09/25/2011 11:16:00 11:16am September 25th, 2011 By scottmingus
An eyewitness to the meeting penned a letter after the war which ended up being published in the New York Herald on May 25, 1868.
The attendees from York were Chief Burgess David Small (the editor of the local Democratic newspaper), Committee of Safety members Thomas White and W. Latimer Small, influential businessman A. B. Farquhar, and Col. George Hay of the 87th Pennsylvania (off-duty while recovering from illness).
Earlier in the day, Farquhar had met with General Gordon at Abbottstown for preliminary (and unauthorized) talks. He had ridden back to York and reported the discussion. The five-man delegation piled into Farquhar’s carriage and rode westward to locate Gordon and finalize the terms.
Here is the rarely seen account from the New York paper. Several new details of the dialogue between the Georgia general and the delegation are brought forth.
“On the day before the Rebels reached York, a leading businessman and a member of the Committee of Safety[Farquhar] ‘drove out to reconnoiter,’ and, passing the Rebel pickets, met Gen. Gordon (late Conservative candidate for Governor of Georgia) not eight but eighteen miles from the borough, where a promise was obtained from the General that he would “protect persons and property,” on condition that the Rebels should be provisioned while they remain in or near York. Returning, this member of the Committee of Safety passed the Rebel pickets only five miles from York (they were subsequently drawn back two or three miles) , and hastened to the borough, being sharply chased by Rebel horsemen–Gen. Gordon not intending to let him go back in advance of his men. He was thus enabled to warn a small militia force under Major Haller so as to enable it to escape capture by flight.
A town meeting was thereupon held, at whose request Chief Burgess Small and others were sent to negotiate with Gordon “for the safety of our citizens” and their property. Said deputation fully expected to meet the Rebels just out of town, but did not until seven miles distant. Our correspondent proceeds:
‘At this audience, our mayor had but little to say, and that was to arrange for the control of the place; this was soon fixed, Gordon suggesting that all the rum shops be kept closed, and promising that his men would ‘be shot like dogs if they insulted a lady,’ &c., &c. The next speaker, Col. Hay, commenced by assuring the General that it would be much more in accordance with our feelings to have met him at the head of an armed force–’that even the few fighting men our little town could raise were on duty across the river; and, as we were powerless to resist, we desired to make the best terms possible.’ He went on to say we did not propose to surrender, but on the contrary they would find our flags up, and waving such little defiance as we could show (or words to that effect).
This sentiment was cordially endorsed by the committee, and evidently respected by the General, for he gave them a pass back again to town through the lines, remarking as he did so (to the Committee)–’It is unusual to pass strangers before us when invading an enemy’s territory; but I cannot refuse to believe men who have spoken as you have, and, if your sentiments are true, there is no danger. I ask nothing more than you remain in town until our arrival.’
Not one word was said about ‘compounding the safety’ of the place, nor was a word said of surrender, except to ignore it. The Rebels reached town the following morning ; and I may say that they kept faith better than we expected.”
So who was this correspondent? Farquhar, Hay, and David Small are mentioned, or alluded to in the case of Farquhar, so that would leave W. Latimer Small and Thomas White (a known Copperhead). The language and sentiment would suggest Latimer Small.
03/03/2011 21:16:00 9:16pm March 3rd, 2011 By scottmingus
"Purchased your book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg last week through Savas Beattie. Enjoyed thet book greatly Have told friends to purchase the book, and that they would not be disappointed!" - JC
"Thoroughly enjoying your book." - MB
"Having grown up in York County I have greatly enjoyed reading your book Flames Beyond Gettysburg" - RM
"My father who rarely reads, devoured your book FBG and learned many interesting facts about AB Farquhar. I'd like to order two more copies." - RW
"Started reading the book. It's really good!" - JF
"My compliments. A book on this was really needed as I learned on our side trips to Chambersburg and towns surrounding Gettysburg. Well done." - MT
"Let me add - if you haven't read this, get it and do so - an excellent book!!!!!! - WW
"The book was fantastic!
10/26/2010 08:03:00 8:03am October 26th, 2010 By scottmingus
I finished proofreading the galley proofs for Chapter 1 last night. Everything looks good for getting the book back on the shelves later this year. My thanks go out to Ted Savas and the folks at Savas Beatie for all their help and support in this second edition of Flames Beyond Gettysburg.
09/29/2010 07:23:00 7:23am September 29th, 2010 By scottmingus
The original Ironclad edition is now sold out and out-of-print. A revised second edition will be published by California-based Savas-Beatie, with all new maps by Steve Stanley. It features scores of new anecdotes and fresh details culled from dozens of recently submitted letters, dairies, journals, etc. that have surfaced from people who contacted the author after the publication of the first edition.
