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town. While he was endeavoring to force them into an effort to raise him money, his men commenced the work of firing, and they were dis charged when it was found that intimidation would effect nothing.
The main part of the town was enveloped in flames in ten minutes. No time was given to remove women or children, or sick, or even the dead. No notice of the kind was communicated to any one; but like infuriated fiends from hell itself the work of destruction was commenced. They did not have anything to learn in their horrid trade-they proved themselves experts in their calling. They divided into squads, and fired every other house, and often every house, if they presented any prospect of plunder. They would beat in the door with iron bars or heavy plank, smash up any furniture with an axe, throw fluid or oil upon it, and ply the match. They almost invariably entered every room of each house, rifled the drawers of every bureau, appropriated money, jewelry, watches, and any other valuables, and often would present pistols to the heads of inmates, men and women, and demand money or their lives. In nearly half the instances they demanded owners to ransom their property, and in a few cases it was done and the property burned. Although we have learned of a number of persons, mostly widows, who paid them sums from twenty-five to two hundred dollars, we know of but one case where the property was saved thereby. Mr. James Kennedy, near town, saved his buildings by the payment of two hundred dollars. The main object of the men seemed to be plunder. Not a house escaped rifling-all were plundered of everything that could be carried away. In most cases houses were entered in the rudest manner, and no time whatever allowed even for the families to escape, much less to save anything. Many families had the utmost difficulty to get themselves and children out in time, and not one half had so much as a change of clothing with them. They would rush from story to story to rob, and always fire the building at once, in order to keep the family from detecting their robberies. Feeble and helpless women and children were treated like brutes ―told insolently to get out or burn; and even the sick were not spared. Several invalids had to be carried out as the red flames threatened their couches. Thus the work desolation continued for two hours; more than half of the town on fire at once; and the wild glare of the flames, the shrieks of women and children, and often louder than all the terrible blasphemy of the rebels, conspired to present such a scene of horror as has never been witnessed by the present generation. No one was spared save by accident. The widow and the fatherless cried and plead in vain that they would be homeless and helpless. A rude oath would close all hope of mercy, and they would fly to save their lives. The old and infirm who tottered before them were thrust aside and the torch applied in their presence to hasten their
departure. So thoroughly were all of them master of the trade of desolation that there is scarcely a house standing in Chambersburg to-day that they attempted to burn, although their stay did not exceed two hours. In that brief period, the major portion of Chambersburg
its chief wealth and business-its capital and elegance, were devoured by a barbarous foe; three millions of property sacrificed; three thousand human beings homeless and many penniless; and all without so much as a pretence that the citizens of the doomed village, or any of them, had violated any accepted rule of civilized warfare. Such is the deliberate, voluntary record made by General Early, a corps commander in the insurgent army. The Government may not take summary vengeance, although it has abundant power to do so; but there is One whose voice is most terrible in wrath, who has declared, "Vengeance is mine I will repay!"
The house of Mr. James Watson-an old and feeble man of over eighty, was entered, and be cause his wife earnestly remonstrated against the burning, they fired the room, hurled her into it, and locked the door on the outside. Her daughters rescued her by bursting in the door before her clothing took fire. Mrs. Conner, the widow of a Union soldier, who has no means of support, got on her knees and begged to save her and her little ones from the fury of rebel wrath; but while she was thus pleading for mercy, they fired her little home, and stole ten dollars from her--the only money she had in the world. Mr. Wolfkill, a very old citizen, and prostrated by sickness so that he was utterly unable to be out of bed, plead in vain to be spared a horrible death in the flames of his own house; but they laughed at his terror, and fired the building. Through the extraordinary efforts of some friends, he was carried away safely. Mrs. Lindsey, a very feeble lady of nearly eighty, fainted when they fired her house, and was left by the fiends to be devoured in the flames; but fortunately a relative reached the house in time, and lifting her in a buggy in the stable, pulled her away while the flames were kissing each other over their heads on the street. Mrs. Kuss, wife of the jeweller on Main street, lay dead; and although they were shown the dead body, they plied the torch, and burned the house. Mrs. J. K. Shryock was there with Mrs. Kuss's dying babe in her arms, and plead for the sake of the dead mother and dying child to spare that house, but it was unavailing. The body of Mrs. Kuss was hurriedly buried in the garden, and the work of destruction went on. The next day it was taken up and interred in the Catholic graveyard. When the flames drove Mrs. Shryock out with the child, she went to one of the men, and presenting the dying babe, asked-"Is this revenge sweet?" A tender chord was touched, and without speaking, he burst into tears. He afterward followed Mrs. Shryock, and asked whether he could do any thing for her; but it was then too late. The
ting the Shenandoah Valley, and it was not deemed wholesome to burn his property. Mr. John Treher, of Loudon, was robbed by the rebels of two hundred dollars in gold and silver, and one hundred dollars in currency. The money was in a bureau drawer, but it was most dexterously appropriated by the scienced lightfingered gentry of McCausland. They also stole all his liquors. Mr. D. R. Knight, an artist, started out to the residence of Mr. McClure when he saw Norland on fire, and on his way he was robbed of all his money by a squad of rebels. He reached the house in time to aid in getting the women away. Rebel officers had begged of him before he started, to get the women out of town as fast as possible, as many rebel soldiers were intoxicated, and they feared the worst consequences.
