York Town Square

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Rebel entry into York before Battle of Gettysburg was gut wrenching, community shaping

Lewis Miller put forth this drawing after the Army of Northern Virginia’s surrender to Gen. U.S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac in 1865. The carpenter/artist also captured the Confederates trooping into York after the town surrendered to the Confederates two years before. Also of interest: Invaders put off by earthy Pennsylvania women, Owner seeks info on old toll house and York County Civil War, by the numbers.

People might get sidetracked by reports of the gallant demeanor of some of the Confederates occupying York in June 1863 after the town surrendered to the invaders.
They see great generals, albeit dusty great generals, on white horses with plumes in their hats showing their wonderful manners toward women in town.
The Confederates were polite southern boys just doing their jobs in the green pastures of the North, some might say.
Well, fellow blogger and tireless researcher Scott Mingus has come across a heretofore undiscovered account of activities in York the day before the Confederates marched into town for their two-day stay… .

He posted a newspaper reporter’s story as the last train to safety is leaving from York:

“This train is a medley of passenger, freight, cattle, and dirt cars and, in order to accommodate the ladies, soldiers have been stationed with muskets at the doors of the passenger cars, with instructions to allow no man to enter. The number of infants is astonishing, as [is] the number of colored persons.”

It was pandemonium.
That occupation by those polite boys was gut wrenching. It was community shaping.
You get to see the whole account on Mingus’ blog “Cannonball,” by clicking here. Mingus plans to put this report and others that he has recently uncovered in a future copy of his book, “Flames Beyond Gettysburg.”
For a pro/con on York’s surrender to the Confederates, click here.
Lewis Miller art courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust.