Fishel, taking his 4-yr-old gray horse, his entire inventory of boots, 3 pair of new shoes, 4 slouch hats, all his tobacco, 15 yards of calicoes, 10 lbs of coffee, and 10 pounds of sugar, as well as other merchandise. Fishel’s was not the only store in Dover Township to feel the economic pinch of trading goods for worthless Confederate money.
John Heimann had a prized 22-year-old Arabian stallion, one of the few in York County. One of French’s Rebels rode off with the animal, while others in the foraging patrol took Heimann’s spotted gelding, bay mare, and a dark bay gelding.