York Town Square

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Part III: Researchers seek to give voice to York County families about Civil War

York countian Dianne Bowders provided these family photos of Civil War-era kinsmen that appear on the back of the recently released book “Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.” The caption for the two photos reads: “Top photo, Charles Roland, left, son of Daniel and Ellen Roland, stands at the Prospect Hill Cemetery gravesite of his wife, Sarah “Sally” King Roland, who died in 1906. Ellen Roland, right, (1832-1919) is at the grave of her husband and Civil War veteran, Daniel Roland, (1823-1905). Ellen appears in mourning clothes in this photo, circa 1906. Bottom photo: Private Daniel Roland is pictured in a tintype that has remained in his family and is now in the collection of his great-great-granddaughter, Dianne Gleim Bowders.” To more easily read the narrative beside the photos, visit “Civil War Voices.” Part I: Researchers seek to give voice to York County families about Civil War and Part II: Researchers seek to give voice to York County families about Civil War and The terrible Civil War spawned lasting York, Pa., community contributions

Scott Mingus started the Mingus/McClure “Civil War Voices” book project – at bookstores this week – with an e-mail on Jan. 30, 2010.
“I am collecting some really neat stories and oral traditions from York County citizens … as I speak to various groups,” he wrote. “With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War coming up soon, would you be willing to co-write … an anthology of all the collective stories that we may have between us?”
That was the seed of the idea to write a book incorporating oral histories about the Civil War that would be tied to that 150th anniversary.
Scott suggested that queries in the York Daily Record/Sunday News could tease traditions, letters and artifacts from families in York and Adams counties who are not usually plugged into the war.
His concern was that the generation who actually met Civil War soldiers is now in its 80s… .

Scores of elderly York countians alive today shook hands with former blue and gray soldiers in 1938, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
And this generation is the most avid keeper of many family stories about loved ones who served their country in uniform and on the homefront.
Scott said he always wanted to collaborate on a book-length project.
I was delighted to get the note, but it took me some time to commit, considering the rigors of working on such a project and some of the journalistic and historical projects I was then undertaking.
In fact, Scott could have jettisoned me after some hemming and hawing, particularly after I forgot about a breakfast meeting set to discuss the project.
But he hung on and I came aboard.
We put out the queries for stories in the newspaper, and a flood of Civil War histories came in.
And the rest, as they say… .
Scott and I had reviewed each other’s projects over the past several years but working with someone of his intellect and work ethic – he’s a research scientist – was gratifying beyond my expectations. I had to run and still fell behind.
One of the neatest parts of this project?
We became friends.
And “Civil War Voices” is a product of that friendship.
The “Voices” projects is coordinated with the Pennsylvania Civil War 150, the York County Heritage Trust and the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Colecraft Books, of Adams County, is the publisher.
The book is available at the York Emporium, 343 East Market Street, York, 846-2866, Bookland, South Queen Street, and amazon.com.
Another view
To see Scott Mingus’ Cannonball post about the book, visit: New book filled with fresh, new human interest stories!
On Facebook
Like “Civil War Voices from York County” on Facebook.
Those with stories about York County in the Civil War are welcome to send them to Scott or myself. They might be considered for future projects or publication on the blogs written by Scott or myself. Send stories to scottmingus@yahoo.com or jem@ydr.com.
Also of interest:
U.S. Colored Troops Civil War soldier John Aquilla Wilson died at age 101 in York County.
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