Item #6441 York, Gazette—Extra.

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York, Gazette—Extra.

York, Pennsylvania: York Gazette, 16 June 1863. Handbill, 3” x 8.25”, professionally mounted on thin backing-paper.

A rare handbill extra issued by the York, Pennsylvania Gazette, warning York citizens of reports that General Lee's forces are in Chambersburg, PA and headed towards Harrisburg.

This handbill reports the “immense” meeting held in Harrisburg the evening before, where, in light of alarming reports received of General Lee's approach, “measures were adopted for the defence of the borough and county against the threatened raid or invasion by Lee’s army.” The following two telegrams of 15 June were received and read to the meeting:

This morning the enemy in large force—cavalry, infantry and artillery—in the vicinity of Greencastle. We may expect great loss of life and devastation of property. Organize every available man.

State news received this P.M. from Chambersburg…the rebels in our State with great force. Our pickets driven in and have fallen back between Greencastle and Chambersburg. Rebels occupy Hagerstown in force. It is believed they will occupy Chambersburg to-night. There is no doubt now that they are enroute for the State Capital. Every effort should be made by people to form companies by to-morrow and be prepared to resist them. We hope your people will arouse to the importance of this.

These telegrams were sent within ten minutes of each other by Thomas A. Scott to a Mr. H. Welsh of Harrisburg. Scott was a railroad executive and industrialist who served as Assistant Secretary of War under Simon Cameron during the war; commissioned as Colonel of Volunteers, he was placed in command of railroad and telegraph lines used by the Union Army.

By 28 June, Confederate General Jubal Early’s division reached York, PA, where they encountered little resistance. The city surrendered and Gen. Early demanded $100,000 in cash and a massive variety of supplies and horses for his troops; the town managed to come up with $28,000. Meanwhile, a brigade under Confederate General Gordon set out for Wrightsville and the strategically-important Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge over the Susquehanna. There, a smaller force of Union recruits—including many newly-enlisted black soldiers—put up a fight doomed to fail. As the Union troops pulled back across the river, the order was given to blow up the bridge to stop the rebel advance—which would have opened the door to the road to Harrisburg and Philadelphia, changing the trajectory of Lee's invasion of the North. The attempt to blow up the bridge only partially succeeded, so it was ordered torched. The tremendous conflagration was reportedly seen as far away as Hanover and Harrisburg. On 30 June, the Confederate forces in York were summoned to Gettysburg, where Meade's army would soon meet Lee's head-on.

CONDITION: Very good, one horizontal fold and light abrasion at top.

Item #6441

Price: $2,250.00

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