York Countians open homes to ill soldiers – Series, Part 4
This old Civil War statue stands in Fultonham Cemetery in Fultonham, Ohio. Dedicated to the *Grand Army of the Republic’s veterans of that part of Muskingum County, Ohio, it stands watch over several generations of blogger Scott Mingus’s family, including a great-great-grandfather who fought in the Ohio infantry in the Civil War. Soldiers such as James Fauley relied heavily on the generosity of the civilians, especially early in the war while in training camps across the North and South. This was very much in evidence at Camp Scott in downtown York, Pennsylvania.
– The following excerpts are from ‘Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign‘
The York County spring of 1861 was wet and inclement.
“The soldiers suffered severely from rheumatism, contracted by lying on damp straw, and from colds and intermittent fevers,” York resident Mary Cadwell Fisher later wrote.
No military hospital existed at the time, and private homeowners took in the sick soldiers.
“In many households a meal was rarely eaten,” Mrs. Fisher recollected, “without one or more guests from the camp.”
The ladies of York formed a committee for the relief of the sick and wounded soldiers, with Cassandra Small Morris, the wife of druggist Charles A. Morris, as the president. She was the sister of prominent merchants P.A. and Samuel Small.
Mrs. Fisher later commented that the society was “perfect in organization and effectiveness, and the attention, sympathy and aid afforded by it have been gratefully appreciated.”
The intersection of George and Market streets in downtown York was a historic spot.
In 1777, Continental Congress debated and adopted the Articles of Confederation in the courthouse, which stood in Centre Square. By the Civil War, the old building was long gone, but the square was still the heart of York’s culture and commerce.
It also bore a visible sign of York’s patriotism. A pine pole was raised in the square between its two market houses. While that pole was hoisted, Judge Robert J. Fisher — Mary Fisher’s husband — and the Rev. J.A. Ross addressed a large crowd.
“After the addresses, a beautiful bunting flag was run up, the band meanwhile playing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ Edward Spangler wrote. “Since then a larger flag, 35 feet in length and of heavier material, has been attached to the pole.”
Horatio Gates Myers, named after the victorious Continental Army general in the American Revolution’s Battle of Saratoga, lived a relatively quiet life before the Civil War.
He owned a retail store in downtown Hanover and was married with two children. At the war’s onset, the 30-year-old Myers became a Yankee.
On April 25, Myers was appointed captain of the Marion Rifles in the 16th Pennsylvania Infantry, a three-month unit.
He suffered from exposure at the regiment’s campsite near Hagerstown, Md., and was left behind when the 16th returned to York to be mustered out of the service in July.
Myers died from typhoid fever on August 7, one of hundreds of York countians in uniform who died in the field or from disease in camp.
– Scott Mingus and James McClure