Universal York

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Another Clue to York’s Camp Security

Researching history is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You take little odd-shaped pieces and try to fit them together to create a complete picture.
Along with others, I have been gathering information for years on Camp Security, where British prisoners of war were detained from 1781 to 1783.
Click here for background on Camp Security.
The camp was located on part of David Brubaker’s 280 acres, about four and a half miles east of York in the area of Stony Brook. That land has been subdivided since, with the two largest remaining parcels known as the Wiest and Rowe properties.
Some previously untapped sources have recently come to light.

For example, just today a colleague called my attention to the 1848 journal of Reverend William B. Raber. Reverend Raber was a United Brethren circuit rider, serving the York Circuit in 1848-1849. His journal was published in 1996 in The Chronicle: Journal of the Historical Society of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, edited by Milton W. Loyer.
Raber’s entry for Sunday, March 19, 1848 reads:
“Passed a place where there are a large number of graves. Upon inquiry, I was told that there are a number of English soldiers were kept as prisoners in the time of the Revolutionary War. Disease getting among them, large numbers died, and are buried there. Poor fellows, they came to fight for King George! The king of terrors slew them, and now their bodies are moldering in America soil. 10 o’clock: I heard a Methodist preacher preach in Green’s church (near Stony Brook). Afternoon; I spoke in the same house. In the evening I preached at Ehrhart’s paper mill.”
This entry confirms that a quite noticeable number of gravestones were still in place at the Camp Security cemetery in the mid-nineteenth century. It fits with other accounts of stones standing in the same area in the early-twentieth century until they were finally removed to facilitate farming. One more piece in quite a large puzzle.
Click the links below for more on York during the Revolutionary War period.
Congress invades York.
Artificers recruited at York.
Lotteries to finance the war.
Soldier runs off with another woman.
York County army deserter.
What Yorkers were wearing.