Be on the lookout for a young Civil War-era telegraph operator
North Carolinian John Mason is looking for information on an ancestor who might have witnessed the Confederate raid on Hanover Junction in June 1863.
Mason’s great grandfather, John S. Henry, began his career as an apprentice telegrapher at the Hanover Junction station in 1863.
John Trone was the best-known York County telegrapher who fled the Confederate raid or at least the one who left behind the most words about his adventures when the gray-clad troops invaded York County before the Battle of Gettysburg… .
Trone was in the Hanover telegraph office when he observed Lige White’s rebel horsemen chasing some men out of town.
He and William Stall figured they should hide the telegraph instrument and get out of town. Telegraph operators made prize captives.
A squad of raiders rode up to the back door of the telegraph office, and Trone and Stall left through the open front door.
Trone eventually wound up in Baltimore.
A short time later, he returned and fetched his instrument in a loft where he hid it.
White’s Comanches then headed toward Hanover Junction, where John Mason’s great grandfather reportedly worked.
The junction was a major rail intersection on the Northern Central Railroad but also served as a major Eastern Seaboard telegraph avenue.
I directed Mason to the York County Heritage Trust, that rich repository of material that is the place to start for anything historical around here. www.yorkheritage.org. Particularly, I suggested he access Armand Glatfelter’s books on nearby Seven Valleys.
If it happened around there, Glatfelter wrote about it.
If anyone has any information on John S. Henry, please comment.