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Full text of "The burning of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania"

NOTICE 



Since the appearance of the first edition of this work, 
kind friends and strangers from abroad have been prompted 
to send contributions for the sufferers of our town, some- 
times specifying who shall be the recipients, sometimes 
leaving it discretionary with myself, and sometimes de- 
signating the particular denomination of Christians to 
whose most needy members the gifts should be applied. 
In order to afford an opportunity to all, to avail themselves 
of such methods as may be most acceptable, I will here 
say, that contributions to the General Eelief Corhmittee 
may be sent to the Treasurer, G. R. Messersmith, Esq., 
Cashier of the Bank of Chambersburg. 

Those wishing to make the pastors of the different 
churches (all of which have suffered very greatly) to be 
the almoners of their bounty, can send as follows : 

First Reformed Church, Rev. P. S. Davis. 
Second " " (German,) Rev. B. S. Schneck. 

Presb3rterian, Rev. S. J. Niccolls. 

Lutheran, German (without a pastor). Money can be 
sent to Rev. F. W. Conrad. 
Methodist, Rev. Mr. Barnhart. 
United Brethren in Christ, Rev. J. Dickson. 
Roman Catholic, Rev. John Gerdeman. 
Bethel (Church of God), Mr. W. G. Mitchell. 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBKRSBURG. 

BY KEV. B. S. SCHNECK, D. D. 

Single copies sent by mail, free of postage, at the usual retail 

price, 40 & 60 c<s. 

By the dozen, in cloth, $5 40 

(If sent by express, the receiver pays charges — if by mail, 72 

cents per dozen copies added to the above price,) or . . 6 12 
By the dozen, in paper, ........ 3 60 

Postage per dozen copies, 40c., 4 00 

By the hundred, in cloth, 40 00 

*' " " in paper covers, 26 67 

I^^o books given on commission. 

Agents wishing to canvass particular sections or counties, can apply 
to the author at Chambersburg. 

Agents wanted for a number of counties in the eastern and western 
portion of Pennsylvania, and also for Ohio, Indiana, etc. 

A German edition, in a condensed form, will shortly leave the press, 
■which will retail at 30 cents in paper, and 50 cents in cloth. 
By the dozen, in paper. 



$2 



70 

30 

4 50 

60 

20 00 

33 33 



Postage per dozen copies. 
By the dozen, in cloth. 
Postage, ..... 
By the hundred, in paper, 
" " in cloth, 

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

The following are a few of the notices given by the public press to 
this work in its first edition : 

"It is invaluable as the only account of the most fiendish act of the 
war that is in a form to be preserved." — Colonel A. K. McClure, in the 
Chambersburg ^'^ Franklin Repository,''^ Sept. 28, 1864. 

" To readers of every class we take great pleasure in commending this 
truthful narrative as a valuable contribution to the history of the war. 
. . . The incidents of the burning are detailed by Dr. Schneck with a 
vividness which makes his account of that barbarous transaction as 
graphic as it is authentic." — Editor of Washington "-National Intelli- 
gencer,^'' Oct. 6 

" The source from which it proceeds carries with it sufficient authority 
as to the correctness of its statements. It will be read generally with 
interest and will doubtless receive a large circulation." — " German Re- 
formed Messenger,"' Oct. 5. 

" This little book should be read by every Pennsylvanian. The scenes 
therein so simply and yet so touchingly depicted, have no parallel for 
horror in any war among civilized nations except our own," — Pittsburg 
'■'■ Evenirig Climntcle,''' Oct. 14. 

"I rejoice that this little book has met so rapid a sale, though I anti- 
cipated nothing less, as it is cei'tainly one of the most thrilling narra- 
tives I have ever read. I shall send for a number of copies to be dis- 
tributed here." — Rev. Dr. W B. Sprague, Albany, N. Y., in a letter io 
the author, Nov. 1, 1864. 



MAP OF THE PORTION OF CHAMBERSBURG 

Burnt "by order of Greneral Early, Jialy 30, 1864. 




□crjc 




1. Diamond or Square. 

2. Mansion House (Publication 
Office Ger. Ilef. Church.) 

ajEtterand Hamilton. 

3. Franklin Hutol. 

4. Bank. 



•ise.^ 



5. Noel's. 

6. Courthouse. 

7. Town Hall. 

8. B. Chambers. 

9. Col. McClure. 

10. Edgetool Factory. 



n. Town Mills. Tannery and 
Paper-Mill. 

12. Paper-Mill and Brewery. 

13. Academy. 

14. Dr. Fisher, &c. (Four houses 
on Main Street not burnt.) 



THE 



BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG, 



PENNSYLVANIA. 



REV. B. SCHNECK., D. D., 

AN EYE-WITNESS AND A SUFFERER. 



CORROBORATIVE STATEMENTS 



REV, J. CLARK, HON. A. K. McCLURE, J. HOKE, ESQ., REV. T. G. APPLE, 

REV. B. BAUSMAN, REV. S. J. NICCOLLS, AND 

J. K. SHRYOCK, ESQ. 

IN LETTERS TO A FRIEND. 



SECOND EDITION, REVISED AND IMPROVED, 

•WITH 

A PLAN OF THE BUENT PORTION OF THE TOWN. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

LINDSAY & BLAKISTON 

1861. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 

LINDSAY & BLAKISTON, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District 
of Pennsylvania. 

STEREOTYPED BY J. PAGAN t SON. PRINTED BY SHERMAN & CO. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 



The first edition of this work having been exhausted in a sin- 
gle month, my worthy and enterprising publishers have encour- 
aged the preparation of a second without delay. 

It is hardly necessary to say, that the first edition was prepared 
under exceedingly unfavorable circumstances. Mind and body 
were in a state of exhaustion. For a month, and longer, the 
hours of each day were so much taken up with new and exciting 
cares and duties, as to unfit one in great measure for either mental 
or physical effort. Hence the unpretending little book was ushered 
into existence with a felt sense of its deficiencies. 

An honest efi'ort at improvement has been made in the present 
edition. No small portion of redundant matter has been left 
out, thus afibrding room for various statements which were not 
at hand before. I may here direct special attention to the mas- 
terly " Vindication of the Border" by Mr. Apple, the spirited 
contribution from the facile pen of Mr. Bausman, and the excel- 
lent article by Mr. Shryock. I have with forethought chosen to 
introduce other witnesses, besides myself, to testify in regard to 
the matter in hand, rather than to have the public rely upon my 
testimony only. 

The list of names, with the amount of losses by those who owned 
houses, were to have been omitted in this edition ; but so numer- 
ous were the protests from valued friends against such a course, 
that it has been allowed to remain. The space occupied by these 
details has, however, been reduced nearly one half, partly by em- 
ploying smaller type, and partly by condensing the matter. 

(ill) 



iv PREFACE. 

The engraving prefixed to the present edition, representing the 
burnt portion of the town, will, it is hoped, be acceptable to the 
reader. A steel plate engraving of the ruins of the town would 
have been given, if any satisfactory representation in so small a 
compass could have been furnished. But the judgment of the 
artist decided against its feasibility, and in favor of that herewith 
presented.* 

B. S. S. 

Chambersburq, Oct. 31st, 1864. 

* I take great pleasure in this connection to direct attention to a large photo- 
grapliic view of the Ruins of Chambersburg, by Mr. C. L. Lochman, of Carlisle, as 
the most satisfactory picture I have yet seen. The same artist has also prepared 
a number of smaller pictures and a series of stereoscopic vieics, embracing general 
views and the most prominent local objects of the town. 



THE 

BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG, 



LETTER I. 

My dear Friend : 

Your request to give jou a succinct and, as far as may 
be, detailed account of the terrible calamity with which 
our town was visited on the 30th day of July, is received. 
You are pleased to ^y, that not only my long residence 
in the place, but t^e:4aiit-tha;t I-ha4^_as- on former occa- 
•sionspBG also during the present one, remained at home, 
gives me a right to speak on the subject, without fear of 
cavil or sneer from those who are ready, either from ignor- 
ance or something worse, to misrepresent the facts ^^ th^ 
ease, or apply the ill-timed weapons of ridicule and sar- 
casm against statements which have appeared in print.* 
Passing by your other remarks, which I may be permitted 
to set down as emanating from personal partiality, I shall 
proceed to give you, as perfectly as I can, and as briefly 

* Reference is here made chiefly to the New York Herald and the Tribune, 
both of which sh"!ets have manifested a spirit towards our deeply afflicted 
sufferers akin to that of our worst enemies. The Tribune, instead of allowing 
itself to be corrected by the Hon. A. K. McClure, in the Philadelphia Press, 
turns aside from the subject with miserable jokes, as trivial as they are heart- 
less. And these are our //teHO?*.' 

1* (6) 



6 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

as the subject will allow, a somewliat detailed account of 
the terrible disaster, with an honest endeavor to avoid all 
special pleading and overdrawn statements, dealing only 
in simple matters of fact, as far as I have been able to 
gather them, either from personal knowledge or unques- 
tionable authority. 

The Military Situation on the Border. 

Before proceeding directly to the narration of the terri- 
ble catastrophe, it may be well to glance at the military 
situation on our border. This seems the more necessary 
from the fact, that a very large portion of the public 
prints have been misled into the belief, and consequently 
have unwittingly led their readers to believe that, " if the 
citizens of Chambersburg had turned out to resist the 
enemy, the burning and pillage of the town could have 
been averted," inasmuch as the rebel force, according to 
some statements, was very trifling, "scarcely numbering 
two hundred men." You, my dear friend, are laboring 
under this erroneous belief yourself. Allow me, therefore, 
to turn your attention to the following facts, which are 
well established, and which can be corroborated by any 
amount of evidence. 

General Couch, the commander of this military division, 
had under his control a company of about one hundred 
men at Mercer sburg, sixteen miles southwest from here, 
and a section of a battery of artillery in this place. This 
was the entire military force in the Cu.mberland Yalley, 
under the control of our military commander, at the time. 
Several Pennsylvania regiments which had previously 
been organized for the defence of the border, through the 
efforts of our vigilant Governor, had been summoned by 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURa. 7 

the General Government to Washington and the Potomac 
Army. One hundred men and two small cannon — that 
was all. 

But you ask : ^' Was not General Averill near enough 
to have prevented the rebels from executing their nefari- 
ous design upon your town? and, if so, why did not 
General Couch inform him of the situation of affairs, and 
urge him forward ?" The answer is at hand. General 
Couch did attempt to inform General Averill in time of 
the fact that the enemy, with a force about three thousand 
strong, had crossed the Potomac west of Williamsport, 
and was moving by way of Mercersburg and St. Thomas 
directly on Chambersburg. Averill was encamped one 
mile from Greencastle (ten from Chambersburg) on Friday 
night, July 29. The first two messengers with despatches 
from General Couch, could not find him. The third mes- 
senger succeeded accidentally in finding him after mid- 
night in a field. Averill only now discovered that he 
had been flanked by the enemy, and expressed himself 
greatly surprised and chagrined to the messenger at 
this state of things. Whether he was to blame, it is not 
for me to say. It is sufficient for my purpose just now 
to know that, beyond two small cannon and one hundred 
men, we were without any military protection. And could 
the few hundred citizens of the place, most of them with- 
out firearms, be expected to make a resistance against 
such a force, and with six cannon planted on the hills 
overlooking the town ? To ask the question is to an- 
swer it. 

In reading over the two preceding paragraphs it oc- 
curred to me that the impression might have been made 
on your mind, that I wished to find fault with the General 



8 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

Government for removing froin us all military protection 
on our border. I have no wish to do so in this letter. I 
am no military man, and hence am not so positive in my 
opinions as many other men, who are doubtless far more 
capable of forming a judgment in such matters. I merely 
mention the simple facts as they are patent to all who had 
the best opportunities of knowing the true state of things. 
So, too, in regard to both the Generals named. There is, 
since the burning of our town, a very strong feeling of 
disapprobation in our community and elsewhere against 
both, especially against General Couch. I cannot as yet 
share this feeling. I know how apt we are, especially 
when smarting under severe personal losses or grievances, 
to look around for some object upon which, or some per- 
son on whom, to lay the blame. For my part, I would 
rather err on the side of charity than on the side of unjust 
fault-finding and denunciation. I prefer, until better ad- 
vised, to endorse the views of my friend Colonel A. K. 
McClure, himself one of the sufferers, and well posted in 
such matters. He says : 

'' General Averill possibly might have saved Chambers- 
burg, and I know that General Couch exhausted himself 
to get Averill to fall back from Greencastle to this point. 
I do not say that General Averill is to blame, for he was 
under orders from General Hunter, and not subject to 
General Couch. He had a large force of the enemy in 
his front, and until it is clearly proved to the contrary, I 
must believe that he did his whole duty." 

These two sentences are guardedly worded. " General 
Averill possibly might have saved Chambersburg." The 
enemy, under McCausland, Bradley Johnson, and Gilmore, 
let it be recollected, had at least three thousand cavalry, 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 9 

with artillery at command, eight hundred of the latter 
being in town, the rest within supporting distance. John- 
son's command occupied the high eminence one mile west 
of the town with a battery. No better position could 
have been desired. They were flushed at the prospect of 
plunder and pillage ; their horses were fresh and sleek ; 
their men resolute and defiant. On the other hand, Averill 
and his men had been worn out and jaded by long and 
heavy marches in Western Virginia for a number of con- 
secutive weeks. Their horses were run down, and many 
of them ready to die, so that two hundred and fifty of these 
last could not be taken any farther, but were left here to 
recruit. It is therefore only possible, scarcely probable, 
that, even if Averill's force of less than two thousand five 
hundred men had been here, a successful resistance could 
have been made nnder these circumstances. But Averill 
and his men were not here until several hours after the 
work of destruction was accomplished, and the enemy, 
gloating over his vengeful deeds, was miles away on the 
Western Turnpike, towards McConnellsburg. 

