The Burning of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Burning of Chambersburg in Civil War: 'It's hard to imagine the destruction'
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Sauers, Richard A. When McClellan was given command of Pope's troops as they returned to Washington, he abolished the Army of Virginia and combined its men with the Army of the Potomac. Rafuse, Ethan S. Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, Hansen, , p. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Co. The Civil War: A Narrative.

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New York: Random House, Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command. Cedar Mountain to Chancellorsville. Volume 2 of 3 vols. New York: Scribner, Bold Dragoon: The Life of J. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Freeman, , p. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Longacre, , pp. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, Brigadier General William W.

The Bank of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania burned during the Civil War on July 30, , historic photo

Averell delayed for eight hours and then headed due north, leaving him many miles from Chambersburg and Stuart's force and giving Averell no chance of catching Stuart. Longacre, , p. However, Pleasonton wore out his men and horses in fruitless chasing of Stuart. When his advance units encountered part of Stuart's force during the night of October 11, , he pulled them back and had his men ride parallel to Stuart's line of march.

His actions on October 12 are stated in the text above. A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, — Chambersburg, Pennsylvania , in Current, Richard N. New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, Were it possible for human lips to raise your name heavenward, angels would thrust the foul thing back again and demons claim their own. The curses of thousands, the scorn of the manly and upright, and the hatred of the true and honorable will follow you and yours through all time, and brand your name, Infamy!

Answer, as you must answer before the Searcher of all hearts. Why have you added this cruel, wicked deed to your many crimes? Hunter, and was so stated by Gen. Early when he issued the order.

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One of the houses above referred to as having been burned by Hunter had been taken by him for his headquarters. Only two ladies occupied the house, and he had promised them his protection, but immediately after his departure an officer and some soldiers returned with a written order from Hunter to burn and destroy everything about the premises. A few days later, as Gen.

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Hunter was passing another Virginia mansion, a lady asked him why he had destroyed the magnificent home of Col. He replied that Virginia women were worse traitors than their husbands, and he would burn the houses over their heads in order to make them personally and immediately experience some punishment for their treason; and, on another occasion, he said to a Virginia lady that he would humble the Virginia women before he left the State.

Many other acts could be mentioned of actual destruction, threats, and wanton violence on the part of Hunter, all of which make up public sentiment that prevailed at that time in Virginia, and which required steps on the part of the military authorities to prevent their recurrence in the future, as well as to stop the useless destruction then going on; but these are sufficient to explain the reason why the city of Chainbersburg, in Pennsylvania, was burned. John McCausland, tinder whose immediate orders the city was burned, gives the following account of it: "On July 28 1 received an order from Gen.

Early to cross the Potomac with my brigade and one under Gen. Bradley T. Johnson and proceed to the city of Chambersburg. My orders were to capture the city and deliver to the proper authorities a proclamation which Gen. The proclamation also stated that this course had been adopted in retaliation for the destruction of property in Virginia by orders of Gen.

Hunter, and specified that the homes of Andrew Hunter, A.

Boteler, E. Lee, Gov.

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Letcher, J. Hunter, a Federal commander, and that this money demanded from Chambersburg was to be paid to the parties specified as compensation for their loss of property.

The burning of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

It appears that Gen. Early adopted this policy after proper reflection; that his orders were distinct and final, and that what was done on this occasion by my command was not the result of inconsiderate action or want of proper authority, as was alleged by many parties at the North, both at the time and since the close of the war.

During the night the Federal pickets on the opposite side of the river were captured, and our troops crossed just at daylight on the morning of the 30th and moved out on the National road. At Clear Spring we left the National road and turned into the Mercersburg road to the north. We reached Mercersburg about dark, and stopped to feed our horses and give the stragglers time to catch up. After this stop the march was continued all night, notwithstanding the opposition made at every available point by a regiment of Federal cavalry.

We reached Chambersburg at daylight on the 31st. The approach to the town was defended only by one piece of artillery and some irregular troops, who were soon driven off, and the advance of our force took possession of the town.

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Confederate Brig. John D. Imboden, a native of Staunton, led miles of wagons full of soldiers wounded at Gettysburg over Pine Stump Road enroute to the Potomac River and Virginia. Ayers said he does not know if Pine Stump Road has survived as a modern road. He said he hopes his book will make Franklin County less familiar to the people who live here. The county not only embodies what the war was about, he said.

It also was a witness to war. For more newsletters click here. Fear of missing out? Thanks for signing up. Ayres poses for a photograph in his office at the school in Richmond, Va.