babe has ceased to be motherless, for it shares a had been in the service, and that if General The houses of Messrs. Battles was present, they would not dare to inmother's sepulchre. saved sult him. When asked why, he answered-"I M'Lellan, Sharpe, and Nixon, were miraculously. They are located east of the captured him at Shiloh, and treated him like a railroad, and out of the business part of the soldier." A rebel major present, who had been town. They were not reached until the rest of under Battles, upon inquiry, was satisfied that the town was in flames, and the roads were Colonel Stumbaugh's statement was correct, streaming with homeless women and children. ordered his prompt release, and withdrew the Mr. M'Lellan's residence was the first one entire rebel force from that part of Second entered, and he was notified that the house street, and no buildings were burned. Colonel Mrs. M'Lellan immediately Boyd's residence-"Federal Hill," was also must be burned. stepped to the door, and laying one hand on put under guard, when Mrs. Boyd informed the rebel officer, and pointing with the other to them who lived there. They had some recolthe frantic fugitive women and children pass-lections of Colonel Boyd occasionally penetraing by, said to him: "Sir, is not your vengeance glutted? We have a home, and can get another; but can you spare no homes for those poor, helpless people and their children? When you and I and all of us shall meet before the Great Judge, can you justify this act?" He made no reply, but ordered his command away, and that part of the town was saved. Mrs. Louis Shoemaker rushed up stairs, when they fired her house, to save some valuables, and returned with some silver spoons in her hand. She found the rebels quarreling over a valuable breast-pin of hers-several claiming it by right of discovery, and the dispute was ended, for the time at least, by one rudely taking the spoons from Mrs. Shoemaker and dividing them Mrs. Denig escaped by among the squad. wetting blankets and throwing them around her, thus enabling her to get out through the burning building in the rear of her house. The residence of Mr. M'Elwaine was burned by a squad of rebels, who first demanded and procured their breakfast from him, because he was guilty of teaching colored children, and he was fired at as he made his escape. S. M. Royston, bar-keeper at Montgomery's Hotel, was robbed on his way down stairs of seven hundred dollars He was met by a -all the savings of his life. squad of rebels, and dexterously relieved of his money and all valuables. Mr. Holmes Crawford was taken into an alley while his house was All he had burning, and his pockets rifled. about him was one dollar and sixty cents, and that was appropriated. He was thus detained until it was impossible for him to get out by the street, and he had to take his feeble wife and sit in the rear of his lot until the buildings burned around him. Father M'Cullon, Catholic priest of this place, was robbed of his watch. He was sitting on his porch, and a party of rebels came up and peremptorily demanded his watch, which he delivered. He was also robbed of his watch last year by Jenkins' men-the same command that burned Chambersburg. Colonel Stumbaugh was arrested near his home early in the morning, and with pistol presented to his He rehead, ordered to procure some whiskey. fused, for the very good reason that he had none, and could get none. He was released, but afterward re-arrested by another squad, the officer naming him, and was insulted in every possible way. He informed the officer that he
Soon after the work of destruction had commenced, a squad was detailed to burn "Norland," the residence of A. K. M'Clure. It is situated a mile from the centre of the town, and no other building was fired within half a mile of it, although fifty houses stand between it and the burnt portion of Chambersburg. The squad was commanded by Captain Smith, son of Governor Smith (Extra Billy), of Virginia, whose beautiful residence near Warrenton has ever been carefully guarded by Union troops when within our lines. The mother and sisters of the With the cry of officer who fired "Norland" had lived in peace and safety in their home, under Federal guards, "retaliation," Captain Smith proceeded to Mr. since the war commenced. Passing the beautiful M'Clure's residence. mansion of Mr. Eyster, he supposed he had reached the object of his vengeance, and he "Colonel M'Clure, I presume," said the chivalalighted and met Mr. Eyster at the door. "Where is M'Clure's rous son of Virginia. "No, sir; my name is Eyster," was the reply. house?" was the next interrogatory. As the property was evidently doomed, and in sight, Mr. Eyster could only answer that it was further on the road, and the noble warrior passed on. He found Mrs. M'Clure quite ill-having been confined to her bed for ten days previous. He informed her that the house must be burned by way of retaliation-for what particular wrong, he did not seem anxious to explain. He magnanimously stated that she should have ten minutes to get the family out of the house and