Judge then, dear sir, how keenly we must feel the 
unjust reproaches heaped upon us by professed friends, 
after our houses are in ruins, our goods despoiled, and 
our hearts saddened at every step we take in beholdino- 
continuous squares of desolation in our once beautiful 
town. And reproaches for what? Because a picket 
guard of one hundred soldiers and a small number of 
citizens did not successfully resist more than three thou- 
sand* veteran cavalrymen, with cannon eligibly planted 
to lay waste the town without even coming into it. That 

* Since the foregoing was written it has been ascertained to a certainty, that 
there were three thousand men, exclusive of the eight hundred and thirty-one 



10 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

commanding position once gained by tlae enemy, and the 
town was at his mercy, no matter Avliat force of cavalry 
or infantry might have been in Chambersburg. 

Eeproaches — and from whom and whence f From cer- 
tain newspaper editors of New York ; that same New 
York, which, with its population of half a million, could 
not quell its rabble mob last year, without having a part 
of the Potomac Army brought thither to guard some of 
the very newspaper of&ces from which those reproaches 
upon a helpless town in a neighboring State are now so 
unjustly heaped ; those identical newspapers which have 
ever and anon sent forth paragraphs of bitter invective 
against Pennsylvania in general, and Chambersburg in 
particular, for the " ill treatment of the New York mil- 
itia" at the hands of our citizens * New York is a great 
State, and counts its noble and good men by hundreds of 
thousands ; but like every large State with large towns 
and cities, she also counts her thousands of depraved 
creatures in human shape. And I speak from personal 
knowledge, for they were quartered for weeks near my 
late residence, when I say that of all the soldiers who 
were in this community since the commencement of this 
war, none have left behind them such a bad moral odor 
as have many of these men. Drunkenness, wanton 
destruction of property, thieving, fighting and stabbing 



who were in the town; almost as large a force as that which, one j^ear ago, 
routed Milroy's whole military force, cannon and all, at Winchester. 

* Among the many thousands who have been quartered and encamped here, 
I have never heard of a single soldier who did not speak in the most grateful 
terms of the universally kind treatment towards them from our citizens. For 
proof I appeal to these thousands among the living, wherever they may now be 
found. 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 11 

each other, (in some cases to death outright,) were fre- 
quent occurrences. And yet such men are not only 
allowed to vilify and abuse the people whom their mis- 
conduct has outraged, but certain Kew York sheets take 
up their cause and pour forth wormwood and gall upon 
the town, the community, and the State. Let a virtuous 
public pronounce its verdict. 

Let me illustrate what kind of " defenders" these two 
regiments of New York militia were. On their arrival 
in the town, and whilst marching through it on their way 
to camp, about one mile south from here, some of the 
men received the hearty cheers of our citizens with sneer- 
ing remarks about the necessity of coming " all the way 
from New York to protect Pennsylvania !" Just as if the 
protection of the border was not at the same time a pro- 
tection of other States — perhaps, in certain contingencies, 
even of New York. But mark the sequel. They went 
to camp the same day of their arrival, with liberal sup- 
plies of everything. The border was known to be imper- 
iled a second time, and a large portion of our citizens 
were armed and marched out with these regiments. During 
the night our scouts brought information to camp that the 
rebels were moving from the Potomac this way. And now 
a scene of confusion ensued which beggars description. In 
the greatest conceivable consternation, these " defenders" 
made for Chambersburg in " double-quick," and took seats 
in the cars, "homeward bound." Two interesting little 
circumstances, in connection with this allegro movement, 
must be added, of which hundreds of our citizens were 
eye-witnesses. The first is, that these "defenders," in 
their hasty retreat, did not forget to provide for them- 



12 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

selves as safe a retreat as possible. To this end they 
ordered our citizen soldiers to keep in the rear — in mili- 
tary phrase, "to cover their retreat" imtil the militia-men 
had reached the cars in safety ! The other little circum- 
stance is, that in their hasty retreat, they left the whole 
of their camp equipage behind. At daylight the follow- 
ing morning you might have seen a score of wagons from 
the town returning with loads of tents, boxes, trunks, 
packages, and all sorts of military fixtures, and conveying 
them to the cars, in which they were sent as far as Ship- 
pensburg, by military orders. As the militia thought 
proper to hasten on farther to the north instead of pro- 
tecting their own property, the wary rebels took unmo- 
lested possession of the whole of it on the same day ! 

I think you will agree with me in the remark that these 
men had not much capital to boast of in the way of 
bravery, although Pennsylvanians should not perhaps 
complain, when these " defenders" did no worse for us than 
they did for themselves, namely, beat a hasty retreat, and 
leave all their valuables to the enemy, even before they 
had a sight of him. 

I would not have troubled you with this unpleasant 
chapter, if it were not necessary, in order to understand 
the animus of the splenetic course of the papers referred 
to. These editors, under the pretext of " defending the 
citizens of New York," have most unaccountably, un- 
justly, and without the shadow of provocation, except it 
be the desolation and ruin of hundreds of homes and 
hearths, assailed and sneered at a deeply afflicted commu- 
nity, which has poured out of its former means to the 
soldiers of our armies at home and abroad without stint 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 13 

and with clieerful alacrity, and by night and by day 
watched and ministered at the sick and dying beds of 
our soldiers without distinction of nation or State. 

Yours, &c. 



LETTER II. 

My dear Friend : 

You are aware that the late incursion of the enemy was 
not the first visit we had from our Southern "friends." 
In the fall of 1862 we had Stuart's cavalry raid, and in 
1863 the invasion by Lee's army. Since the first of July 
of the present year, up to the time of McCausland's advent, 
the entire community, especially the farmers, were kept 
in constant uneasiness. Twice before had they been 
robbed of horses, wagons, and grain. The wheat harvest 
had just commenced, and now the enemy was again on 
the border. During the first three weeks of July, the 
farmers felt it necessary to remove their most valuable 
personal property. Merchants packed up and sent away, 
at least a portion of their goods, eastward. But in each 
case the rebels did not come, and some degree of apathy 
in the community was the result. But this did not last 
long. On the morning of July 29th, unmistakable evi- 
dence of the crossing of squads of rebel cavalry over the 
Potomac, reached us. The citizens of Chambersburg, 
with very few exceptions, remained. Indeed, early in the 
evening we were assured that a considerable force of our 
troops were on their way from Harrisburg, which, how- 
2 



14 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

ever, like many previous assurances, telegrams, and ru- 
mors, was not realized. Our scouts soon reported the 
near approach of the rebels, and by three o'clock on the 
morning of Saturday, the 30th, the citizens who had gone 
out with their arms and a section of the battery, having 
satisfied themselves of the overpowering strength of the 
enemy, fell back to town. Three shells were now thrown 
over the town by the rebels from the hills beyond, and as 
these did not elicit any reply, eight hundred and thirty- 
one of their number came to town, their skirmishers 
simultaneously investing every street and alley, gradually 
moving forward, and then halting until the signal or for- 
ward command was again given. We were once more in 
subjection to rebel rule. The centre of the town was 
filled with them. They called together several of the cit- 
izens who were on the street, requesting them to collect 
some of the prominent inhabitants, with a view to enter- 
ing into negotiations. To this end the Court-House bell 
was rung. The summons to the citizens was very par- 
tially obeyed. It was felt that nothing could be done by 
negotiation, and that they must submit to pillage — the 
most they anticipated. The few who did come together 
were approached by Captain Fitzhugh, one of McCaus- 
land's staff, who produced and read a written order, signed 
by General Jubal Early, directing the command to pro- 
ceed to Chambersburg, demand a tribute of $100,000 in 
gold, or $500,000 in Northern currency, and, on the fail- 
ure to secure this sum, to proceed to burn the town, in 
retaliation for the burning of six or eight houses specified 
as having been burned in certain counties in Virginia by 
General Hunter. The citizens stated that it was utterly 
impossible to pay the sum named either in gold or cur- 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 15 

rencj, and that the demand could not be made in good 
faith. They further remonstrated against the monstrosity 
of burning a whole town of six thousand inhabitants, in 
retaliation for the six or eight houses named. So utterly 
incredulous were they as to the threat being actually car- 
ried out, that they expressed their incredulity without 
reserve. Captain Fitzhugh replied with a clinching oath, 
that these orders would be carried out very quickly. He 
immediately issued his orders to his men, a barrel of ker- 
osene and matches were secured, and in less than twenty 
minutes the town was fired in a dozen places, and they 
continued the incendiary work for about one hour. I 
may here say, that most of the store-goods had been 
removed, and a few prominent citizens had left, but that 
no families, women, or children had departed. The burn- 
ing was executed in a most ruthless and unrelenting 
manner.* 

"A squad of men would approach a house, break open 
the door, and kindle a fire, with no other notice to the 
inmates, except to get out of it as soon as they could. In 
many cases, five, ten, fifteen minutes were asked to secure 
some clothing, which were refused. Many families escaped 
with only the clothing they had on, and such as they could 
gather up in their haste. In many cases they were not 
allowed to take these, but were threatened with instant death 
if they did not cast them away and flee. Sick and aged 
people had to be carried to the fields. The corpse of at 
least one person who had recently died, was hastily inter- 
red in the garden, and children, separated from their pa- 

* This and several following paragraphs are quoted, with a few slight modi- 
fications, from a brief and well-written article by the Rev. Joseph Clark, in 
the Philadelphia " Presbyterian" of August 6. 



16 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

rents, ran wildly screaming through the streets. Those 
whose stupor or eagerness to save something, detained 
them, emerged with difficulty from the streets filled with 
the sheeted flames of their burning homes. I should say 
here, that no provocation had been given ; not a shot was 
fired on them in entering the town, and not until the full 
crisis was reached, did desperation, in a few instances, lead 
to desperate acts. 

"As to the result, I may say that the entire heart or 
body of the town is burned. Not a house or building of 
any kind is left on a space of about an average of two 
squares of streets, extending each way from the centre, 
with some four or five exceptions, where the buildings 
were isolated. Only the outskirts are left. The Court- 
house, Bank, Town Hall, German Eeformed Printing Es- 
tablishment, every store and hotel in the town, and every 
mill and factory in the space indicated, and two churches, 
were burnt. Between three and four hundred dwel- 
lings were burned, leaving at least twenty-five hundred 
persons without a home or a hearth. In value, three- 
fourths of the town was destroyed. The scene of desola- 
tion must be seen to be appreciated. Crumbling walls, 
stacks of chimneys, and smoking embers, are all that 
remain of once elegant and happy homes. 

"As to the scene itself, it beggars description. My 
own residence being in the outskirts, and feeling it the 
call of duty to be with my family, I could only look on 
from without. The day was sultry and calm, not a breath 
stirring, and each column of smoke rose black, straight, 
and single ; first one, and then another, and another, and 
another, until the columns blended and commingled ; and 
then one vast and lurid column of smoke and flame rose 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 17 

perpendicularly to the sky, and spread out into a vast crown, 
like a cloud of sackcloth hanging over the doomed city ; 
whilst the roar and the surging, the crackling and crash 
of falling timbers and walls, broke upon the still air. with 
a fearful dissonance, and the screams and sounds of agony 
of burning animals, hogs, and cows, and horses, made the 
welkin horrid with sounds of woe. It was a scene to be 
witnessed and heard once in a lifetime." 

To you and other friends, more or less familiar with 
Chambersburg, it will be interesting to specify a little 
more particularly the localities which have been laid waste. 
Beginning on East Market street, the one leading from 
Gettysburg to Pittsburg, directly through the centre of 
the town from east to west, the burning commenced simul- 
taneously with the Court-house and Mansion-house (Print- 
ing Establishment of the German Eeformed Church). 
Facing the west from the Franklin railroad, the first build- 
ing to the right is the residence of the Misses Denny, in a 
somewhat isolated position. This stands in its freshness 
and beauty, solitary and alone. Passing down two squares 
to the centre of the town, not one building and only two 
or three stables or barns remain on either side of this 
street of private residences, my own with all of my library 
and manuscripts, among the number. Passing further on 
westward for more than three squares in length, to the top 
of "New England Hill," five or six more or less isolated 
houses remain. The large Franklin Hotel, the Arcade 
Buildings, John B. Cook's houses and tannery, Eiley's 
Hotel, the late Matthew Gillan's large dwelling, J. M. 
Wolf kill's store and dwelling, G. W. Brewer's and Mrs. 
Joseph Chambers's beautiful residences, are among the 
many valuable properties on this street, in ruins. 

2* 



18 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

Then from North Main street (the street from Carlisle to 
Greencastle), beginning with Mr. Benjamin Chambers's 
new residence, at the Falling Spring, and Mr. W. G. Reed's, 
on the corner, and from here on every honse on both sides 
up the square, on to the centre, across it to Queen street, 
and up to Washington street, with the exception of Rev. 
Dr. Fisher's, Mr. Reineman's, Lehner's, and Feltman's 
dwellings, every house, shop, stable, &c., is gone. This 
street, as you know, contained more than three-fourths of 
all our stores, ware-rooms, and shops of business. Then 
comes Queen street, at the intersection of Second street, 
beginning at Brandt's (now Brown's) hotel, which was only 
partially destroyed, sweeping every building (except Mrs. 
Brandt's dwelling), on both sides down to the creek, over 
two squares, including Dr. Culbertson's, N. Snider's, Bar- 
nard Wolff's, Mr. Wallace's, and other valuable dwellings 
and stores. Between eleven and twelve squares of the 
best part of the town are, therefore, in ruins, among them 
houses of many, inhabitants, whom you knew in former 
years as among your dearest friends, and in comfortable 
or af&uent circumstances, many of them now reduced to 
penury and want. 

