The Ruse

Here is an advance abstract from my new manuscript I am currently working on (Volume 2 of Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign). This will be published by Colecraft Industries as a part of this continuing series of popular books.

Confederate horsemen under Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins, a former Democratic U.S. Congressman from the hill country of western Virginia, scouted the south-central Pennsylvania area. His troopers raided farms and homesteads for horses, livestock, and other items of interest to the mountaineers. Jenkins departed Carlisle on Sunday, June 28, with some 250 soldiers and rode through Mechanicsburg towards northern York County, intent on raiding the prosperous town of Dillsburg. Near the hamlet of Williams Grove, his men spotted a large, brightly colored U.S. flag waving atop a nearby low mountain. 

Entering the village, Jenkins encountered a civilian named Lee Welty, who lied and calmly informed the Virginian that the impressive banner marked the vanguard of the oncoming Union Army. Jenkins temporarily halted his advance and splashed back across Yellow Breeches Creek to regroup. The fluttering flag was a deliberate ruse, having been planted on the mountaintop by some local boys. Dillsburg residents used this brief respite to hide their valuables and horses in nearby woods. Hotelkeepers stashed their liquor, and pharmacist George Shearer secreted his wooden barrel of “medicinal whiskey” in his barn. After General Jenkins finally figured out there no Yankees in the area, he occupied Dillsburg, but found little to procure except forage and food.

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Categories: Civil War anecdotes, Gettysburg | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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