Civil War Wiki

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 in the Union army.

The hospital was established in July 1862 on Penn Commons, 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. During the Confederate invasion of 1863, the hospital and its grounds was occupied by portions of Avery's North Carolina brigade of Early's division.

Dr. Henry Palmer was the chief surgeon throughout 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 a few dozen were buried in York's Prospect Hill Cemetery, where a monument of a Union soldiers stands watch over the circular grave plot.

The site of the hospital is now a city park, 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.