After I had written the preceding pages, I found a minute 
and well- written statement of the subject now in hand in 
the " Franklin Repository," of this place, of August 24. I 
take pleasure in giving the following extracts from the 
same, instead of my own, as the matter was evidently pre- 
pared with judgment and care, under the supervision of 
its editor. Colonel McClure. He says : 

" It seems inexplicable to persons and journals at a dis- 
tance that General Couch, a Major-General commanding a 
department, with his border repeatedly invaded, should 



THE BUENING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 19 

have no troops. The natural inclination is to blame the 
commander, for it is reasonable to suppose that lie would 
endeavor to have an adequate command, and also that 
ample authority would be given him to have sufficient 
force. Just where the blame belongs, we do not choose 
now to discuss; but we do know that it was no fault of 
Greneral Couch that he was unable to defend Chambers- 
burg. He organized a Provost Guard regiment, some 
twelve hundred strong, expressly for duty in his depart- 
ment ; the men were enlisted under a positive assurance, 
based on the order authorizing the organization, that they 
were to be kept on duty in the department. They were 
ordered to General Grant after the battles of the Wilder- 
ness. He organized six regiments of one hundred days' 
men before the advent of McCausland, and they were 
ordered to Washington as soon as they were ready to 
move. We are assured that Governor Curtin, fully two 
weeks before the burning of Chambersburg, formally 
pledged the State to make provision for arming, organ- 
izing, and paying the entire militia force of the border 
for home defence, if the General Government would simply 
give the uniforms ; and we believe that General Couch 
pressed it upon the Washington authorities to uniform 
the entire force of the southern counties, assuring them 
that the people were willing to defend themselves if en- 
couraged by granting them uniforms, so as to save them 
from inhuman butchery, but it was denied. We do not 
speak advisedly as to General Couch's correspondence 
with the Washington authorities ; we give no statements 
at his instance, or based upon information received from 
him or his officers; but we do write whereof we know, 
when we say that every effort was made to carry these 



20 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

measures into effect, and that they were not sanctioned at 
Washington. While we do not assume to fix the respon- 
sibility of this terrible disaster, we do mean that it shall 
not fall upon a commander who was shorn of his strength 
and left helpless with his people. 

The Rebels Enter Chambersburg 

" The rebels having been interrupted in their entrance 
into the town until daylight, they employed their time in 
planting two batteries in commanding positions, and get- 
ing up their whole column, fully three thousand strong. 
About 4 o'clock on Saturday morning they opened with 
their batteries and fired some half a dozen shots into the 
town, but they did no damage. Immediately thereafter 
their skirmishers entered by almost every street and alley 
running out west and southwest ; and finding their way 
clear, their cavalry, to the number of eight hundred and 
thirty-one, came in under the immediate command of 
General McCausland. General Bradley Johnson was with 
him, and also the notorious Major Harry Gilmore. 

Plundering Promptly Commenced. 

"While McCausland and Gilmore were reconnoitring 
around to get a deal with the citizens for tribute, his sol- 
diers exhibited the proficiency of their training by imme- 
diate and almost indiscriminate robbery. Hats, caps, 
boots, watches, silverware, and everything of value, were 
appropriated from individuals on the streets without cere- 
mony ; and when a man was met whose appearance in- 
dicated a plethoric purse, a pistol would be presented to 
his head with the order to "deliver," with a dexterity that 



THE BUENING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 21 

would have done credit to the freebooting accomplish- 
ments of an Italian brigand. 

Tribute Demanded. 

" General McCansland rode up to a number of citizens 
and gave notice that unless five hundred thousand dollars 
in greenbacks, or one hundred thousand dollars in gold 
were paid in half an hour, the town would be burned ; but 
no one responded to his call. He was promptly answered 
that Chambersburg could not and would not pay any ran- 
som. He had the Court House bell rung to convene the 
citizens, hoping to frighten them into the payment of a 
large sum of money, but no one attended. Infuriated at 
the determination of our people. Major Gilmore rode up 
to a group of citizens, consisting of Thomas B. Kennedy, 
William McLellan, J. McDowell Sharpe, Dr. J. C. Eichards, 
William H. McDowell, W. S. Everett, Edward G. Etter, 
and M. A. Foltz, and ordered them under arrest. He said 
that they would be held for the payment of the money, 
and if not paid he would take them to Eichmond as 
hostages, and also burn every house in 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 discharged when it was found that intimidation 
would effect nothing. 

Burning of Chambersburg. 

" The main part of the town was enveloped in flames in 
ten minutes. No time was given to remove women or 
children, the sick, or even the dead. No notice of the 
kind was communicated to any one ; but the work of des- 
truction was at once commenced. They divided into 



22 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBUEG. 

squads and fired every otlier house, and often every house, 
if there was any prospect of plunder. They would beat 
in the door with iron bars or heavy plank, smash up fur- 
niture 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, appro- 
priated 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 heard of a number 
of persons, mostly widows, who paid them sums from 
twenty-five to two hundred dollars, we know of but few 
cases where the property was saved thereby. Few houses 
escaped rifling — nearly all were plundered of everything 
that could be carried away. In most cases houses were 
entered in the rudest manner, and no time whatever was 
allowed for the families to escape, much less to save any- 
thing. 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 Avith them. They would 
rush from story to story to rob, and always fire the build- 
ing 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 inva- 
lids had to be carried out as the red flames licked their 
couches. Thus the work of 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 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 23 

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 de- 
parture. In a few hours, the major portion of Chambers- 
burg, its chief wealth and business, its capital and elegance, 
were devoured by a barbarous foe ; three millions of pro- 
perty sacrified ; three thousand human beings homeless 
and many penniless ; and all without so much as a pre- 
tence that the citizens of the doomed town, 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. 

Incidents of the Burning. 

We find it impossible to make room for all the many 
touching incidents which occurred in the burning of the 
town. The house of Mr. James Watson, an old and fee- 
ble man of over eighty, was entered, and because his wife 
earnestly remonstrated against the burning, they fired the 
room, hurled her into it and locked the door on the out- 
side. Her daughters rescued her by bursting in the door 
before her clothing took fire. Mr. Jacob Wolf kill, a very 
old citizen, and prostrated by sickness so that he was ut- 
terly unable to be out of bed, plead in vain to be spared 
a horrible death in the flames of his own house ; but they 
fired the building. Through the superhuman efforts of 
some friends he was carried away safely. Mrs. Lindsay, 



24 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

a very feeble lady of nearly eighty, fainted when tliey fired 
her house, and was left to be devoured in the flames : but 
fortunately a relative reached the house in time, and lift- 
ing her in a buggy, 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 had 
Mrs. Kuss's sick babe in her arms, and plead for the sake 
of the dead mother and sick 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. When the flames drove Mrs. Shryock away with the 
child, she went to one of the men and presenting the babe, 
said, " Is this revenge sweet .^" A tender chord was touched, 
and without speaking he burst into tears. He afterwards 
followed Mrs. Shryock, and asked whether he could do 
anything for her ; but it was too late. The houses of 
Messrs. McLellan, Sharpe and Nixon, being located east 
of the Franklin Eailroad, and out of the business part of 
the town, were not reached until the rest of the town was 
in flames, and the roads were streaming with homeless 
women and children. Mr. McLellan's residence was the 
first one entered, and he was notified that the house must 
be burned. Mrs. McLellan immediately stepped to the 
door, and laying one hand on the rebel of&cer. and point- 
ing with the other to the frantic fugitive women and chil- 
dren passing by, said to him : " Sir, is not your vengeance 
glutted f We have a home and can get another ; hut caii you 
spare no homes for those poor^ helpless people and their chil- 
dren f When you and I and all of us shall meet before the 
Great Judge, can you justify this act V^ He made no reply, 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 25 

but ordered bis command away, and that part of tlie town 
was saved. Mr. Holmes Crawford, an aged and most 
worthy citizen, was taken into an alley while his house 
was burning, and his pockets rifled. He was thus de- 
tained 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 around him were burnt 
down. Father McCallom, Catholic priest of this place, 
was robbed of his watch. Colonel Stumbaugh was arrested 
near his home early in the morning, and, with a pistol 
presented to his head, ordered to procure some whiskey. 
He refused, for the very good reason that he had none and 
could get none. He was released, but afterwards re- 
arrested by another squad, the officer naming him, and 
was insulted in every possible way. He informed the 
officer that he had been in the service, and that if General 
Battles was present, they would not dare to insult him. 
When asked why, he answered, " I captured him at Shiloh, 
and treated him like a soldier." A rebel Major present, 
who had been under Battles, upon inquiry, w^as satisfied 
that Colonel Stumbaugh's statement was correct, ordered 
his prompt release, and withdrew the entire rebel force 
from that part of Second Street, and no buildings were 
burned. Mr. John Treher, of Loudon, was robbed by the 
rebels of $200 in gold and silver, and $100 in currency. 
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 
3 



26 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

rebel soldiers were intoxicated and they feared the worst 
consequences. 

Colonel McClnre's beautiful residence, one mile from 
the centre of the town, was evidently marked out for des- 
truction, for no other house between it and the burnt por- 
tion of the town was fired. The Colonel was known as a 
prominent man in National and State affairs, and, after 
the raid of General Jenkins and the succeeding invasion 
by General Lee's army, he had spoken of Jenkins and his 
men in no complimentary terms in the paper of which 
Colonel McClure is chief editor. And although no house 
in the community was more coveted by rebel officers to 
be quartered in than his, and for the reason, doubtless, 
that every comfort and luxury could be had in it, and 
although Mrs. McClure had, with her well known generosity 
and kindness of heart, ministered to the necessities and 
comforts of the sick and wounded insurgents, which were 
left during General Lee's invasion, for which she has since 
received the most touching acknowledgments from some 
of them — yet, his property was doomed, irrevocably 
doomed to be burnt. Captain Smith, son of Governor 
Smith of Virginia, with a squad of men, passing by all 
the intervening houses, entered the devoted mansion with 
the information to Mrs. McClure, then and for some time 
before an invalid, that the house must be burned by way 
of retaliation. Ten minutes were given her in which to 
leave the house, and in less than ten minutes the flames 
were doing their work of destruction, and Mrs. McClure 
and the other members of the family at home, started on 
foot, in the heat of one of the hottest days I have ever 
known, in order to escape the vengeance of the chivalry. 
Whilst the flames were progressing in the house as well 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 27 

as the large and well-filled barn, the Captain helped him- 
self to Mrs. McClure's gold watch, silver pitcher and other 
valuables. The gold watch and other articles were easily 
concealed, but the silver pitcher was rather unwieldy, 
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 gene- 
rosity. He stopped at the house of the Eev. James Ken- 
nedy, and handed the pitcher to his wife, with the request, 
"Please deliver this to Mrs. Colonel McClure, with the 
compliments of Captain Smith." 

Humane Rebel Officers. 

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 freebooters who were plying the torch 
and securing plunder. Surgeon Abraham Budd was con- 
versing with several citizens when the demand for tribute 
was made, and he assured all present that the rebel com- 
mander would not burn Chambersburg. In the midst of 
his assurances, the flames burst forth almost simultane- 
ously 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, 



28 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

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 
that 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 hu- 
manity. After the rebels had left, the following note was 
received by Eev. S. J. Niccolls, Presbyterian pastor, writ- 
ten on an envelope with a pencil : 

Eev. Mr. Niccolls : 

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 public property. McCaus- 
land was greatly incensed at some of his officers, and 
threatened them with most summary vengeance if they 
refused to obey orders.* Many, however, did openly dis- 

* McCausland had also insisted upon burning the town in the night, to which 
Johnson persistently objected. Mrs. Greenawalt, a most worthy and intelligent 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 29 

obey, and went even so far as to give the utmost publicity 
to their disobedience. 

The Order to Burn Chambersburg'. 

Captain Fitzhugh exhibited to J. W. Douglas, Esq., an 
attorney of this place, a written order, with the name of 
Jubal A. Early to it, directing that Chambersburg should 
be burned, in retaliation for the burning of six houses in 
Virginia by Hunter. The burning of Chambersburg was 
therefore by an order from 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 Cham- 
bersburg had been destroyed. He was brought to General 
Early's headquarters 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. 

Retribution. 

Several of the thieves who participated in burning 
Chambersburg were sent suddenly to their last account. 
An officer, whose papers identify him as Major Bowen, 
8th Virginia cavalry, was conspicuous for his brutality 
and robberies. He got too far south of the firing parties 

woman, overheard this consultation of the officers in an adjoining room. The 
increased horrors which must have resulted if McCausland had not been over- 
ruled in his determination, may be imagined. B. S. S. 



30 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

to be covered by them, and in his desire to glut bis thiev- 
ish propensities, he was isolated. He was captured by 
several citizens, in the midst of his brutal Avork, and was 
dispatched 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 hu- 
manity 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. 

Mr. Thomas H. Doyle, of Loudon, who had served in 
Easton's battery, followed the retreating rebels towards 
Loudon, to capture stragglers. When beyond St. Thomas 
he caught Captain Cochran, quartermaster of 11th Vir- 
ginia 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 thief dead, 
and found on his person $815 of greenbacks, all stolen 
from our citizens, and $1750 of rebel currency. His 
sword, belt, and pistols were brought to this place by Mr. 
Doyle. 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 31 



LETTER III. 

My dear Friend. 

Allow me in this letter to send you part of an article 
which appeared in the German Eeformed Messenger of 
September 7, in vindication of the border. It is from the 
pen of the Eev. T. Gr. Apple, of Greencastle, in this 
county. Mr. Apple is a corresponding editor of that 
paper, and one of the most cool, honest, and sagacious 
writers within the range of my acquaintance. The article 
referred to is as follows : 

A Vindication of the Border. 

"We have lived in the most exposed portion of the 
Pennsylvania border ever since the commencement of the 
war, and therefore feel that we have some right to speak 
in its vindication. It is very easy and somewhat natural 
for persons living away from the scene of danger to say 
what they would do under certain circumstances, if their 
homes were invaded. But for those who are willing to 
give the subject a little calm thought, the following con- 
siderations ought to be sufficient to show the error into 
which many seem to have fallen : 

" 1. The border counties are required, whenever a call is 
made, to make up their quotas for the national army. 
Their men are sent away to fight for the maintenance of 
the Government. Can it be expected, then, that these 
counties, after filling their quotas and paying their taxes, 
will be able still to turn out and maintain in the field an 
additional force, sufficient to protect them from invasion ? 



32 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

Is not the Government pledged, after it has taken their 
men and their money, to afford them protection, so far as 
it has ability ? And have not these border counties a 
right to expect such protection ? Is not the State under 
obligation to use all its power to afford protection to the 
remotest portion of its territory, so long as it demands 
the support of all its citizens ? 

" 2. It has generally been conceded in the North, during 
this war, that what is called hushwhaching is contrary to 
the rules of war. A private citizen has no right to enjoy 
that protection and immunity which is accorded him by 
the armies, and then take his gun and shoot down a sol- 
dier. This, we think, is conceded, and it has been urged 
all along that private citizens who do so deserve summary 
execution. Suppose now that private citizens should em- 
ploy violence against rebel soldiers, is it not plain that 
they would expose themselves to the vengeance of the 
rebel army, and that the end of it would be a war of sav- 
age butchery on both sides, a war of destruction and des- 
olation ? Would it not invite to pillage and arson and 
murder ? 

" 3. But even if this had been attempted in the cases of 
invasion that have occurred, it would have been of no 
avail. Take the recent case of the capture and burning 
of Chambersburg. General Averill was not far from the 
place, with twenty-five hundred cavalry, when a detach- 
ment of Early's corps, under McCausland, entered and 
burned it. If, then. General Averill felt himself too weak 
to interfere to prevent the rebels from entering the town, 
what could the unarmed citizens of such a place, without 
any one to lead them, have been able to do ? It has been 
said by papers that ought to know better, that two or 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 33 

three hundred rebels captured and burned the town. Is 
it not to be supposed that General Couch would know 
what could be done, and Avhen he despaired of being able 
to hold the town and left it, would it not have been sheer 
madness for the citizens to have provoked the rebel sol- 
diery to shoot them down in the streets, without being 
able to effect anything ? 

" Besides it must be remembered that the citizens of 
Chambersburg did not know, and had no right to expect, 
that the rebel force intended burning their town before 
they entered it. As unarmed private citizens they sub- 
mitted to what could not be averted, and expected to be 
treated according to the rules of war, under which pri- 
vate citizens are protected from personal injury by sol- 
diers. 

"That farmers should send away their horses, and mer- 
chants their goods, at the approach of the enemy, is not 
only natural, but eminently wise and proper. Allowing 
them to remain at home, without the ability to defend 
them from capture, would be giving aid and comfort to 
the enemy. 

"As against New York, the city whose leading papers 
have been vilely slandering the border counties of Penn- 
sylvania, the case would seem to need no explanation or 
vindication. It is still remembered how that city found 
it necessary to have regiments from our armies to come 
to their rescue in putting down a riot caused by opposi- 
tion to the draft. It is known, too, how anxiously they 
clamor for the Government to provide ample defences for 
their harbor against some rebel iron-clad that might slip 
in unawares and destroy their city. If New York needs 
monster guns to protect it from the enemy, is it wrong 



34 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBUKG. 

for Pennsylvania to expect arms and men to be furnislied 
by the Government, to protect her borders from inva- 
sion ? 

" As to the kind of philanthropy that would thus vilify 
and slander a town lying in ashes, and its inhabitants 
houseless and homeless, what terms can characterize it? 
It is not only unchristian but inhuman. These things are 
past, but they are not forgotten. 

" Chambersburg had a right to claim help in its calamity, 
not as a charity, but as a right. But in these times rights 
are not always accorded. Some sections have to suffer 
more than others, who do fully as much in men and 
money to support the government. This is to be expected. 
Let us try at least to be just in our judgment." 

The following is from the graphic pen of the Eev. B. 
Bausman, late pastor of the German Eeformed congrega- 
tion here, now of the city of Beading, likewise a corre- 
sponding editor of the paper referred to, and author of 
" Sinai and Zion," an interesting volume of Travels in the 
Holy Land. Mr. B. hastened to the scene of ruin as soon 
as the telegraph informed him of the fearful calamity. 
After a suitable introduction, he furnishes the following 
incidents and reflections: 

" Persons were fired upon, who attempted to extinguish 
the flames. A rebel soldier threatened a young man to 
' blow his brains out ' if he would not let the fire burn. 
With a revolver in hand, his sister rushed out of an ad- 
joining room, her eyes flashing with a more terrible fire 
than that of rebel kindling : ' Begone, thou brutal wretch !' 
said the heroine, as she aimed with precision at the rebel's 
head, who scampered away in a terrible fright. 

" Three sides around a lady's home (Mrs. Denig's) are 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 35 

on fire. The fourth is enclosed with an iron fence. An 
attempt to cross the fence burns her palm into crisp. 
She sits down in the middle of her narrow lot. Around 
her she folds a few rugs, dipped in water, to shelter her 
person against the heat. An old negro crouches down by 
her side, and helps to moisten the rugs. Her face, though 
covered, is blistered by the intense heat. Now and then 
God sends a breath of wind to waft the hot air away, and 
allows her to take breath. Virtually, it was a martyrdom 
at the stake, those two hours amid the flames. Only after 
she was rescued did the sight of her ruined home open 
the fountain of tears. ' Don't cry, missus,' said Peter, the 
old negro; 'de Lord saved our lives from de fire.' In a 
few hours two thousand people are scattered through the 
suburbs of the town, in the fields, on the cemetery, amid 
the abode of the dead. A squad of rebels seized a flag, 
which a lady happened to have in her house. With some 
difficulty, she wrested it from their grasp, folded it around 
her person, and walked away from her burning house, 
past the furious soldiery, determined that the flag should 
become her shroud ere it should fall into the hands of the 
foe. 

"Never was there so little saved at an extensive fire. 
Sixty-nine pianos were consumed. The most sacred family 
relics, keepsakes and portraits of deceased friends, ofd 
family Bibles, handed down from past generations, and 
the many objects imparting a priceless value to a Chris- 
tian home, and which can never be replaced, were all des- 
troyed. 

" In the dim moonlight we meditated among the ruins. 
Chimney-stacks and fragments of walls formed the dreary 
outline of ruined houses. Not a light was left but tli- 



36 THE BURNING OF CH AMBEESBURG. 

fitful glowing of embers, amid the rubbish that fills the 
cellars. The silence of the grave reigns where oft we 
have heard the voice of mirth and music, of prayer and 
praise. Now and then some one treads heavily along in 
the middle of the street ; for the pavements are blocked 
up with fallen walls, 

" Here we must pause a moment. More than fifty years 
ago, a happy young man brought his bride into yonder 
house, now in ruins. One room sufiiced, on the second 
floor. A happier pair could not be found in the halls of 
afiluence. The first day they said : ' We will build an 
altar here.' Around it they daily knelt. In 1812, the 
husband tore himself away from his weeping bride, to 
drive the British foe from our soil. From that day to 
this, his heart was aglow with the fire of Christian pa- 
triotism. Children were born to them, and children's 
children. By industry, thrift and piety, they acquired a 
competent fortune, meanwhile giving much to Christ and 
His kingdom. Their children, too, they gave to Him. 
The first room continued a sacred 'upper room.' There 
were portraits, books and family keepsakes of fifty years' 
gathering. Mementos of sorrow and joy were treasured 
up therein. Some years ago, the once happy bride, then 
an aged matron, died. Her death was like the falling of 
a great shadow on a sun-lit home. By this time the sil- 
very locks of age adorned the brow of the bridegroom. 
Sorrow had made his home doubly sacred ; trials riveted 
his heart to it. Still he prayed and read his old family 
Bible in the room where first he built the altar. With 
what a cheerful, buoyant spirit he bore the burdens of 
age ! Under this room was a store, with a considerable 
quantity of powder. The fire is already hissing around 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 37 

the kegs. Still he lingers in his dear chamber, as if pre- 
ferring death there to safety elsewhere. The violence of 
friendship forces him away just before the fatal explosion. 
Every domestic memorial, which piety and affection have 
gathered for more than half a century, are in the ashes. 
Two cases these, out of three hundred. Thousands of do- 
mestic and social ties bind the members of communities 
and of families together. To tear up and sunder all in a 
few hours, and cut hundreds of hearts loose from the moor- 
ings of past generations — who can fathom such a sorrow! 
'' The Eev. P. S. Davis, who lately entered upon the pas- 
torate of the First Reformed Church, sustained a serious 
loss. A great portion of the clothing of his family and 
his manuscripts, the literary fruits of an earnest, laborious 
ministry, were consumed. Dr. Schneck vainly contended 
with the flames. His cozy, substantial house, with all 
that it contained — the costly relics borne home from tAvo 
European tours, his valuable library, all his manuscripts, 
precious domestic keepsakes and furniture — all are a heap 
of undistinguishable ruins. To begin the world anew at 
his time of life, presents a cheerless prospect. Dr. Fisher's 
is one of the four fortunate homes that were saved in the 
burned district." 



LETTER. IV. 

My dear Friend: 

In your last letter, you ask me what are the feelings of 
our people, especially the immediate sufferers, under the 
severe stroke which has befallen them ; whether despond- 



38 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

ing or otlierwise, and whether the spirit of " retaliation 
for the bitterly severe losses and deprivations does not 
largely manifest itself among them." 

In regard to the first, I am enabled to say, that during 
the whole course of my life, I have not witnessed such an 
absence of despondent feeling under great trials and sud- 
den reverses of earthly fortune, never such buoyancy and 
vigor of soul, and even cheerfulness amid accumulated 
woes and sorrows, as I have during these four weeks of 
our devastated town. And I leave you to imagine the 
many cases of extreme revulsion from independence and 
affluence to utter helplessness and want. The widow and 
fatherless, the aged and infirm, suddenly bereft of their 
earthly all, in very many instances, even of a change of 
clothing. Large and valuable libraries and manuscripts, 
the accumulations of many years ; statuary, paintings, 
precious and never-to-be-replaced mementoes — more valu- 
able than gold and silver — gone forever. And yet amid 
all these losses and the consequent self-denial and the ne- 
cessity of adapting themselves to another and almost en- 
tirely different state of things, to which the great majority 
of the people were subjected, you seldom see a sad or 
sombre countenance on the street or elsewhere. Excep- 
tions there are doubtless, traceable in part to feeble physi- 
cal constitution, in part also to an inordinate love of and 
dependence upon transitory objects. But in a general 
way the sufferers by this wholesale devastation are among 
the most patient, unmurmuring, cheerful, hopeful people 
I have ever known. God really seems to have given 
special grace in a special time of need. When, on the 
morning after the burning and pillage (God's sweet day 
of rest) I attempted to preach to an huml^le flock of Ger- 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 89 

mans, wliom I serve once a Sabbatli, a godly woman be- 
longing to tlie little congregation wept nearly during tlie 
whole service. On the way to my lodging-place, I over- 
took her and found her still in tears. Fearing I had been 
misinformed as to her safety from the recent calamity, I 
asked for the cause of her grief. "I weep for others, 
my dear pastor," she replied, " and not altogether and en- 
tirely for others either, for I fear me that if my little all 
had been burnt before my eyes, I should not have had 
grace to bear up as you and the rest are enabled to do." 
And then with an outburst of irrepressible emotion, she 
added : " And you can yet exhort us to forgive these our 
enemies, and not murmur and repine under all this, as 
not only you yourself but others have said, we should do. 
It's this that makes me weep." 

I freely confess that I have never experienced in my 
own case, nor in the case of others, even under compara- 
tively light and trifling losses and deprivations, such 
resignation, such quiet, gentle submission, and such calm 
endurance, amid the loss of all things, as in this instance. 
To such an extent have been these manifestations, that 
persons from neighboring toAvns, and strangers from a 
distance who in great numbers have visited the place, 
almost universally remark upon it. A highly intelligent 
and pious woman in a remote part of the county, a few 
days after the burning, called at the house in which a 
number of the homeless ones were kindly cared for. The 
large dining-table was surrounded by those who, a few 
days before, were in possession of all the comforts and 
many of the luxuries of life. Pleasant and cheerful con- 
versation passed around the board. The visitor alone 
seemed sad and out of tune. Tears stood in her eyes as she 



40 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

looked around upon us. " I am amazed beyond measure 
at you all," slie said. ''I expected to see nouglit but tears, 
hear only lamentations and sighs, and here you are as I 
have seen and known you in your bright and happy days, 
calm, serene, and even cheerful !" When one of our num- 
ber replied, that no tear over the losses sustained had yet 
been shed by herself, but many tears at the numerous 
tokens of Christian sympathy and generous aid from far 
and near to relieve the immediate necessities of the suf- 
ferers, she added, " God be thanked for your words ; they 
flow like precious ointment, deep down into my heart. 
Oh, what a commentary on the promised grace of God !" 
And we all felt, I am sure, that among the many gifts of 
our heavenly Father, not the least was 

"A cheerful heart, 
That tastes those gifts with joy." 

And in regard to the feeling of revenge, so natural to 
the human heart, I have been gratifyingly disappointed. 
Among the heaviest sufferers, by far the largest propor- 
tion have not only expressed themselves decidedly opposed 
to the spirit of retaliation, but have used their best efforts 
to dissuade our soldiers from carrying their threats into 
execution when an opportunity should offer. They have 
gone farther, and have drawn up a petition in which they 
earnestly implore the Government in Washington to pre- 
vent to the utmost anything of the kind on the part of 
our arm}^ They believe it to be morally wrong, no mat- 
ter what may be the provocation from the other side, and 
have always condemned the destruction of private prop- 
erty by our troops in the South, whenever isolated 
instances of the kind were reported. They believe, more- 



THE BUENING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 41 

over, witli our wise and judicious Governor, that retalia- 
tion "can do no good to our own people, but a great deal 
of harm, because we have more towns, villages, flouring 
and other mills to be destroyed in three counties than our 
enemies in the Southern States have in fifteen or twenty 
counties." 