Watch for the announcement of the publication date for the new edition!
10/30/2009 13:36:00 1:36pm October 30th, 2009 By scottmingus
Scott Mingus' new book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, is an excellent read and a solid work of history which sheds light on an often under-emphasized aspect of the Gettysburg campaign. Through Gettysburg and York to the Wrightsville-Columbia bridge, the reader marches with Gordon's Brigade--before the Battle of Gettysburg--to one of the most important strategic objectives of the entire campaign. In what must have been an exhaustive amount of research, Mingus balances the narrative by documenting the experiences of scores of south-central Pennsylvania residents, both Copperhead and Unionist, black and white, as well as, the efforts of the raw Pennsylvania militia to thwart the Confederate veterans prior to their world-famous encounter with the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg. A welcome addition to the library of any American Civil War enthusiast. - JaMK
07/28/2009 13:40:00 1:40pm July 28th, 2009 By scottmingus
Sunday August 2, 2009 - Presentation: "Human Interest Stories from the Gettysburg Campaign" Strayer family reunion, Dover, Pennsylvania (Private) 2 PM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - Presentation: "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition" South Mountain Relics and Coin Club, Williamsport, Maryland. 7 PM
Thursday, September 3, 2009 - Presentation: "J.E.B. Stuart's Ride to Dillsburg" Northwestern York County Historical and Preservation Society, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - Presentation: "Human Interest Stories from Gettysburg" York Rotary Club, York, Pennsylvania, 7 AM
Friday, October 2, 2009 - Book signing Gallery 30, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 6:30 PM
Sunday, October 4, 2009 - Presentation: "The Civil War in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania" Franklin Township Bicentennial, Franklin Church off U.S. 15 south of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, 2 PM
Monday, October 5, 2009 - Presentation: "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition" Robert E. Lee Civil War Round Table, Woodbridge, New Jersey, 6 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009 - Presentation: "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition" Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire, Epping, New Hampshire, 6:45 PM
Friday, November 6, 2009 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign" Fall-In miniature wargaming convention, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, time TBD
Thursday, November 19, 2009 - Presentation: "The Civil War in West Manchester Township" West Manchester Township Historical Society, York, Pennsylvania, 7:00 PM
Friday, November 20, 2009 - Presentation: "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition" Historic Wrightsville, Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, 7 PM
Friday, December 11, 2009 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign" Harrisburg Civil War Round Table, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, 7 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2010 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign", Lancaster Civil War Round Table, Lititz, Pennsylvania, 7 PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign," York Civil War Round Table, York, Pennsylvania, 7 PM
Monday, March 22, 2010 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign," Pittsburgh Civil War Round Table, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 7 PM
Friday, September 10, 2010 - Presentation: "Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition" Dover Civil War Round Table, Dover, Delaware, 7 PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - Presentation: "The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign" Northeastern Ohio Civil War Round Table, Mentor, Ohio, 7 PM
07/25/2009 14:36:00 2:36pm July 25th, 2009 By scottmingus
By the 25th of June the Rebels occupied the Cumberland Valley from Martinsburg, W. Va., to within sight of the spires of Harrisburg, Penna. Stuart's cavalry being licked at Brandy Station and Aldie was forced to ride around the right of the Union Army. Imboden’s brigade of cavalry and 150 of White's guerrillas were the only mounted troops with Lee. As the Rebels advanced the people fled with their movable property, horses, cattle, groceries, store goods, etc., after offering such resistance as was possible, each section furnishing scouts, bush-whackers, men with axes who felled trees across the roads, telegraphed information of the movements, strength, etc., of the enemy to Harrisburg and Washington
On June 23d Henry Honn drew a line across the Chambersburg pike 2 miles west of Cashtown, Adams county, Pa., and swore he would shoot the first rebel that crossed it. An hour afterwards White's guerrillas, 150 strong, rode over the line. Honn’s rifle cracked and a Johnnie rolled off in the dust. White’s guerrillas skedaddled. Honn took to the brush and his rifle cracked frequently during the invasion.
