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Guards at Camp Security: Andrew Anderson

CS-Anderson, Andrew15

Who were the men of the Pennsylvania Militia that served as guards at Camp Security? They could be your ancestors. About 1,140 of these York County citizens, the individuals that served from July 1781 through May 1782, are listed in Volume 2, Sixth Series of the published Pennsylvania Archives. Blake Stough transcribed these lists and they are on the Friends of Camp Security website.

My current project at the National Archives is to research and scan from the microfilm the pension papers of as many of these militia men that I can find. There no papers for the majority of the militia members—they didn’t live long enough to be granted pensions under subsequent laws, some of which were passed fifty years after the war, that would have made them eligible; they didn’t serve long enough; or, they just never applied. Some also mention that it was long ago and they are remembering details to the best of their ability.

The papers that can be found sometimes offer clues that might help us locate the components of Camp Security. I am sharing excerpts from the pension papers in this and future blog posts.

The passage below is from the pension application of Andrew Anderson. He was a native of Hopewell Township, York County and served three tours of duty in the York County militia, including three months as a guard at what we now call Camp Security. By 1833, when he applied for a pension under the Act of 1832 at age 72, he had been living for many years in Wayne County, Ohio. This particular segment is from a paper filed in April 1834 to supplement his 1833 application. I will be including parts of the longer 1833 application, which contain more information on the prisoner of war camp at York, in future posts.

Anderson attests that from September 1 to December 1, 1781:

“… this applicant served his said last mentioned period of duty at Little York, and at a Garrison near that place, that the soldiers built a Stockade of loggs in the woods, and put up logg Houses to live in, that the soldiers were on duty as a guard to keep the Prisoners of War, who had been captured by the Americans, that the Prisoners were kept in stockade at a place near little York in York Co., Pennsylvania, that they had been sent to this place from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that several of the British who were kept as prisoners of war died of a sickness or complaint that affected the British who were prisoners, but did not affect the American Troops at all, that the disease was altogether amongst the prisoners who were confined within the Stockade. That the Captain under whom I served was Captain Furry of York County and Lieut. Sinn, Major Bailey, Col. Davis.”

The Friends of Camp Security invites the public to attend a meeting at the Springettsbury Township building Wednesday, June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. for information on the archaeological dig planned for the site this September.

This link will take you to my many previous posts on the Camp Security area.