Such a wholesale, premeditated, and cruel work of de- 
struction as the burning of Chambersburg, was never 
perpetrated by Union troops, and when Eichmond papers 
have said so, they have said what the facts in the case did 
not warrant. It must be admitted, however, that in too 
many instances. Union troops did destroy private property 
■unnecessarily and wantonly. We hope in God it will 
never be done again. We trust our commanding officers 
in the army will not allow passion to set aside moral prin- 
ciple, military rule, and military honor. Within sight of 
our charred and desolated homes, we implore and beseech 
them not to bring reproach upon our Government, trample 
upon all law and order, inaugurate cruel barbarity instead 
of civilized w^arfare, and be guilty of such accumulated 
horrors as have been enacted here. And yet all this, and 
much more, will follow with unerring certainty, if the 
immoral, dishonorable, and unmilitary spirit of retaliation 
is carried into eftect. God in mercy forbid it ! 

In this connection, and for the purpose of showing that 
I am not alone in the views expressed as regards the 
destruction of private property by Union troops on the 
one hand, and the exaggerated or untrue statements of 
the Southern press on the other, I will quote the follow- 
ing paragraphs from the pen of Colonel McClure, in his 
paper already referred to. I suppose his statements come 
as near the truth as can well be ascertained. He says : 

4¥ 



42 THE BUENING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

" Jacksonville (Florida) was fired at a single point when 
our troops were retreating from it, because citizens fired 
on onr men from the houses, and unfortunately most of 
the town — composed of wooden structures — was destroyed. 
The firing was in accordance with a well-recognized rule, 
that civilians who shelter themselves in their houses to 
fire upon troops, shall not only lose their property but 
suffer death. In Alexandria an accidental fire, resulting 
from a party of intoxicated soldiers, threatened the de- 
struction of the entire town, owing to its inflammable 
buildings and unfavorable winds; but it was arrested 
before one-third of the village — the poorest portion of 
it — was burned. At the head of the force detailed to put 
out the fire was Major- General Banks in person, and by 
his orders and efforts the town was saved. Jackson (Mis- 
sissippi) was partially destroyed by our guns when it was 
defended by the rebels, but it Avas not fired and burned 
by our troops after possession was gained. Wrongs, even 
atrocities, may have been committed by individual sol- 
diers or isolated commands; but no such thing as delib- 
erate and wanton burning and robbing of houses was 
practised by the Union army. Colonel Montgomery com- 
mitted gross outrages on private citizens in two raids in 
South Carolina, which we have never seen reason to jus- 
tify ; but he was deprived of his command, or at least 
subordinated, and it may be dismissed, as he should have 
been. Kilpatrick burned mills unwarrantably, as we have 
ever believed, and other Union commanders may have 
done the same ; but it was some excuse that they were 
filled with rebel supplies. While McCausland was on his 
way to Chamber sburg to lay it waste. General Kousseau 
was penetrating the richest part of Georgia, and not a sin- 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 43 

gle private house or building of any kind was destroyed, 
nor were Ms soldiers permitted to enter a residence on 
the route. When private property was near to Govern- 
ment stores, which he had to fire, he detailed men to save 
all but the buildings belonging to or used by the rebel 
government. General Stoneman enforced the same rules 
rigidly in all his raids, and so did Grierson. The Union 
troops have captured and occupied hundreds of rebel 
towns since the war has commenced, and they have yet 
for the first time to demand the freebooter's tribute, or 
destroy a town by order of a commanding officer. Ee- 
peatedly have our troops been fired upon and murdered 
by skulking rebels who protected themselves in their 
dwellings; but in no case has a town been destroyed 
therefor." 



LETTER V. 

My dear Friend : 

After my last letter was beyond my control, I became 
acquainted with some additional incidents which may 
interest you. 

A lady, well known to me, the mother of a large fam- 
ily of children, was ordered to leave the house in five 
minutes, as the house must be burned. She collected 
them all around her to obey the cruel summons. Prepa- 
rations were at once made to fire the building in the rooms 
above and below, and as the family group walked out of 
the large and beautiful mansion, the children burst into 



44 THE BURNING OF CHAMBEESBURG. 

loud weeping. "I am ashamed of you," said the tenderly 
loving, yet heroic woman, " to let these men see you cry," 
and every child straightened up, brushed away the falling 
tears, and bravely marched out of the doomed home. 

An elderly woman, of true Spartan grit, gave one of 
the house-burners such a sound drubbing with a heavy 
broom, that the invader retreated, to leave the wftrk of 
destruction to be performed by another party, after the 
woman had left to escape the approaching flames of the 
adjoining buildings. 

The wife of a clergyman succeeded in preventing one of 
the enemy from firing her house, by reminding him that 
she had fed him during Stuart's raid in 1862, and that she 
also ministered to him when he was in the hospital in this 
place in the summer of 1863. The man recognized her, 
and frankly declared that he could not be so base as to 
destroy her house, now that he remembered her kind 
offices. He had been wounded and made a prisoner at 
the battle of Gettysburg, was brought to the hospital here, 
and afterwards exchanged. 

Mr. Jacob Hoke, one of our most worthy and enter- 
prising merchants, has furnished the following statement 
'of facts and incidents for publication in the Eeligious 
Telescope, of Dayton, Ohio. As his residence and store 
were located in the centre of the town, he had an oppor- 
tunity of witnessing the scenes of the day to greater ad- 
vantage than most others. I may as well inclose the 
principal part of his article, as it explains more fully 
several general statements before given, whilst, at the 
same time, it brings out some points not alluded to be- 
fore : 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 45 

Mr. Editor : Not having seen in any published report, 
a satisfactory account of the late rebel raid on Chambers- 
burg, and being a resident here, and an eye-witness, I will 
hastily sketch what came under my own observation, and 
what I have from reliable persons. In Thursday's Phila- 
delphia Inquirer, the correspondent at Frederick stated 
" that our troops were in such numbers, and so situated, 
that for the first time in the history of the war, glorious 
news might be expected from the Shenandoah Valley." 
Yery high military authority, but a few days prior to the 
raid, assured us "that every ford of the Potomac was 
strictly watched ; that it was impossible for the enemy to 
cross ; that if they only would cross it would be the best 
thing that could happen, as they could never get back 
again." In this way our community was lulled into com- 
parative security, until on Friday noon, July 29th, it was 
announced that the rebels had crossed in considerable 
force at Williamsport, and also at Cherry Eun. No one 
could depict the scene of excitement which then occurred. 
Merchants and others commenced packing, shipping, and 
otherwise disposing of their valuables. 

At eight o'clock in the evening General Hunter's large 
wagon train commenced passing through our town toward 
Harrisburg, and continued passing during the greater part 
of the night. At least fifteen hundred cavalry and two 
hundred infantry passed through with that train as guards 
and as stragglers. That these men were not stopped here by 
General Couch, who did not leave town until three o'clock 
in the morning, is explained by the assertion that they 
were under orders from General Hunter to guard his train. 
That train was entirely safe after it had passed through 
Chambersburg, and that body of men, judiciously posted, 



46 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

could, with the artillery in town, and the citizens, have 
held the enemy in check until Averill could arrive, who 
was then ten miles distant, and threatened in his front by 
a force of rebels who, it is now evident, were only making 
a demonstration to hold him until the other and heavier 
column under McCausland and Gilmore, could eft'ect their 
object in Chamber sburg. 

I sat at my window on the corner of the Diamond and 
saw them enter. Skirmishers, dismounted, led the ad- 
vance, followed by cavalry. They came in simultaneously 
in all the streets and alleys, and called to each other as a 
signal, when they reached the centre of the Diamond. In 
five minutes after, a force of about five hundred cavalry 
filed around the Public Square, and immediately com- 
menced the work of plunder. The first building broken 
open was Mr, Paxton's shoe and hat store ; then the liquor 
stores adjoining my residence. I met them at my store 
door and unlocked it, when about twenty entered and 
commenced a thorough search. Finding it empty, they 
inquired where I had my goods, to which I replied, I had 
shipped them to Philadelphia. Keturning from the room, 
I locked the door, and sat down by it, and entered into 
conversation with a gentlemanly-looking man, who in- 
formed me he was the Chaplain to McCausland's com- 
mand. He gave his name as Johnson, born in Fayette 
County, Pennsylvania, and said he was a Methodist 
preacher. During our conversation an officer dismounted 
at my door, tied his horse, and listened to our conversa- 
tion, where he remained until the circumstance occurred 
to which I shall presently refer. The Chaplain said to 
me, "Do you reside in this house?" I replied affirma- 
tively. He then said they were rolling several barrels of 



THE BURNING OF CUAMBERSBURG. 47 

combustible matter into the Court House, near my resi- 
dence ; that they were going to burn it, and I had better 
try to save something from our house. Leaving these 
two men at the door, I ran up stairs and carried a load of 
precious articles from the parlor table, consisting of a 
valuable family Bible, books, photograph album, &c., to a 
neighbor's house, where I presumed they would be safe. 
They were all burned there, however. Next, I carried 
some bed-clothing to a different part of the town, and they 
were saved. Eeturning to the house, I encountered a 
rebel officer in one of the rooms. Said he : " Do you be- 
long to this house?" On my replying in the affirmative, 
he said : " My friend, for God's sake, tell me what you 
value most, and I will take it to a place of safety. They 
are going to burn every house in the town." I told him 
if that was the case, it was no use to remove anything, as 
they might as well burn here as elsewhere. 

By this time my wife and two other occupants of the 
house came down stairs each with a carpet-bag packed 
Avith clothing. The officer followed us to the door and en- 
treated one of the women to mount his horse and ride him 
off, as he declared he did not want him any more in the 
rebel service. Another man unbuckled his sword and 
put it in our house, in disgust at the scene before him. It 
was afterwards found among the ruins. At the door I 
found the officer previously referred to, weeping bitterly. 
The flames were bursting from buildings all around us. 
''See," said he, "this is awful work. O God! O, my God, 
has it come to this, that we have to be made a band of 
thieves and robbers by a man like McCausland !" I have 
seen many men weep, but never did I see a strong, robust 
man hide from his sight, with his handkerchief, the ap- 



48 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

palling scene, and cry at the top of his voice, " O God ! 
mighty God ! — See, see !" 

Imagine the feelings of my famil}^, when an hour before 
this, without intending to select any particular passage of 
God's Word, I read the 138th Psalm, in which the follow- 
ing words occur : " Though I walk in the midst of trouble, 
Thou wilt revive me : Thou shalt stretch forth Thy hand 
against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand 
shall save me." We knelt in prayer and surrounded the 
breakfast-table under the conviction that it was for the 
last time in that dear home. Then came the hasty snatch- 
ing of precious relics of dear departed ones, passing hur- 
riedly from room to room, leaving clothing, beds, furni- 
ture, library, pictures — all to the devouring flames. In 
our parlor hung the photographs of several of our bishops, 
with many others. These were either carried away by the 
rebels or burned. At the door we encountered the inci- 
dent previously narrated. Leaving the weeping officer, 
we pressed through flame and smoke, amidst burning 
buildings, to the suburbs of the town, where we sat down 
and watched four hundred buildings in flames, two hun- 
dred and seventy-four of which were dwelling-houses, the 
afirighted occupants running wildly through the streets, 
carrying clothing and other articles, while screams of 
anguish from lost children in pursuit of parents, the fee- 
ble efforts of the old and infirm to carry with them some 
endeared article from their blazing homes, the roaring 
and crackling flames, falling walls and blinding smoke, 
all united to form a picture of horror, which no pen could 
describe, no painter portray. For three hours the fire 
raged. At about 11 o'clock, the rebels left town, as Ave- 
rill's scouts captured five rebels within one mile of the 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 49 

town. In three hours after their exit, Averill filed through 
the streets. 

Incidents. 

In our flight through the streets, the rebel officer alluded 
to followed us half a square, entreating one of the women 
to mount and ride off his horse, declaring that he was 
done with the rebel service. No sooner did he turn away, 
than another rode up and demanded our carpet-bags; we 
ran on, and he turned back without them. Brother Win- 
ton, while fleeing with his wife and little children, was 
stopped bv a cavalryman and compelled to deliver his 
shoes and hat. Hundreds of robberies occurred of hats, 
shoes, watches, money, &c. An old and very estimable 
lady, who had not walked for three years, was told to run, 
as her house was on fire. She replied that she had not 
walked for three years. With horrid curses, the wretch 
poured powder under her chair, declaring that he would 
teach her to walk ; and while in the act of applying fire 
to his train, some neighbors ran in and carried her away. 

The burning mass appeared to converge toward the 
Diamond, forming fearful whirlwinds, which at times 
moved eastwardly along the line of Market street. At 
one time an immense whirlwind passed over where a large 
lot of bedding and wearing apparel had been collected. 
Large feather beds were lifted from the ground. Shirts 
and lighter articles were conveyed with fearful velocity 
high in the air, alighting at a great distance from where 
they lay. It was grand and fearful, adding to the horror 
of the scene. In many cases soldiers set fire to houses, 
and to the tears and entreaties of women and children 
they said their ''orders were to burn. We will fire; you 

5 



60 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

can do as you please after we go away." An officer rode 
up to our parsonage, and thus addressed Mrs. Dickson : 
" Madam, save what you can ; in fifteen minutes we will 
return and fire your house." They did not return. Our 
church and parsonage were saved. The printing estab- 
lishment of the German, Reformed Church was completely 
destroyed, with all the valuable presses, books, the bind- 
ery, (fee. Dr. Fisher estimates the loss to the Church at 
over forty thousand dollars. Those of our readers who 
know the town will understand the extent of this destruc- 
tion from the following : 

Beginning at the Presbyterian lecture-room on the 
north, the fire swept every building on the west side of 
Main street, except four, up to Washington street, four 
squares; from King street on the north, every building 
on the east side of Main street up to Washington, three 
squares ; from the Franklin Railroad to nearly the top of 
New England Hill, five squares, on both sides of the 
street ; also eight or ten dwellings over the top of Kew 
England Hill ; from the Market-house down Queen street, 
both sides, to the edge-tool factory, and several buildings 
on the street running parallel with the creek, up to Mar- 
ket street, with many buildings on Second street from 
Market, up near the Methodist Church. The Methodist, 
German Reformed, and Lutheran churches saved the parts 
of the town in which they were situated from being in- 
volved in the general conflagration. The Associate 
Reformed and Bethel churches, the latter belonging to 
" The Church of God," were burned. The Associate Re- 
formed was used as headquarters for drafted men ; hence 
its destruction. The '' Bethel " — so marked on a stone in 
the front — was supposed by the fiends to be a negro 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 51 

cliurcli. In most cases fire was kindled in beds or bu- 
reaus by matches, and in balls of cotton saturated in alco- 
hol or kerosene. 

