Trainloads of vets passed through York en route to the Gettysburg battle 50th anniversary
In our last two Cannonball blog posts, we looked at the preparations in the city of York for the 50th anniversary of the Confederate invasion and the subsequent battle of Gettysburg. Scores of local Civil War veterans traveled to Gettysburg and were assigned tents in sections 100-200 of Seventh Avenue in the massive encampment off of Emmitsburg Road. Local Boy Scouts from York were among the many scout troops that have come to lend personal assistance to the old soldiers. Officials are making final preparations for the president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, to journey to Gettysburg for the official ceremonies. He will come through York.
We continue with the narrative from the York Daily of June 30, 1913.
Heavy Travel through York
Heavy travel to Gettysburg via the Northern Central and Western Maryland railways through this city began yesterday morning [June 29, 1913]. Three special trains passed through last Saturday. The first special train, made up of four express cars, two coaches and two combination cars, arrived at the local passenger station with members of the Pennsylvania state constabulary about 3 o’clock last Saturday morning.
The other two specials followed at 11:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. About 500 cooks, bakers and other attendants from New York state in eight coaches passed through York at 11:15 a.m. The other train was made up of seven coaches from Philadelphia, carried about 350 Boy Scouts.
The following special trains passed through York yesterday via the Northern Central railway: War veterans from Philadelphia, 11 coaches, 500 persons, 10:25 a.m.; New Hampshire Grand Army of the Republic, 10 coaches, 700 persons, 11:45 a.m.; Maine Grand Army of the Republic, nine coaches, 610 persons, 12:15 p.m.; Vermont veterans, 11 coaches, 500 persons, 1:30 p.m.; New York state veterans, five coaches, 150 persons, 3:15 p.m.; New Jersey veterans, eight coaches, 350 persons, 3:40 p.m.
40 Trains on the N.C.R.
Including today’s traffic, 40 special trains carrying organized traffic have been booked to pass through this city via the Northern Central railway. Arrangements have also been made for 35 additional trains for the accommodation of the unorganized parties. The Pennsylvania system in solving the traffic problem has arranged to have the eastern traffic handled by the local road. The trains will move by way of Columbia, York and Hanover, where they will be transferred by the Western Maryland road.
All of the traffic points north and west will be moved via Harrisburg and be handled over the Philadelphia and Reading railway and the Cumberland Valley [Railroad]. Announcement has been made that no special trains will be operated over the Baltimore division of the Northern Central railway unless the congestion becomes so great at Harrisburg that rush cannot be handled over the other two roads.
Assistant Trainmaster, S. B. Drenning, this city, of the Baltimore division, left last Saturday morning for Gettysburg and will remain there until the rush is over. George A. Farcht, yardmaster in this city, will act in the capacity of assistant trainmaster here until the return of Mr. Drenning.
The railroad officials have left no stone unturned in insuring comfort to the traveling Civil war veterans. For the benefit of the veterans, sandwiches and coffee for their refreshment are being provided at the Washington House, North street, just opposite the local passenger station. Another convenience provided by the railroads for the aged soldiers is the validity of their transportation tickets. Unlike the tickets used during excursions when a certain time is allowed for the use of the ticket, those given the Civil war veterans will be good at any time.
Special Trains Today
The following special trains are scheduled to pass through this city via the Northern Central railway today:
Pennsylvania Volunteer association, Philadelphia, eight coaches, 250 persons, 9:55 a.m.; Lancaster county Grand Army of the Republic, 10 coaches, 300 persons, 10:10 a.m.; Philadelphia veterans, 11 coaches, 500 persons, 10:25 a.m.; Rhode Island Grand Army of the Republic, 10 coaches, 450 persons, 12:35 a.m. [p.m.]; New York state official party, five coaches, 2:05 p.m.; Delaware commission, eight coaches, 300 persons, 4:25 p.m.; Connecticut commission, nine coaches, 500 persons, 5:30 p.m.
Among the visitors to Gettysburg from this city yesterday were: Dr. S. K. Pfaltzgraaf and wife, 442 West Market street; Dr. Charles W. Eisenhower and wife, 147 South George street; and Luther Bond and family, 476 West Market street. The trips were made in their respective automobiles. Edward Brooks, 625 West Market street, a Civil war veteran, yesterday morning went to Gettysburg, where he will remain throughout the celebration.
York S.V.R. Returns
Company A, Sixth Infantry, Sons of Veteran Reserves, returned home Friday night from the Pennsylvania brigade camp, at Gettysburg. The company spent an enjoyable week under canvas and all returned home in good health. Camp Gen. O. O. Howard was formally brought to a close on Saturday morning, but the York company returned home Friday night in order to avoid the rush expected into Gettysburg on Saturday. Major Smyser, commander of the Sixth infantry, formally closed his headquarters at the time the York company broke camp and together with the officers of Company A was the guest of Company D, of Reading, at a reception before leaving the field on Friday afternoon.