York Town Square

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

Lewis Miller’s drawing of troops moving to York, Pa.’s North Duke Street train station early in the Civil War dominates the cover of a book coming out next year. Scott L. Mingus Sr. and I have collected stories and images about York countians in the Civil War, which just came out this week. Background posts: Invaders put off by earthy Pennsylvania women, Owner seeks info on old toll house and York County Civil War, by the numbers.

Scott Mingus and I have released a book about and from York countians in the Civil War.
The release of “Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign” came before the kickoff of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War on April 12, 2011.
Most of the stories and photos came from the scrapbooks and oral traditions of York County families, and they cover the home front and war front.
Well, it’s all hard to summarize, so we’ll let the blurb from the back cover do the work: … .

The border county of York and its people stood smack in the middle of things – where South met North – in the American Civil War. That war roiled York County from its tip near the Pennsylvania capital of Harrisburg to its 40-mile base at the Mason-Dixon Line.
Union soldiers moved to the South after seasoning and staging on county soil. Train cars dripping with blood carried many wounded and diseased soldiers back to a mammoth U.S. military hospital on York parkland. Thousands of York County residents donned blue uniforms, and untold scores died.
The war marched onto county soil in those terrible days before the Battle of Gettysburg. The four-day Confederate visit drained money, food, supplies and horseflesh. Soldiers in blue and gray died in fighting at Hanover and Wrightsville.
Gettysburg came next, and county residents gathered food and supplies to treat the wounds of battle, a short 30 miles away.
In “Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.,” Scott L. Mingus Sr. and James McClure use oral histories, letters, diaries and newspaper accounts to tell the stories of York countians in those bleak days, 150 years ago. They give a vibrant voice to those living, serving and dying in a border county in this most tumultuous period in America’s history.

The “Voices” projects is being 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, and Colecraft Books, amazon.com. Other local booksellers also will carry the book.
Another view:
To see Scott Mingus’ Cannonball post about the book, visit: New book filled with fresh, new human interest stories!
Those with stories about York County in the Civil War are welcome to send them to Scott or myself. They may not make it in this edition of “Voices” but 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.
– You can always search for York Town Square posts on Google.
Lewis Miller drawing courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust. Samantha Dellinger designed the cover.

*Edited, 4/4/11