I saw men and officers drinking liquor as it was carried 
from the hotels, the doors of which thej broke open. 
Many were drunk. Women were insulted ; cruel taunts 
and threats were repeatedly made. 

I have thus hastily sketched the foregoing facts, for 
such they are. The reader will remember they are written 
by one who lost heavily by the fire ; is now surrounded 
by the extended ruins ; is aware of the sufferings and 
heart-breakings of over two thousand men, women, and 
children, many of whom have been reduced from affluence 
to poverty, are now dependent for the bread they eat, the 
clothes they wear, and the houses that shelter them, upon 
others more favored. 

J. Hoke. 

Chambersburg, August 10, 1864. 

I also append to the foregoing the following graphic 
letter in the Pittsburgh Evening Chronicle, afterwards 
copied in the Chambersburg Franklin Eepository. It is 
from the pen of the Rev. S. J. Niccolls, the esteemed pas- 
tor of the Presbyterian congregation in this place • 

' So much misapprehension exists in many quarters 
concerning the facts connected with the burning of Cham- 
bersburg, that it has become a matter of justice to a 
wronged and suffering community to state them fully to 
the public. Many things have been written concerning 
this calamity, true in themselves, but disconnected from 



52 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

their attending circumstances, and so the most injurious 
impressions have been made on the minds of those who 
live remote from the border. A connected and truthful 
narrative of this sad event, it is hoped, will correct these. 

" The history of the past month commences with the 
advance of Early up the Shenandoah, and the invasion 
of Maryland. The enemy, about fifteen hundred strong, 
soon occupied Hagerstown, and it was believed that they 
intended a raid on Chambersburg. At this time there 
were three hundred soldiers in the place, under command 
of General Couch, the whole number available in his 
department. The citizens rallied around these, and determ- 
ined to defend the town. Barricades were thrown across 
the streets, cannon planted, houses occupied by sharp- 
shooters, and every preparation made for defence. Soon, 
however, the enemy fell back across the Potomac, and the 
invasion was declared to be ended. The small body of 
troops under General Couch were withdrawn to protect 
the national Capital, and we were left defenceless. "We 
were assured, hoAvever, that the fords of the Potomac 
were well guarded, and a large army lay between us and 
the rebels. The very papers in New York which now 
condemn "us for our apathy were daily assuring us that it 
was "all quiet on the Potomac," and that the enemy had 
fallen back. We were soon startled from our dream of 
security by the announcement that General Crooks had 
been defeated, and the rebels were again advancing to 
invade Pennsylvania. 

" We did not then take arms, because it was plain to 
every one that if the forces of Crooks and Averill could 
not resist their advance, it would be folly in a few citizens 
to attempt it. W^e had seen an invasion once before, and 



THE BUKNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 53 

knew what it meant. Anticipating a repetition of the 
scenes of last year, the people of the county began to 
remove their stock and valuables. In the midst of con- 
flicting rumors nothing could be learned of the move- 
ments of the enemy until Friday, July 29th. In the after- 
noon of that day it was known that they had crossed the 
Potomac, and were advancing rapidly on Chambersburg. 
We also learned from Mercersburg that the invading force 
was three thousand strong, or as it afterwards appeared, 
by actual count, thirty- one hundred, with six pieces of 
artillery. To meet this force there were in the town one 
hundred soldiers, with two pieces of artillery, and the 
citizens capable of bearing arms. The number of the 
latter would not reach three hundred, a large portion of 
the population being already in the army, and quite a 
number absent, attending to the removal of their horses 
and valuables. The citizens who remained were willing 
to defend the place, had it been deemed practicable by 
General Couch ; but with this small and inadequate force 
at his disposal, it seemed like courting destruction for the 
town to attempt its defence. A show of resistance, which 
none could hope would be successful, would only give 
them a pretext for burning. No word could be obtained 
from General Averill, who was then near Greencastle, 
though the most earnest efforts were made by General 
Couch to obtain his assistance. 

"At four o'clock A. M. on Saturday the military author- 
ities left, and soon after the combined forces of McCaus- 
land and Bradley Johnson were placed in line of battle 
upon the range of hills commanding the town. The 
Eighth Virginia regiment, numbering about five hundred 

5* 



54 THE BUKNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

men, was thrown forward into the streets. These were 

detailed to burn the place. 

" The scene that speedily followed is indescribable in 
its horrors. The soldiers went from house to house, 
bursting open the doors with planks and axes, and enter- 
ing, split up the furniture to kindle the fire, or else scat- 
tered combustible materials in the closets and along the 
stairways, and then applied the torch. In a little over 
half an hour the whole town was fired, so complete were 
their arrangements to accomplish their hellish designs. 
No time was given the inhabitants to save anything. 
The first warning of danger most of them had was the 
kindling of the fire in their houses, and even the few 
artijcles that some caught up in their flight were seized by 
the soldiers and flung back into the flames. Many such 
instances have come to the writer's knowledge, that in 
their dark malignity almost surpass belief. The aged, the 
sick, the dying, and the dead were carried out from their 
burning homes ; mothers with babes in their arms, and 
surrounded by their frightened little ones, fled through 
the streets, jeered and taunted by the brutal soldiery. 
Indeed their escape seemed almost a miracle, as the streets 
were in a blaze from one end to the other, and they were 
compelled to flee through a long road of fire. Had not 
the day been perfectly calm, many must have perished in 
the flames. 

" The conflagration in its height was a scene of surpass- 
ing grandeur and terror. A tall black column of smoke 
rose up to the very skies; around it were wrapped long 
streamers of flames, writhing and twisting themselves 
into a thousand fantastic shapes, while through it, as 
though they were prayers carried heavenward by the in- 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 55 

cense of some great altar sacrifice, there went up on tlie 
smoky, flame-riven clouds tlie cries and shrieks of. the 
women and children. But the moment of greatest alarm 
was not reached until some of the more humane of the 
rebel officers warned the women to flee, if they wished to 
escape violence to their persons. We cannot, in this 
letter, describe the scenes of the sad flight which fol- 
lowed. 

"The ferocitv of the rebel soldiers durinsr this affair 
seems almost incredible. With all their fierce passions 
unrestrained, they seemed to revel in the work of destruc- 
tion. An aged elder of the Presbyterian church was taken 
from his house and robbed ; the building was fired while 
his wife, aged and infirm, was still in it. Upon his return, 
it was with the utmost difficulty she was saved. Escape 
by the street was impossible, and they were compelled to 
flee to a little garden in the rear of the house, where they 
sat for hours, surrounded by fire. The rebel Gilmore for- 
bade a lady to remove her trunks from her house, and 
upon her telling him to his face what she thought of his 
conduct, he drew his pistol and declared "he would blow 
out her brains if she did not take that back." Many such 
instances, and worse, might be recorded. There were, in- 
deed, some among them who acted humanely, refusing to 
do the work assigned them, but they were exceptions. 

" As soon as the town was thoroughly fired at all points, 
the rebels fell back. On their way out they burned the 
residence of the County Superintendent of Public Schools, 
because, as they told his family, ' he had taught negroes.* 
Two hours after their departure. General Averill entered 
the town, and we were once more inside the Union lines. 

"Such is the story of the burning of Chambersburg. 



56 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

These outlines, however, form a poor picture of the reality. 
The blackened ruins of this once beautiful town must first 
be seen before the calamity can be understood, and not 
then, for it is only by looking at it in detail, by under- 
standing the peculiar sadness there is in each separate loss, 
and seeing the strange diversity of sorrow there is in this 
common woe, that one can realize the full extent of the 
ruin. Eleven squares of blackened ruins and over three 
millions of dollars in property consumed is the outward 
estimate of the loss. But who can write the history of 
two thousand people suddenly made homeless, dashed 
from afftuence to poverty, torn violently from the sacred 
associations of the past, and driven forth houseless wan- 
derers among strangers ? 

" The question is often asked, ' Who is responsible for 
this calamity ?' Many coldly and unhesitatingly lay it 
upon the citizens themselves ; but surely it is not neces- 
sary to argue that a few hundred citizens could not have 
resisted successfully three thousand veteran soldiers with 
six pieces of artillery. Many, too, have blamed General 
Couch, and false representations have gone forth that the 
citizens were greatly incensed against him. The writer 
of this letter has had peculiar opportunities of knowing 
the true state of the case, and would ask attention to the 
following facts. When General Couch took command of 
this department one year ago, he urged upon the citizens 
the necessity of forming organizations for home defence. 
His appeal was readily responded to, and all the citizens 
in the borough capable of bearing arms enrolled them; 
selves in some organization. General Couch then made 
application to the War Department, asking that we might 
be uniformed and enrolled in the general service, so that, 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBUEG. 57 

if we were ever overpowered, we would be treated as pri- 
soners of war and not as guerillas. This request was de- 
nied. He then proceeded to organize a cavalry force, 
from what was known as the ' six months' men,' for the 
defence of the border. Many of our citizens enlisted in 
this force. It was kept on the border until their term of 
service expired, when they re-enlisted for three years. 
But their new organization was scarcely completed, before 
they were taken from this department and sent to the 
Army of the Potomac. General Couch then proceeded to 
organize the ' Provost regiment, for special service in his 
department.' This was filled up to 1200 men, and then, 
as with the rest, taken from him by order of the Secretary 
of War. These gone, scarce a corporal's guard was left 
under his command. 

" Two weeks before the advance of Early up the valley, 
General Couch renewed the request of last year, asking 
that the citizens might be armed and enrolled ; stating, 
also, that they were ready to attempt their own defence. 
This was again denied. Then followed the request made 
by Governor Curtin, and endorsed by General Couch, 
which is already published in the Governor's Message. 
At the time of the invasion of Maryland the whole of the 
available force in the Department of the Susquehanna did 
not exceed three hundred men; and during the raid on 
Chambersburg, General Couch had but one hundred and 
thirty-five men under his command. Nor is he to blame 
for the smallness of this number. He had during this 
month of alarm organized six regiments of one hundred 
days' men ; but these, as soon as equipped, were ordered 
to Washington by the Secretary of War. Such are the 
facts in the case. We make no comments on the pro- 



58 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

priety of leaving the border thus defenceless. Its security 
is perhaps a small matter compared with the strengthen- 
ing of our armies elsewhere. We only say, General Couch 
is not to blame. He did everything a brave, earnest and 
faithful of&cer could do to avert this calamity. 

" Many also are under the impression that this place 
"was disloyal, and consequently they have no sympathy 
with us in our affliction. Nothing does greater injustice 
to our suffering community than this. No town of its 
size in Pennsylvania has fewer "sympathizers" with the 
rebellion than Chambersburg. Its quotas have always 
been filled by volunteers, and many of its best citizens 
have fallen on the field of battle. Such was and such is 
the spirit of the inhabitants. The affliction into which 
they have fallen is so great that, were it the result of their 
own neglect, common charity should teach others to speak 
of them kindly. But they do not wish to be excused ; 
they only ask to be judged by the facts in the case. The 
writer has stated such facts as he knows to be true, and 
subscribes his name to them. 

S. J. NiCCOLLS." 



LETTER Yl. 

My dear Friend : 

A gentleman has just handed me the "Lutheran and 
Missionary" of Philadelphia, of August 11, in which I 
find the following^ excellent article, which, with a few 
omissions, is here subjoined. It is from the pen of our 
worthy townsman, Mr. John K. Shryock, who, as well as 



THE BURN-IN"G OF CHAMBERSBURG. 59 

his brother, Samuel S. Shryock, have for years carried on 
a large business in the " Mansion House" as booksellers, 
and were among the many heavy sufferers by the fire. 
After alluding to the circumstances attending the advent 
of the insurgents, he says : 

" I was in my house with my wife and two little chil- 
dren, and also a lady whose husband was taken to Eich- 
mond last summer, her little boy, and sister. The earliest 
warning we received was from the stifling smoke that 
poured through the house, and from some one knocking 
at the door and crying : ' If there is any one in this house, 
for God's sake leave, for it is all on fire.' I gathered my 
family together, and left with nothing but the clothes I 
had upon my person, two of the ladies not having time 
even to get their bonnets. Having gotten them out of 
the house, I ascended the stairs to see if any had been 
left behind in the haste. After having examined all the 
rooms, I met two of the infuriated wretches rushing up 
the stairs as I hurried down. At this time the house was 
filled with blinding smoke. I locked the front door, 
hoping that the unwelcome visitors would not be able to 
find their way out. 

"I immediately hurried after my charge, and found 
them struggling their way through the streets, thronged 
with homeless women and children, the pavements blocked 
up by the rebels, who had ridden their horses in every 
imaginable way to hinder the course of the fugitives. 
The streets were filled with smoke and flame, and almost 
impassable. After we had reached a temporary shelter, 
my wife returned to the scene of destruction, as a bird to 
its nest, and on her way was stopped before a burning 
house, in which a corpse was lying, and a little child at 



60 THE BURXINa OF CH AMBERSBURG. 

the point of death. The dead woman was gotten out with 
difficnity, and buried in the garden without shroud or 
coffin, and the child was barely rescued and placed in her 
arms, when an officer in front of the house called out to 
his men: 'Boys, remember Hunter!' She ran up to him, 
uncovered the child, and said : ' Here is a dying baby we 
have saved from the house you have fired. Is your revenge 
sweet ? ' Shocked, the fellow burst into tears, and an- 
swered, 'No, madam.' He followed her some distance, 
and leaning down, asked her earnestly, ' Madam, can't I 
save something for you ? ' Her answer was, ' No, it is too 
late: I have lost all!' Warned to leave the house in 
which we had taken refuge, a party of us left, but soon 
became separated, and I lost my little boy, aged about 
ten, and did not find him till the next day, at Shippens- 
burg, whither he had walked, a distance of eleven miles. 
The rest of us kept upon the edge of the burning town, 
and for three or four hours watched the progress of the 
flames. 

