Remnants found of old mill once raided by Rebels
On Monday, June 29, 1863, Col. William H. French‘s 17th Virginia Confederate cavalry, assigned to Jubal Early’s division, paused in the New Salem area to raid area farms, mills, and merchants for horses, mules, and provisions. David B. Sprenkle was among the scores of North Codorus Township residents who were unable to remove their possessions and animals to safety before French’s Southern raiders arrived.
At one time, scores of grist mills dotted the land along most larger creeks in York County, Pennsylvania. Many of these buildings are still in existence as private homes, storage buildings, or other uses, but unfortunately, a large number of old mills have been razed over the years since the decline of smaller private flour mills in favor of national brands
French’s cavalry particularly hit Sprenkle’s mill near New Salem hard in the early evening of June 29, 1863, when a party paused to take what they wanted from the flour mill and outbuildings. Rebels entered Sprenkle’s stable and emerged leading away his prized 5-yr-old bay stallion, as well as seizing a 6-yr-old dark bay and a 6-yr-old gray mare. The Confederates also snatched a pair of leather riding saddles and two bridles. Some of the cavalrymen entered Sprenkle’s grist mill and took 125 bushels of mixed grain and 20 empty grain bags. They did unspecified damage to the mill equipment for which Sprenkle noted in his application for compensation.
On April 1, 2012, Codorus Valley historian and mill researcher Ray Kinard led a walking tour of the site of the old Sprenkle Mill on State Game Lands just off of Route 616 north of York-New Salem. Here are a few photos of the remnants of David Sprenkle’s mill and barn.