away; and to prove his sincerity, he at once letter, and answered-"This is awful-it is fired the house on each story. To convince awful to burn this house!" and in vindication of Mrs. M'Clure that he was a chivalrous foe, he his contrition, he left Mrs. M'Clure to escape ordered her to open her secretary while the from the fire, while he proceeded to the adjoinhouse was in flames around her, and, evidently ing room and, in a fit of remorse, stole Mr. ambitious to show his literary taste and acquire- M'Clure's gold watch and other articles of value ments, he commenced to read her private letters. which might adorn the elegant mansion of the Mrs. M'Clure informed him that he would doubt Governor of Virginia at Warrenton. Fortunately less be disappointed in her assortment of litera- Mrs. M'Clure had some of her own clothing in a ture, as her husband had no papers or letters in trunk, and one of the squad kindly aided her in the house; but as he seemed desirous to read getting it out of the house, and it was saved, something, she would commend to him a letter but nothing belonging to Mr. M'Clure was alshe had just received the day before from a lowed to be removed. Rev. Mrs. Niccolls, who rebel prisoner, invoking the blessing of Heaven had rushed to the house, was caught on the upon her and hers for kind ministrations to a stairs with a coat on her arms, and it was rudely foe. The writer had been here with Lee, in taken from her, with the remark, "Saving anyJune, 1863, and was on guard at the house, and thing belonging to him is expressly forbidden." was of course treated kindly. The sick of the In five minutes the house was enveloped in same command, as well as those of McCausland's flames, and Mrs. M'Clure, and the other members forces then under Jenkins-were all humanely of the family at home, started on foot, in the cared for, by Mrs. M'Clure; and the author of heat of the day, to escape the vengeance of the the letter, having since been captured, and suf- chivalry. The torch was thrust into the large, fering from sickness and destitution, wrote her well-filled barn, and in half an hour a few charred some time before stating his condition. That walls was all that remained of "Norland." Capshe had not turned a deaf ear even to a foe tain Smith could conceal the watch and other when suffering, is evidenced by the acknowledg-articles he purloined at "Norland" as trophies ment presented to Captain Smith, which was as of his valor, but the silver pitcher was unwieldy, follows:
PRISONER'S CAMP, POINT LOOKOUT, MD.,
Mrs. M. S. M'Clure:
As it may never be in my power to reciprocate the favor received at your hands, my prayer is that God may reward you for it. *** With best wishes for your health and happiness, and trusting that this dark war cloud may soon be dispelled, and peace and happiness and prosperity once more smile upon us,
I am, madam, with much respect,
JAMES B. STAMP,
Such a letter was not just the entertainment to which the imperious son of the South considered himself invited. Instead of retaliating for wrongs done, he found himself about to apply the torch where friend and foe had found solace in distress-even his own men having been mercifully ministered to there by the one over whose aching head and enfeebled limbs he was inviting the fury of the flames. He read the
and could not be secreted from profane eyes as he rode back through town from the scene of his triumph. He resolved, therefore, to give a public display of his generosity. He stopped to his wife, with the request-" Please deliver at Rev. Mr. Kennedy's, and handed the pitcher this to Mrs. Colonel M'Clure, with the complistrapped to the saddle of one of his squad, and ments of Captain Smith." The goblets were tell-tale qualities of the pitcher, and they were the watch could be pocketed to prevent the borne off to the land of heroic warriors and
Smith was presented to Mr. M'Clure by some The watch stolen by Captain friends as a testimonial for his services as Chairman of the State Committee in 1860; bears an engraving to that effect, and is worth five hun
The following card explains itself fully: To the Editor of the New York Times:
Your correspondent writing from the southern border of Pennsylvania, says in the Times of the fourth instant:
"I was informed by a gentleman on the train that Colonel M'Clure paid five thousand dollars as a ransom for his threatened property, and after all the scoundrels set the torch to his house, and it now stands a smoking ruin."