" One of the saddest sights I witnessed was the burning 
of the old Academy. I watched it burn, timber by tim- 
ber. Fifteen years of associations as scholar and teacher 
were annihilated in the course of one short hour. My 
attention was then drawn to the flag- staff in the centre of 
the public square, and we all, of our party as well as 
others, expressed an ardent hope that it might stand, from 
which the American flag might wave, even over the ruins 
of the town. At noon we returned to the uninjured 
house of a friend, and spent the night in gazing upon the 
ruins of our once happy and beautiful town. 

" The conduct of the rebel soldiery was barbarous m 
the extreme, though there were many honorable exeep- 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBEESBURG. 61 

tions. Bundles were fired upon women's backs ; ladies 
were forced to carry back into the houses articles of 
clothing they had saved from the flames ; drunken 
wretches danced upon the furniture and articles of value 
and ornament; women's persons were searched in the 
most indecent manner ; oaths and foul language abounded ; 
aged women were locked in their rooms while their 
houses were on fire ; trunks were rifled after being 
dragged by the owners from the ruins ; promises of pro- 
tection were made to be instantly broken. Everything 
was done to add to the terror and confusion of the panic- 
stricken women and children. Soon the hunger of the 
little ones added new horror to the scene. Families were 
separated, and distracted fathers and mothers could be 
seen everywhere, seeking amid the confusion for those 
that were missing. And yet no selfishness was apparent ; 
every one was willing to aid and sympathize with his 
neighbor. No one complained, no one lost hope. A 
rebel officer stopped me, saying: 'Sir, cannot a little 
money be raised to satisfy that brute, McCausland ; a very 
little money would save this end of the town.' My an- 
swer was : ' If ten cents would do it, it would not be forth- 
coming.' One rebel came running towards me, wringing 
his hands, saying, ' Horrible, horrible ! I did not think it 
could be so bad as this !' Another told me that they had 
received orders, before they entered the town, to burn 
every house in it ; and yet another informed me that their 
object was to effect an entrance during the night, and then 
burn it. In some cases the women attempted to extin- 
guish the fire, and were prevented by threats and personal 
violence. Some were thrust from their houses, others 
were struck, and in some instances pistols were drawn 



62 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

upon til J 111. One lady had a bucket of water, wliicli she 
had brought to extinguish the fire, thrown in her face. 
In almost every case the sick and the infirm were hindered 
from leaving their homes. There appeared to be a desire 
to have some burned, if possible, hy accidtnt ! One rebel, 
who helped a lady to save some of her clothing, w^as seen 
led out of the town handcuffed. An ofiicer who suffered 
himself to be persuaded to save some property, said, as 
he left the house he refused to fire, ' Madam, you have 
saved your house, but have cost me my commission, and 
perhaps my life.' A negro saved his life by dressing 
himself in woman's clothes, and carrying on his head a 
feather bed, thereby hiding his face and hands. Little 
children cried to ' go home' — the home that was destroyed ; 
old men wept over the town in which they had lived for 
three-quarters of a century ; citizens looked on Avith dis- 
may upon the destruction of their life-long labor and 
industry. Many fled to the cemetery for refuge, and 
there, in the midst of death, was one little life added to 
the wretched throng. The words of our Saviour, with 
regard to the destruction of Jerusalem, were forced upon 
us: 'Let him which is on the house-top not come down 
to take anything out of his house ; neither let him which 
is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe 
unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck 
in those days !' 

'' The town soon became one mass of smoke and flame, 
which ascended straight up to heaven, as if to call doAvn 
the vengeance of God upon the incendiaries. Here and 
there whirlwinds went up like gigantic corkscrews, car- 
rying paper and clothing high into the air, and miles into 
the surrounding country, as if to bear witness of the foul 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBEESBURG. 63 

outrage. I saw more than one rebel soldier weeping like 
a child over the desolation he had made. Hardened as 
they were to the horrors of war, this was too terrible even 
for them to bear. One cried out to me in an agony of 
remorse : ' Oh, I never enlisted for this !' 

" For miles around, the frightened inhabitants fled, they 
knew not whither ; some continuing their flioht until 
they dropped to the ground with exhaustion. Pocket- 
books and watches were taken by wholesale; bundles, 
shawls and valises were snatched out of women's and 
children's hands to be thrown away. Cows and dogs and 
cats were burned to death, and the death-cries of the poor 
dumb brutes sounded like the groans of human beings. 
It is a picture that may be misrepresented, but cannot be 
heightened. One young girl was crying ; but, meeting a 
squad of the marauders she controlled her tears, saying : 
' They shan't see me cry !' Full grown men, forgetful of 
themselves, sobbed over the destitution of those they 
loved, and self-sacrificing women strove to comfort those 
of weaker hearts, who had lost no more than themselves. 
We know of instances where persons had saved money 
and valuables of others, with which they had, in the ex- 
citement, been entrusted, to the exclusion of their own. 
In the midst of this awful scene, the symfjatlnj and encour- 
agement we had all along received from our loyal friends 
of a sister State, through the columns of the Tribune, 
Times and Independent, arose before us like a dense cloud, 
and, for the time, we hesitated which was most our enemy, 
— New York or Virginia. Five hundred of the enemy in 
our streets, two hundred as guard outside, three thousand 
within supporting distance ; this, too, with more than two 
thousand effective United States cavalry only nine miles 



64 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

off; for hours. Oli, for one-half of the brave Franklin 
County bojS; that were then far away from their homes, 
fighting the battles of the Union ! We blame no one. 
Our loyalty, as strong as ever, forbids us ; but there is 
an awful responsibility somewhere. 

" One scoundrel accepted five dollars from a frightened 
female, to carry her trunk to a place of safety, where he 
coolly hroke it o^jen, and helped himself to the most valuable 
part of the contents. A little dead child was enclosed in a 
chest, and buried by the terrified parents in their garden, 
for fear it would be burned in their house. 

" A lady in delicate health was watched by one of the 
robbers, and allowed to drag her trunk outside of the 
town ; after which he searched it, and appropriated the 
valuables it contained. She asked, whether that was 
Southern chivalry, and received for reply : " Take that 
back, or I'll blow your brains out." She did not retract, 
and did not have her brains blown out. It was sad to see 
ladies escaping from their houses Avith nothing but a few 
photographs or an album. 

"In the evening of that dreadful day, it was overpower- 
ing to witness the change in circumstances. One of our 
prominent citizens went with his family to the house of 
his hostler ; another to the residence of his negro servant. 
On the next day it was a still more sorrowful sight to see 
refined ladies flock to the church to draw Government 
rations, and receive articles of second-hand clothing, sent 
up by the spontaneous charity of persons residing along 
the line of the Cumberland Yalley Eailroad. It was hard 
to eat the bitter bread of charity, but this mortification 
was borne with the same heroism with which they looked 
upon the sacking and burning of the dear old town. To 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 65 

see the grey -haired men and women, the middle-aged, the 
youthful, and childhood, all represented in the destitute 
but uncomplaining throng, was one of the most solemn 
sights the world ever saw. Wyoming and Chambersburg 
will live in the history of Pennsylvania, and the infamous 
names of Butler and McCausland, will be handed down 
to posterity, as the types of savage barbarity. 

"At 2 P. M., the Union forces advanced through the 
town. The citizens cheered the dusty and jaded warriors, 
but no soldierly huzzas came from their parched and suf- 
focated throats, as they rode through smoke and flame 
and the intense heat of the smouldering ruins. One re- 
peated exclamation of, ' My God !' was all that was heard, 
and then, as they passed the flag-staff, each one shouted, 
^Eemember Chambersburg!' And so they exclaimed, 
and so they shouted, as they dashed at a trot through the 
town. I may live to be an old man, but never, never 
shall I see such sights again, as I saw that day in the 
stricken town of Chambersburg. 

J. K. Shryock." 

Aug. 6, 1864. 



6* 



BUILDINGS BURNED. 



The following is a correct list of tlie buildings burned 
by tbe rebels in Cbambersburg, with their estimated 
value by a committee of disinterested gentlemen appointed 
for that purpose : 



South side of Market Street. 

Jacob Wolfkill — Two-story frame and brick building, 

Patrick Campbell's heirs — Two-story brick building, 

Peter McGaflSgan — Two-story building, .... 

James C. Austin — Two-story brick building, new, 

R. Austin — Two-story brick building, .... 

William H. McDowell — Two-story stone front and brick back 

building, brick stable, ........ 

James M, Brown — Two-story stone front and brick back build 

ing, stable, ......... 

Jacob Sellers — Two-story brick front and back building, stables 

and ice-house, (hotel,) . 

J. W. Douglas — One-story frame building, 

Martin Brown — Frame front and log building, . 

J. A. and J. C. Eyster — Log front and back building, 

Mrs. Jordan — Two-story brick front and back building, 

L. S. Clark — Two-story frame building and stable, . 

C. M. Duncan — Two-story building, law-ofl&ce, stable, 

E. Culbertson — Two-story brick building, office, stone barn, 

Mrs. Bard — Two-story brick building, and row of law offices, 

Gehr & Denny — Two three-story brick buildings, and one two 

story, (dwellings and "Franklin Repository" office,) . 
C. M. Duncan — Three-story building, (Franklin Hotel,) three 

story brick arcade, brick stables, &c., . 
Aug. Duncan — Three-story brick building, 

(67) 



$700 

700 

600 

5,000 

3,000 

3,000 

3,300 

4,000 
600 
1,000 
1,000 
6,000 
1,200 
2,000 
6,000 
6,500 

5,500 

15,000 
1.600 



68 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 



Henry Monks — Three-story brick building, 
Edwai-d Aughinbaugh — Three-story brick building 
Dr. William H. Boyle — Three-story brick building, 
Mary Gillan — Three-story brick building, . 
T. J. Wright — Three-story brick building, . 
S. F. Greenawalt — Two-story brick building, stable, 
A. H. McCulloh — Two-story brick building, stone stable. 
Rev. Mr. Nelson — Two-story building, stable, . 
J. P. Culbertson— Three brick buildings, . 
Mrs. Riddle — Two-story brick building, stable, . 
E. Finfrock — Two-story building, stable, . 
W. F. Eyster & Bro. — Two buildings, (foundry,) stable, 
R. E. Tolbert — Two-story brick building, stable, 
M. Gillan' s heirs — Two three-story brick buildings, log house 
brick stable, ........ 

Alex. Fritz — Two-story brick building, 

Mrs. Frederick Smith — Two-story brick building, 

J. Burkholder's heirs — Two-story brick building, barn. 

Hunter Robison — Two-story brick building, stable, . 

Jacob B. Miller — Two-story brick building, 

John Bigley — Three small dwellings, 

Thomas Cook — Three wooden buildings, . 

N. Pierce — Two-story building, .... 

Barnet Wolff — Two-story frame building, . 

J. M, Wolf kill — Two-story brick front and two back buildings 

Jacob Shafer — Two-story brick building, . 

Richard Woods — Two-story brick building, 

John King — Two-story buildings, .... 

Christ. Pisle — Two-story brick building, . 

Mrs. Elizabeth Stouffer — Two-story brick building, . 

A. Banker — Brick shop, house and barn, . 

Mrs. Butler — Two-story building and stable, . 

Mary Rapp— Two-story log building, 

James Nill's heirs — Two-story brick front, 

Josiah Allen — Two-story brick building, . 



North side of Market Street. 



C. Stauth — Two two-story log buildings, 
Samuel Brant — Two-story brick building. 



800 
800 



BUILDINGS BURNED. 



John M. McDowell — Two two-story brick buildings, (hotel,) 

barn, shop, etc., . 

D. Trostle — Two-story brick building, and brick barn, 

Mrs. Radebaugh — Stone and frame barn, . 

Mrs. Jos. Chambers — Two-story brick building, stable, 

G. W. Brewer — Two-story brick building, barn, 

Mrs. Jacob Smith — Log stable, ..... 

John Miller — Two-story brick building, hotel, stables, shops, 

J. B. Cook — Two-story stone and four two-story buildings, 

bark-house, stable, etc., ..... 

C. W. Eyster — Two three-story brick flouring mills and two-story 

brick dwelling, ....... 

Lambert & Huber — Four-story stone and frame paper-mill and 

steam-house, ....... 

C. W. Eyster — Two-story brick building, stable, 
S. M. Shillito — Two-story brick building, . 
James King — Two-story brick building, frame shop, 
P. Brough — Three-story brick building, . 
John Noel — Three-story stone building, stable, . 
Court House — Three-story brick, .... 
Engine-house — Two-story brick, .... 

D. 0. Gehr — Two-story brick building, and brick stable; 
B. F. Nead — Two-story brick building, brick stable, 
A. D. Caufman — Three-story brick building and stable, 
Mrs. Goettman — Two-story brick building, brick stable, etc., 
Peiffer's heirs — Two-story stone house, (old jail,) smith 

frame shop, stable, ...... 

T. B. Kennedy — Large two-story brick building, etc., 

Rev. B. S. Schneck — Two-story stone and brick building, 

L. Humelshine — Two-story building, 

S. Etter — Two-story brick building, - . - . 

Dr. N. Schlosser — Two-story building, 

S. Eckert — Two-story stone and brick building. 



shop 



$3,500 
1,500 
800 
5,500 
5,500 
100 
8,000 

5,000 

15,000 

15,000 
3,000 
1,500 
1,200 
3,000 
8,000 

45,000 
1,000 
5,500 
5,000 
4,000 
5,500 

2,600 
8,000 
3,000 
600 
3,000 
1,000 
1,000 



West side Main Street to Square. 

Benj. Chambers — Two-story brick building, 
W. G. Reed — Two-story brick building, stable, 
Mrs. C. Snyder — Two-story brick building, 
Allen Smith — Two-story brick building, stable, . 