A day or two after this Maj. John Scott of Gettysburg with 22 men disputed the passage of Monterey Gap in the Blue Ridge with Early’s division of 10,000 men. White's guerrillas, 150 men, came up in Scott’s rear, having crossed the mountain by the Cold Springs road, and Scott would have been captured but Maj. Haller with the Philadelphia City Troop. 100 strong, retreated on the lope, (the dust was a foot deep) and they raised so much dust that when Maj. Bell with 60 men armed with single shot horse pistols, cap locked, and saber charged White he skedaddled so fast he hadn’t time to pick up Scott and his men. The only names of Scott’s men I remember are John Burns, hero of Gettysburg, John Roth, a lame printer, Chas. Wilson, who died at the Soldiers Home at Hampton, Va., and Hy Mickley, afterwards a soldier in the Union army.
Harvey Cobean, one of Bell’s scouts, was surprised by White’s men coming up behind him. He turned the blind eye of his horse to the enemy, slipped his horse pistols and sabre through the fence and coolly collided the enemy. When the road was clear he rode back and reported to Maj. Bell.
Cashtown sent a squad into the mountains who picked off many of the spies, videttes, scouts, stragglers, foragers, etc, of the enemy. Arendtsville and vicinity sent a squad of twenty-five men who bushwhacked the enemy as they came through the Blue Ridge.
Gettysburg, Gettysburg College, the Lutheran Seminary and the surrounding country raised a company of men 100 strong which was Co. A of the 26th Pa. militia, [more] of which hereafter. This section also organized Bell’s Cavalry, 60 strong. Capt. Bell captured 500 scouts, foragers, spies, etc., from the enemy and kept them west of the Blue Ridge for a couple weeks. He was greatly assisted by Dutch Charlie, a Milroy skedaddler.
On June 25th the 26th Pa. Militia under Col. Jennings arrived at Gettysburg. About 8 A. M. June 26th Maj. Haller ordered them out the Chambersburg pike against Early’s Division, Col.Jennings, the commander of the regiment, protesting, Bell having informed Haller and Jennings of the Rebel strength. Three miles out the pike the militia came upon the enemy. When they tried to load their guns they had to bite all the paper off the bullets to get them down. Alter being discharged a few times it was impossible to reload the guns. The militia were soon outflanked and forced to retreat to Harrisburg, during which retreat about two hundred of them were captured.
Among the captured were many college boys of Co. A. They were corralled on Christ Church steps. Jubal Early rode up and inspected them. He grinned all over his face and said: "Hi, you little hoys must have slipped out of your mothers’ band-boxes, you look so nice. Now be off home to your mothers. If I catch you again I'll spank you all." and they let them go.
White’s guerrillas and Early’s Div. pushed Bell and the City Troop out of Gettysburg June 26th, killing Private [George Washington] Sandoe of Bell’s men.
As Early’s Div. left the east end of Gettysburg Henry McNair, Geo. Gwynn and two other Adams county boys of Capt. Horner’s company, Cole’s Md. Battalion, dashed in and captured a dispatch bearer from Ewell to Early. The capture of that dispatch bearer caused Early to march to Wrightsville and back to Heidlersburg and probably saved the fall of Harrisburg, Pa. McNair took the dispatch bearer to Reynolds and became his guide during the campaign.
William A. Scott, The Battle of Gettysburg. (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: self published, 1905).
07/07/2009 12:40:00 12:40pm July 7th, 2009 By scottmingus
Tom Ryan of the Washington Times has written a nice review of Flames Beyond Gettysburg. Here is his text.
We normally think of Gettysburg in terms of the combat that took place in that remote south central Pennsylvania town on July 1, 2 and 3, 1863. In actuality, this battle was the apex of a campaign that lasted nearly two long months. During that time, a series of clashes occurred that had an influence on the outcome of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s bold invasion of the North.
Scott L. Mingus, Sr.’s Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863 focuses on one obscure but critical event during that period that took place in the small riverfront town of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania on Sunday June 28 – three days prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. The community’s claim to fame was a unique mile-long covered, mostly wooden, bridge across which flowed railroad trains, wheeled vehicles, pedestrians and canal barges powered by mules along an adjacent tow-path to the town of Columbia on the opposite side of the Susquehanna River.
While this book describes Lee’s 1863 invasion, it more specifically highlights a single brigade in his army – six Georgia regiments under the command of the capable and aggressive Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon. Gordon led his brigade through Waynesboro and Gettysburg, then on to York, Pennsylvania. Ultimately, he arrived in Wrightsville, a few miles east of York, with orders to capture and hold the bridge for passage of Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s division to the eastern side of the river.
Mr. Mingus’ extensive volume, which is clearly written, scrupulously edited, and well-organized, covers a lot of ground before it concentrates on the Wrightsville story. It follows Lee’s army and Gordon’s Georgians in early June from their starting point south of Fredericksburg, Virginia and the Rappahannock River west to the Shenandoah Valley, and north to the Potomac River on into Maryland.