The foregoing statement has not the shadow of truth. I paid no sum of money to ransom my property, nor did any one for me; and although my loss is scarcely less than fifty thousand dol lars, not one dollar of tribute would have been paid to barbarous freebooters to save it. I was not present, but no member of my family would have entertained a proposition of any kind to ransom anything belonging to them or me. A. K. M'CLURE.
CHAMBERSBURG, Friday, August 5, 1864.
REV. MR. NICOLLS: Please write my father and give him my love. Tell him, too, as Mrs. Shoemaker will tell you, that I was most strenuously opposed to the burning of the town. B. B. BLAIR,
Chaplain and son of Thomas P. Blair, Shippensburg, Pa. That there was a most formidable opposition to burning the town in McCausland's command was manifested in various ways. In the morning before daylight, when McCausland was at Greenawalt's, on the turnpike west of Chambersburg, a most boisterous council was held there, at which there were earnest protests made to McCausland against burning anything but pub
at some of his officers, and threatened them with most summary vengeance if they refused to obey orders. Many, however, did openly disobey, and went even so far as to give the utmost publicity to their disobedience.
Captain Fitzhugh exhibited to J. W. Douglas, Esquire, an attorney of this place, a written order with the name of Jubal A. Early to it, di
in retaliation for the burning of six houses in Virginia by Hunter. The burning of Chambersburg was therefore by order of one of the corps commanders of General Lee's army, instead of the work of a guerrilla chief, thus placing the responsibility squarely upon the shoulders of General Lee. We have in support of this the statement of Rev. Mr. Edwards, Episcopal clergyman of Hagerstown, who was taken as a hostage after Chambersburg had been destroyed. He was brought to General Early's headquar ters at Williamsport, and there paroled to effect his exchange. General Early there informed him that he had directed Chambersburg to be burned in retaliation for the destruction of property in Virginia by Grant, Meade, and Hunter, and that the account was now squared.
The order was hastily written with lead pen-lic property. McCausland was greatly incensed cil, but in a very legible hand, while he was delivering Mrs. M'Clure's pitcher to Mrs. Kennedy, and declaring by way of justification of his conduct, that his father's house had been burned by our troops, a statement he knew to be false. Fiendish and relentless as were McCausland and most of his command, there were notable exceptions who bravely maintained the humanities of war in the midst of the infuriated free-recting that Chambersburg should be burned, booters who were plying the torch and securing plunder. Surgeon Budd was conversing with several citizens when the demand for tribute was made, and he assured all present that the rebel commander would not burn Chambersburg. In the midst of his assurances, the flames burst forth almost simultaneously in every part of the town. When he saw the fire break out he wept like a child, and publicly denounced the atrocities of his commander. He took no part in it whatever, save to aid some unfortunate ones in escaping from the flames. Captain Baxter, formerly of Baltimore, peremptorily refused to participate in the burning; but aided many people to get some clothing and other articles out of the houses. He asked a citizen as a special favor to write to his friends in Baltimore and acquit him of the hellish work. Surgeon Richardson, another Baltimorean, gave his horse to a lady to get some articles out of the burning town, and publicly deplored the sad work of McCausland. When asked who his commanding officer was, he answered. " Madam, I am ashamed to say that General McCausland is my commander!" Captain Watts manfully saved all of Second street south of Queen, and with his command aided to arrest the flames. He said he would lose his commission rather than burn out defenceless people, and other officers and a number of privates displayed every possible evidence of their humunity. One whole company was kept by its Captain-name unknown--from burning and pillaging, and the south-eastern portion of Chambersburg stands today solely because an officer detailed there kept his men employed in aiding people out of their burning houses, and did not apply the torch at all. After the rebels had left, the following note was received by Rev. S. J. Nicolls, Presbyterian pastor, written on an envelope with a pencil:
A number of the thieves who participated in burning Chambersburg, were sent suddenly to their last account. An officer whose papers identify him as Major Bowen, Eighth Virginia cavalry, was conspicuous for his brutality and robberies. He got too far south of the firing parties to be covered by them, and in his desire to glut his thieving propensities, he was isolated. He was captured by several citizens, in the midst of his brutal work, and was despatched promptly. When he was fired at and slightly wounded, he took refuge in the burning cellar of one of the houses, and there with the intense heat blistering him, he begged them to spare his life; but it was in vain. Half the town was still burning, and it was taxing humanity rather too much to save a man who had added the boldest robbery to atrocious arson. He was shot dead and now sleeps near the Falling Spring, nearly opposite the Depot. He was about five feet five inches in height, very stoutly built, with sandy hair, goatee and
moustache, sandy complexion, full face, and from thirty-five to forty years of age.
Two men entered the drug store of Mr. Miller, and in their haste and confusion got the front door locked, and could not escape speedily after they had fired the store. Mr. Miller was standing in the hall of his house, which communicates with the store, and with his doublebarrelled shot gun he brought both down to find sepulchres in the ashes of his house. We do not learn that they blessed the name of McCausland as their bronzed skin blistered and withered beneath the flames he had ordered. Mr. Thomas H. Doyle, of Loudon, who had served in Easton's battery, followed the retreating rebels toward Loudon, to capture stragglers. When beyond St Thomas he caught Captain Cochran, Quartermaster of Eleventh Virginia cavalry, and as he recognized him as one who had participated in the destruction of Chambersburg, he gave him just fifteen minutes to live. Cochran was armed with sword and pistols, but he was taken so suddenly by Mr. Doyle that he had no chance to use them. He begged piteously for his life, but Mr. Doyle was inexorable-the foe who burns and robs must die, and he so informed him peremptorily. At the very second he shot the whining thief dead, and found on his person eight hundred and fifteen dollars of greenbacks, all stolen from our citizens, and one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars of rebel currency. His sword, belt and pistols were brought to this place by Mr. Doyle. He did not lisp the name of McCausland with reverence or pride as he begged to be spared the just doom his deeds merited. Scores of McCausland's command were killed on the retreat by General Averell's forces. Many of them were intoxicated, and all demoralized by plunder, and they became an easy prey to the vengeance of our troops who passed through the burning town in the pursuit of the barbarians.
The fiends in human shape who passed to their final account in the midst of their own infernal work, did not reach the Great Judge without an accuser. Daniel Parker, once a "thing," a "chattel," a "slave," in the parlance and by the laws of the superior race who teach nobility and chivalry by making the widow and fatherless homeless and penniless, was the only victim unto death of rebel brutality. He had seen the North star in his earlier days, and although untutored, in obedience to the statutes which enslaved him, he followed the beacon light of heaven to freedom. He had lived quietly, soberly and industriously in our midst until he had filled the measure of patriarchal years, respected by all who knew him. He was enfeebled by age and infirmities, and his humble home excited the vengeance of the lordly sons of the South. They fired his house, and he was so injured by the flames before he could escape that he died the same night, and his spirit, cleansed of the stain of color and caste as stamped by man, passed with his murderers,
who found resting-places amidst the ashes of their own desolation, to the bar of Him who judges only in righteousness. Despite the wicked war they have thrown like a pall over a great and free people on the pretext of equality of races, they found a tribunal from which there is no appeal, where chattel and master, slave and lord, meet equal justice, and equal mercy. Murderers and accuser bid a final farewell to the same waning sun, and thenceforth forever became equals!
A correspondent sends the following as to the nativity of the vandal chief McCausland: Frequent inquiries are daily made regarding the nativity of the fiend McCausland. Some allege that he was born in New York State, while others think that he must certainly have first seen the light in the South. The matter seems to be important inasmuch as the individual will have a very prominent and interesting page in the history of the rebellion; but he has settled the question himself, and removed cause for further dispute. In a conversation with Rev. Mr. Edwards, of Hagerstown, McCausland said he he was from hell. For a verification of his statement witness Chambersburg in ruins.
GRANT'S OPERATIONS IN VIRGINIA.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 13. SOLDIERS: The moment has arrived when your commanding general feels authorized to address you in terms of congratulation.
For eight days and nights, almost without intermission, in rain and sunshine, you have been gallantly fighting a desperate foe, in positions naturally strong, and rendered doubly so by intrenchments.
You have compelled him to abandon his fortifications on the Rapidan, to retire, and attempt to stop your onward progress, and now he has abandoned the last intrenched position so tenaciously held, suffering in all a loss of eighteen guns, twenty-two colors, and eight thousand prisoners, including two general officers.
Your heroic deeds and noble endurance of fatigue and privation will ever be memorable. Let us return thanks to God for the mercy thus shown us, and ask earnestly for its continuance.
Soldiers! Your work is not over. The eneny must be pursued and if possible overcome. The courage and fortitude you have displayed renders your commanding general confident that your future efforts will result in success.
While we mourn the loss of many gallant comrades, let us remember that the enemy must have suffered equal, if not greater losses.
We shall soon receive reinforcements, which he cannot expect.
Let us determine, then, to contiuue vigorously the work so well begun, and, under God's