Why the Discrepancies in Civil War Records? SUMMARY & Part 4: Wrightsville Star article on Burning of The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
This series grew out of my post A Personal Connection to the Burning of The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge 150-Years-Ago. This week I’m delving into the slight discrepancies between the accounts about the bridge burning; especially focusing on the list of names in the force of civilian carpenters and bridge-builders employed by Robert Crane. The parts in this series include:
- Part 1 focuses on the Robert Crane report of June 29th 1863 and deposition of July 20th 1863
- Part 2 focuses on a section of the 1887 book “The Great Invasion of 1863” by Jacob Hoke
- Part 3 focuses on an article appearing in George R. Prowell’s 1907 History of York Co., PA
- SUMMARY & Part 4 finishes with a circa 1890s newspaper article in the Wrightsville Star
I first thought the following typed copy of a Wrightsville Star newspaper article was an edited version of Robert Crane’s report in The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 27, Part 3 (Gettysburg Campaign), Pages 410 & 411, Published in 1889 by the United States War Department.
This same text appears on page 22 of “Farthest East, Wrightsville, PA” a booklet by W. S. Nye and John G. Redman produced in 1963, in conjunction with the Centennial Observations of the Burning of the Bridge. Although the Bibliography in this booklet cites also Reports of Robert Crane, etc. in the Official Records: The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 27, Parts 1, 2 & 3.
I dated the Wrightsville Star article as circa 1890s, by the quote “The late Colonel Robert Crane …” appearing in the article. I discovered that Robert Crane died May 4th 1891 in Philadelphia, but is buried in Columbia. I assumed the Wrightsville Star article was either printed soon after his death or maybe the 30th Anniversary of the Burning of the Bridge in 1893.
The tabulation of variations in the force of carpenters and bridge builders is shown at the beginning of this post. The names in the first 14 lines are consistent, after taking into account spelling variations. S. W. Finney, in line 15, shows up in the Official Record and in the Wrightsville Star article, but not in Jacob Hoke’s book. I. C. Turner, in line 16, only shows up in Jacob Hoke’s book. Abraham Myers, in line 17, only shows up in the Wrightsville Star article.
The order of names in the Wrightsville Star article is shuffled versus the Crane’s report in the Official Record. That may be due to something as simple as someone at the newspaper might have been a descendant of Michael Liphart or John B. Bachman, etc.; so they shuffled the list of names accordingly.
Do any of my readers have any information on S. W. Finney, I. C. Turner, Abraham Myers or anyone else on the list? All these men would have been civilians in Columbia, PA during June of 1863.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts