York Town Square

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Researcher pulling together strands to weave story of British POW Camp Security



This rendering shows a camp for British Revolutionary War prisoners in Virginia, which is believed to provide a sense of York County-based Camp Security. Research continues on this, concurrent with efforts to preserve the Springettsbury Township land on which the camp once stood. Those efforts came to fruition in May 2012, when developer Tim Pasch sold the property on which the camp presumably stood to the Conservation Fund. Also of interest: Revolutionary War put intense pressure on York County women.


Researcher and Yorkblogger June Lloyd has been making regular trips to the National Archives to look deeply into records for Camp Security, the prisoner of war camp in today’s Springettsbury Township that housed British captives from 1781 to 1783.

Her recent York Sunday News column provided much insight, shared here on yorktownsquare.com blog on this important military day – Veterans Day.

For example, here’s one captivating piece:

“One report, partially illegible, at the National Archives, filed by Col. Gibson on April 29, 1782 gives these totals at York: Burgoyne’s Army: 470 men (173 of these may have been hired out), 146 women and 180 children. Cornwallis’s Army: 795 men, 36 women and nine children. That adds up to 1,636 persons.”

That’s just one snapshot, but it gives a sense of the size of the “community” that we call Camp Security. That’s larger than many York County boroughs today.

June has numerous posts from her Camp Security research on her Universal York blog. For example: Fate of Camp Security Prisoners Important to Commanders and York County’s Colonel Thomas Hartley had a hard time arming his troops.

And here’s a whole category of Camp Security posts on her blog.

Image courtesy of York County Heritage Trust