Tomb of unknown soldier in York, too
This headstone marks the spot of a Yankee soldier in Prospect Hill Cemetery. It’s taken from the York County Heritage Trust’s “A Walking Tour of Civil War-Era Residents.”
The story of an unknown Union soldier originally interred at Emig’s Grove Camp Meeting grounds, south of Mount Wolf, raises questions on occasion, including one last week from a reader.
He quoted historian John Gibson: “In one corner of the grounds, in a secluded spot, is a mysterious tomb of a soldier of the civil war. It has been sympathetically remembered by some patriotic members of the Camp Meeting Association, and marked by a neat and appropriate headstone.
His remains were found and interred near the spot, about the time that the Confederate Gen. Early took possession of York, but ‘of his name and his fame no one can tell.’
He was clad in the uniform of a Union soldier, the buttons of which contained the coat of arms of Pennsylvania, and his cap the number 65.”
In the booklet “A Walking Tour of Civil War-Era Residents at Prospect Hill Cemetery,” Lila Fourhman-Shaull links the Emigs Grove site with York’s Prospect Hill Cemetery… .
She quotes the York Gazette from May 13, 1902: “The remains of the unknown soldier that had been interred years ago at the old Emig’s Grove Campgrounds (relocated after a fire to Smith’s Station in southwestern York County, where it became known as Penn Grove Camp) was disinterred yesterday by Undertaker W.L. Denues and interred at Prospect Hill Cemetery.” See walking tour.
The author also referred to a Gazette article from May 11, 1906, stating, “William A. Cook will personally see to it that the grave of the unknown soldier … is attended to and property decorated. This soldier’s body for many years reposed in the woods near the camp ground and three or four years ago it was removed to Prospect Hill Cemetery, through the instrumentality of Samuel C. Ilgenfritz, now deceased, who was then one of the most active members of the Sedwick post.”
That’s about all that is on the record about York’s unknown Union soldier. Unless, anyone out there has more?