As his Army of Northern Virginia moved into Pennsylvania, it became evident that Lee’s primary objective was to gain control of a major city in the North, such as Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or even the more heavily defended capital at Washington, and hold it hostage for a peace settlement with the Federal government that would allow the rebellious Southern states to separate from the Union permanently.
John B. Gordon was one of the many talented generals in the Rebel army that Lee depended upon to help accomplish his main objective, and several ancillary ones as well. In particular, the overall plan included the confiscation of food supplies and horses in the North that would alleviate severe commissary and transportation deficiencies that the Rebel army had been experiencing for some time.
As Gordon’s brigade progressed along its expedition into the North, it engaged in a number of minor skirmishes with green Pennsylvania militia troops that offered little or no resistance. The 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry and the 17th Virginia Cavalry Regiment that accompanied Gordon’s brigade conducted most of the military action that occurred. Col. Elijah V. White’s unruly and unkempt 35th Virginia, that regularly operated as guerrillas and raiders, struck fear into the hearts of Pennsylvania civilians
The author devotes considerable space describing the countryside and the people that inhabit it. In so doing, he introduces a number of Pennsylvania Dutch citizens, one of the predominant ethnic groups in that area. These people along with other citizens had a burden to bear, since the Southern soldiers fulfilled Lee’s desire to lay hold of as much food and supplies as possible, while destroying transportation facilities such as railroads and bridges that served vital roles in supporting Federal military objectives.
Mr. Mingus points out that not all Pennsylvania citizens were loyal to their government in Washington, and many demonstrated their antipathy by welcoming and supporting the invaders in a variety of ways. These “Copperheads,’ as they were known, soon learned that their friendliness was not always rewarded, since the Rebels indiscriminately confiscated from every farm and household, especially those that enjoyed full larders and well-stocked barns.
The author also relates the incongruity of Rebel officers reassuring Northern citizens that they did not come to harm them or destroy their homes, while at the same placing levies of cash and goods on the towns, and “purchasing” whatever met their fancy from individual families or local stores with worthless Confederate currency. For the most part, the people perceived the reality of the situation, and stoically acquiesced to the demands of the passing army. While many were left destitute as a result, they counted their blessings since they had feared the end result could have been much worse.
As the Rebel army marched relentlessly and virtually unopposed across Pennsylvania, thousands of citizens sought safer ground for themselves and their property. Those who moved eastward had to cross the Susquehanna River, and many crowded into the town of Wrightsville in order to pass over the bridge to Columbia. Massive traffic jams ensued that that did not dissipate until Pennsylvania militia officers intervened.
When Gordon and his brigade reached York as the vanguard of Early’s division, he received orders to push on to Wrightsville in order to secure the bridge. Early’s plan was to cross to the eastern shore of the Susquehanna, and march north to take Harrisburg in reverse while the other divisions of Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell’s corps attacked it head on.
The events that followed are the crux of Flames Beyond Gettysburg, the fifth volume in Ironclad Publishing’s popular The Discovering Civil War America Series. The final chapters are devoted to the strategy and tactics involved in a steadily developing confrontation between the inexperienced Pennsylvania militia assigned to protect the Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge under the leadership of Col. Jacob G. Frick and Maj. Granville O. Haller, and the battle-tested regiments of Gordon’s brigade on June 28.
This confrontation resulted in one of the most dramatic events of Lee’s Northern campaign, yet has not received the attention it deserves. The reason is that General Lee recalled his army from its planned attack on Harrisburg in order to concentrate in the area of Cashtown or Gettysburg to meet Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s advancing Union forces. The presence of Gordon’s brigade in Wrightsville prior to these changed plans, however, led to the destruction of the majestic covered bridge spanning the Susquehanna River. Mr. Mingus explains how that unfortunate event came about..
The author judiciously includes a sufficient number of maps to guide the reader across the countryside as the Rebel army marched northward from Virginia to Pennsylvania. The narrative is well documented with endnotes supported by an extensive bibliography. An order of battle for the military units engaged at Wrightsville and a casualty list are also provided. There is a useful weather chart for the dates of Gordon’s expedition, and a chronology of Lee’s invasion from the starting date of June 3 to the conclusion on July 14.
John Gordon’s expedition to the bridge in Wrightsville is a fresh and engaging supplement to the Gettysburg chronicles. Having published several volumes of Civil War human-interest stories, Scott Mingus effectively applies that experience to this project. There are a number of driving tour guides appended (six in all), mainly focusing on the region between Gettysburg and Wrightsville/Columbia, that will especially appeal to people living in the Pennsylvania communities where much of this action took place.
