York Town Square

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York County Civil War nurse about Confederate invaders: ‘Dogs of war in our midst’

Mary C. Fisher, seen in the living room of her East Market Street home, arrived at field hospitals in Gettysburg soon after the battle ended in early July 1863. What she saw there shocked even this veteran military nurse.
One more thing about Mary C. Fisher, the seasoned Civil War nurse who helped so many wounded after the Battle of Gettysburg.
She made one of my favorite quotes from history, in describing the concern of York’s citizens about the Confederate occupation in late June 1863… .

“We knew not how soon might come a signal to unleash the dogs of war in our midst,” Fisher wrote, “and give your homes a prey to the invader.”
When my book, “East of Gettysburg” goes to its second edition, I might change its subtitle to work in that “dogs of war in our midst.” Now, it reads, “A Gray Shadow Crosses York County, Pa.”
That has worked, but that dogs of war imagery is poignant and powerful and communicates the hysteria some felt when the enemy walked York’s streets for two days.