York General Hospital (Pennsylvania)

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The York U.S. Army Hospital was one of Pennsylvania's largest military hospitals during the American Civil War. It was established in York, Pennsylvania, to treat wounded and sick soldiers of the Union army.

The hospital was established in July 1862 on Penn Common, a large level, grassy area just south of downtown York. The sprawling facility consisted of numerous barracks, infirmaries, offices, and support facilities such as laundries, stables, and a mortuary. Among the early patients were hundreds of wounded men transported to York following the September 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam.

During the Confederate invasion of 1863, the hospital and its grounds were occupied by portions of Avery's North Carolina brigade of Early's division.

Dr. Henry Palmer of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry served as the chief surgeon throughout most of the war. More than 14,000 soldiers were treated in York during the war years, including over 2,500 wounded from the nearby Battle of Gettysburg. The bodies of soldiers who died in the hospital were typically shipped to their hometowns, but nearly three dozen were buried in York's Prospect Hill Cemetery, where a monument of a Union soldier stands watch over the circular grave plot.

The site of the hospital was converted to a city park named Penn Park,[1] which contains an impressive large Soldiers and Sailors Monument commemorating York's Civil War heritage and veterans. A nearby bronze relief map depicts the layout of the U.S. Army Hospital.


  • McClure, James, East of Gettysburg: A Gray Shadow Crosses York County, Pennsylvania, York, Pennsylvania: York County Heritage Trust, 2001.

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