Thomas J. Ryan of Bethany Beach is past president of the Central Delaware Civil War Round Table.
07/03/2009 06:23:00 6:23am July 3rd, 2009 By scottmingus
06/20/2009 08:34:00 8:34am June 20th, 2009 By scottmingus
Quite some time ago in my Cannonball blog for the York Daily Record, I wrote about a near-miss during the Gettysburg Campaign at Dillsburg, Pa., where the 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia deployed in ranks on a hillside near the village in an effort to resist an anticipated charge by the elements of former U.S. congressman Albert Jenkins' Confederate cavalry. In scanning through some old material, I found a first hand account of Private Dennis Bashore Shuey, a teenaged student and part-time teacher from Lebanon County. Nearly six decades after his brief visit to Dillsburg, he published his recollections in a family genealogy book. Here is D. B. Shuey's account of the fight at Witmer Farm near Gettysburg, and the subsequent retreat to Dillsburg in northwestern York County.
Company A of this regiment was largely composed of students from the Lutheran College and Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. It was therefore a pleasure for them to come to Gettysburg, but their joy was of short duration. In one hour after their arrival, the colonel was ordered by Major [Granville O.] Haller of the U. S. Regular Army, to march his men out on the Chambersburg pike, with Company A, as customary, in the front. Although fifty-six years have since elapsed, he distinctly remembers seeing three men on horseback approaching the regiment, but as soon as they saw them they wheeled around and galloped off. These men were, no doubt, Confederate officers. The 26th Regiment was marched to the right into a field near the woods and tents were soon put up, but as it was very wet ground after raining several days, he, with others, found a pile of newly-made shingles in the woods, which were appropriated for floors in the tents, and just then the order was given hastily, "Strike tents and march." One of his tent mates was detailed and had gone out on picket duty. He was likely captured as he never saw him afterwards.
The march was in a northeasterly direction across the fields, through mud, until about three o'clock in the afternoon, when many from fatigue could no longer march and straggled, and some climbed cherry trees to eat cherries, when the order was quickly given to form in line of battle, in the field to the right of the road. All was confusion and many men lost their places in their own company. He found himself in Company E, which was from Lebanon, White's cavalry, a part of General Gordon's division [actually French's 17th Virginia of Early's Division], came in sight in their rear. They turned and opened fire upon the Confederates, to which they quickly responded with their carbine firing. The U. S. line was behind a fence, lying down to escape the Confederate bullets. Two bullets struck the rail in front of his face. All the stragglers and cherry eaters were captured, and White's [French's] cavalry, after some loss, retreated with more than one hundred men  as prisoners, who were paroled the next day.
The march was resumed and after going a mile, he found Company A, and discovered roll call had been made to ascertain the number lost and he had been marked missing. He was glad to take his place in the ranks again. The following day, Saturday, this regiment was again drawn up in line for battle in Dillsburg, with Company A in the front, each man resting on one knee with bayonet set to meet the approach of cavalry, and each company to the rear was to successively fire over the heads of those in front to keep the enemy back. But it was a false alarm. The regiment reached Harrisburg on Sunday afternoon, having marched fifty-four hours out of sixty successive hours, without food and shelter, and appeared as if they might have been in hard service six months or a year, although they had but left Harrisburg the Wednesday before in their new uniforms. The nearest approach the Confederate army ever made to Harrisburg, some six miles out, was in their attempt to capture this whole regiment, and this they could easily have done had it not been for the tactful manoeuvering of Colonel Jennings. Later history informs us that Lee's whole army was delayed one day because Lee could not find out where this branch of his troops were, who were in search of this regiment. This one day's delay gave General Meade, with the army of the Potomac, a great opportunity to advance northward, to thwart the plans of Lee to sieze the northern cities and obtain supplies for his army. The 26th Regiment, therefore, was the cause of these two vast armies meeting at Gettysburg, and the greatest battle during the whole war was the result, which was the beginning of the end of the war.
On account of this strenuous march and exposure, he was not able to stand on his feet, the morning after reaching Harrisburg, and the surgeon sent him to the hospital, on account of articular rheumatism, which he had contracted and from which he has suffered ever since. On July 10 he left the hospital and joined the regiment again for further service, though not well. After further hard service in the Cumberland valley, endeavoring to prevent the Confederate army from the crossing the Potomac back into Virginia, this regiment, by order of the War Department, was honorably discharged, July 30, 1863.
Shuey, D. B., History of the Shuey Family in America from 1732 to 1919. Galion, Ohio: self-published, 1919. pp. 106-108.