6,000 
5,000 
3,000 
1,600 



70 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 



C. Flack — Two-story building, stable, .... 

J. Schofield — Two-story building, brick shop, stable, 

M. P. Welsh — Two-story brick building, .... 

C. StouflPer (machinist) — Two-story brick building, stable, 

Geo. Chambers (residence) — Two-story brick building, stable, 

G. Chambers (Female Seminary) — Three-story stone building, 

G. Chambers — Two-story brick building, law office, &c,, . 

A. J. Miller — Two-story stone building, &c., 

James Watson — Two-story brick building, 

11. Austin — Two-story brick building, .... 

East side Main, from Square to King Street, 

Franklin Hall — Three-story brick building, 
Jacob Hoke & Co. — Two-story brick building, stable, 
Dr. Langenheim — Two-story brick building, stable, . 
Widow Montgomery (hotel) — Three story brick building, stable 
Daniel Trestle (hotel) — Two-story brick and stone buildings 
sheds and stable, ........ 

Miss Susan B. Chambers — Brick shop, house and stable, . 

A. P. Frey — Two-story building, coachmaker-shed, shop, stable 

A. S. Hull — Two-story brick building, .... 

Mrs. Geo. Goettman — Two-story building, shop, 



$1,000 
1,600 
2,500 
3,000 
7,000 
5,000 
2,000 
4,500 
4,500 
2,500 



20,000 
5,500 
3,000 
9,000 

7,000 
2,500 
3,000 
2,000 
1,200 



West side Main, from Square to Washington Street. 

Chambersburg Bank — Two-story brick building, stable, . . 8,000 

Mrs. Gilmore — Two-story brick building and shops, . . . 5,500 

Jacob B. Miller — Two-story brick building, etc., . . . 3,000 

Dr. Richards — Two-story brick building, stable, . . , 5,500 

C. Burkhart — Three-story brick building, ice-house, stable, . 4,500 
J. M. Cooper — Three-story brick buildings, ("Valley Spirit" 

office,) stone stable, etc., ....... 15,000 

James L. Black — Two-story brick building, stable, . . . 5,000 

Dr. J. Hamilton — Three-story brick building and stable, . . 7,000 

John A. Grove — Frame shop, ....... 250 

Jacob Hutton — Three-story brick and two brick back buildings, 4,500 

John McClintock — Two-story brick building, shop, etc., . . 3,500 

Lewis Shoemaker — Two-story brick building, etc., . . . 4,200 

Samuel Greenawalt — Two-story brick buildings, . . . 5,500 

J. Allison Eyster — Two-story brick building, .... 5,000 



BUILDINGS BURNED. 



71 



J. Allison Eyster — Two-story brick building, . 

J. Allison Eyster — Three-story brick buildings, brick stable, 

Wm. Heyser's heirs — Two story brick buildings, brick stable, 

Rev. S. R. Fisher— Brick stable, 

Geo. Lehner — Log stable, ....... 

George Ludwig — Two-story brick front and five back buildings 

C. F. Miller — Two-story brick building, &c., . 
Adam Wolff — Two-story frame and brick building 

John Forbes — Two-story building, &c., .... 

John Dittraan — Two-story brick building, 

J. Deckelmayer — Two-story brick building and bakery, . 

Samuel Ott — Two two-story brick buildings, . 

B. Radebaugh — One-story frame shop, .... 

Samuel Ott — One-story frame shop, ..... 

B. Radebaugh — Two-story brick front building. 

East side Main, from "Washington to Square, 

F. Spahr — Two-story brick building, .... 

Miss Hetrick — Two-story brick building, . . . , 

John A. Lemaster — Two-story brick building, , . . 
Aug. Reineman — Two-stoiy brick building, 
Samuel M. Perry — Two-story brick front and back building, 
David L. Taylor — Two-story log (weather-boarded) front and 

frame back buildings, .....,., 
J. W. Taylor — Two-story brick building, stable, hay scales. 

(hotel), 

George Ludwig — Two-story brick building, tin-shop, stable, , 
H. H. Hutz — Two-story brick building, stable, 

D. Reisher — Two-and-a-half story brick building, bake-house 
stable, .......... 

M. Kuss — Two-story brick building, stone stable, 
I. Hutton — Two-story brick building, brick shop, stable, 
John P. Culbertson — One-story frame shops, ... 
Dr. J. Lambert — Two-story brick building, stable, . 
Mrs. R. Fisher — Two-story brick front building, 
William Wallace (hotel) — Three-story brick building, 
D. Reisher — Two-story brick buildings, stable, 
J. A. Eyster (Nixon's drugstore) — Two-story brick building 
&c., 



4,500 



72 



THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURa. 



J.Hmes Eyster — Two-story brick building, brick stabie, 
Eyster & Bro. — Two-story stone and brick building, 
Eyster & Bro. — Three-story brick warehouse, stable, 
Brand & Flack — Two-story stone and brick building, ware 
house, .......... 

A. J. White — Two-story stone and brick building, . 
Hiram AVhite — Three-story brick front, and back building 
(new), .......... 

John Jeffries — Two-story stone and brick building, &c., stable, 
A. B. Hamilton — Two-story stone and brick buildings, stable, 
Mansion House (German Reformed Publication House) — Three- 
story brick front and back building, livery stable, &c., 
Academy — Large three-story brick, ...... 



$4,500 

5,500 

10,000 

6,500 
4,500 

7,500 
3,000 
6,000 

10,000 
4,000 



Queen— South Side. 

J. W. Reges — Two-story brick building, .... 

W. Cunningham — Two-story brick building and granary, 
John Mull — Two-story brick front and back building, 
J. T. Hoskinson — Two-story brick building, 
Jacob Flinder — Two-story frame building. 
Jacob Flinder — Two-story frame building, stable, 
W. Wallace — Two-story brick building, spring-house, &c., 
Mrs. John Lindsay — Two-story brick building, 
Barnard Wolff — Two two-story brick buildings, warehouse 
shop, brick stable, &c., ...... 

J. Allison Eyster — Two-story brick building, . 

Mrs. Blood — Two-story brick and two back buildings, 

Mrs. Clark — Two-story brick front and back building, 

Mrs. R. Fisher — Two-story brick building, 

Mrs. Sarah Stevenson — Two two-story brick buildings, . 

J. D. Grier — Two-story brick building, .... 

Mrs. Susan Nixon — Two-story brick building, . 

Robert Davis — Two-story brick building, 

John Cree — Two-story brick building, .... 

Samuel Myers — Two-story brick front, two back buildings, 
Mrs. Porter Thompson — Two-story log building, 
Mrs. George S. Eyster — Two-story brick building, . 
Andrew Banker — Two-story log building and smoke-house, 



3,000 
3,000 
2,000 
2,200 
800 
700 
4,000 
2,500 

7,500 
2,200 
1,800 
1,800 
2,000 
2,000 
4,500 
1,800 
2,000 
2,500 
8,200 
600 
2,500 
1,500 



BUILDINGS BURNED. 



73 



Clueen— North Side. 

Huber & Co. (edge-tool factory) — Five brick and frame build 

ings, 

Brick blacksmith shop, 

"Bethel" (church) — brick, .... 

G. Ludwig (brewery) — Two-story stone and brick building, &c.. 
Widow Grove (of William) — Two-story building, smoke-house, 
Thos. Carlisle — Two-story brick, and one frame building, 
Kindline's heirs — Two-story brick, two-story log and brick back 

buildings, 

Widow Grove (of Alex,) — Two-story building, stable, 
John Huber — Two-story brick building, stable, 
Abraham Huber — Two-story brick, and frame stable, 
H. Sierer — Two-story building, wareroom, stable, &c., . 
Thos. Carlisle — Two-story brick front, and back buildings, 
W. Wallace — Three three-story brick buildings, brick stable, 
N. Snyder — Two-story brick building, wash-houses, stable, 
Dr. S. D. Culbertson — Two-and-a-half- story brick building. 

stable, ... ..... 

Mrs. Samuel Brand — roof slightly damaged. 

J. P. Culbertson — Two-story brick building, stable. 



Second Street. 

P. Henry Peiffer — New two-story frame stable. 
Associate Reformed Church — One-story brick building, 
Benjamin Rhodes — Two-story log front and one-story brick back 

building, 

J. Allison Eyster — One-stoi'y log shop, .... 
Charles Croft — Log building and frame kitchen, 
J. P. Keefer — Two-story brick building and kitchen, 
John Reasner — One-story log bakery, .... 
J. S. Brown — Roof and upper floor (hotel) 
John Doebler — Two-story brick building, . 
Holmes Crawford — Two-story brick building, . 
S. F. Armstrong — Two-story brick building, stable, . 
Aug. Reineman — Three one-story frame shops, &c., 
7 



74 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 



Franklin. 

Martin Cole — Two-story brick and log buildings, . . . $1,500 
Philip Evans — Two-story brick building, . . . . 1,200 

Wolfstown. 

Dr. A. H. Senseny — Two one-story log buildings, . . . 200 

N. Uglow — Three one-story log buildings, .... 250 

Water. 

George Kindline — Brick wagonmaker and blacksmith shop, brick 
stable, 800 

Alley. 

Widow Palmer — Frame stable, 150 

Nicholas Gerwig — Frame stable, 100 

Henry Greenawalt — Brick stable, 300 



King. 

George Chambers — Three two-story brick buildings, 

Upton Washabaugh — Two-story building, stone brewery, gran 

ary, brick stables, and shed, 
C. Herman — Stone shop, dwelling, and stable, 
A. K. McClure — House and barn ("Norland") 
Jacob Eby — Large brick barn, .... 
Andrew McElwaine — House, .... 



Recapitulation. 

The following is the aggregate of buildings burned : 
Residences and places of business, .... 

Barns and stables, . 

Out-buildings of various kinds, .... 



2,500 

8,000 

800 

9,500 

2,500 

400 



Total buildings burned, 559 

The aggregate valuation of the real estate, as made by 
a committee of upright and disinterested citizens, consist- 
ing of Messrs. Wm. McLellan, C. M. Burnet, Rev. Jo- 



BUILDINGS BURNED. 75 

seph Clark, D. K. Wunderlich, and John Armstrong, is 
$783,950. The loss in personal property greatly exceeds 
that of the real estate, but it is difficult, if not impos- 
sible, even to approach to anything like a satisfactory 
estimate. 

In regard to the foregoing estimates of real property, I 
will merely add that they are low, generally speaking, 
very low. I say this, not because I find any fault Avith 
the judicious committee of gentlemen who made those 
estimates. I rather commend them for it ; but for the 
purpose simply of mentioning the fact that the actual loss 
was much greater than the figures indicate. Thus, for 
instance, the Court-House is put down at $45,000, whereas 
an experienced builder has stated to me it could not be 
rebuilt for less than $80,000. The Mansion House (the 
printing establishment of the German Reformed Church), 
with a stone livery stable in the rear, is put down at 
$10,000, whereas $15,000 would not replace them as they 
were. Colonel McClure's large and beautiful residence, 
with his spacious model barn, are put down at $9,500, but 
they could not be restored for less than $20,000. The 
banking house is put down at $8,000, but not less than 
$20,000 would be required to replace it. And so with 
most of the buildings. A million dollars will not suffice 
to restore them, and twice as much more will not cover 
the losses of such personal property as money can re- 
place. 

Many heavy sufferers are among those who had no 
real property, and hence their names do not appear in the 
above list. Some of the large business shops were in the 
front rooms of houses belonging to other persons. Thus 
the Mansion House, besides containing the printing and 



76 THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG. 

binding establishments of the Eeformed Church, was 
occupied bj Shryock's large bookstore, Mr. Metcalf s dry 
goods store, dentists' rooms, saddler's shop, &c. In many 
instances there were two, three, and even four private fam 
ilies living in one house. Many families also, whose 
dwellings were not burned, were nevertheless very heavy 
sufferers, having been plundered and robbed of their most 
valuable articles of plate, jewelry, clothing, &c. Hence it 
is perhaps not too much to say that the number of families 
who are sufferers is more than double the number of houses, 
as well as that the loss is double the amount in value, as 
compared with the loss of the houses enumerated in the list. 
In conclusion permit me to add, that if our border is 
protected hereafter, and some reasonable assurance is 
given to our people that incursions by the enemy will be 
rendered impossible, our town will be rebuilt — gradually, 
but surely. If, however, no such assurance is given, and 
no effective aid for border defence is afforded ; if our 
people are coolly told that the Cumberland Yalley is to 
be '' a trap in which to catch the rebels, and which must 
therefore be left open," then, alas ! there will be no heart 
to remain and rebuild the town ; but, imitating many of 
our disheartened farmers, our citizens will sell out their 
realty and leave, regretfully indeed ; but rather than be 
in constant dread and apprehension, leave they will, and 
allow the ruins of their houses and hearths to remain be- 
hind them, seeking some more sheltered or sequestered 
spot, where they may live and die in ^'quietness and 
peace," though it be away from the graves of their fathers 
and their childhood's " sweet home." 

Very sincerelj^ yours, 

B. S. S. 



MISS M'KEEVER'S NEW STORY, 

NOW READY. 

WOODCLIFF. 

BY MISS HARKIET B. McKEEVER, 

AUTHOR OF "EDITH'S MINISTRY," "SUNSHINE," "THE FLOUNCED ROBE," 

ETC., ETC. 

IN ONE VOLUME, 12mo., PRICE $2.00. 

The scene of Miss McKeever's new story is laid principally in New England. 
The hero, a Scotch hoy, taken from the humbler walks of life, is a type of that 
struggling class that thrive best in our country. By his moral and intellectual 
worth, sustained by an unfaltering trust in God, he rises step by step, triumph- 
ing over every difficulty, until he attains a commanding position among his 
fellow men. The power of personal influence is illustrated by the acts of his 
daily life, moulding a peculiarly untutored child of noble impulses, and guiding 
her aspirations after the good and true. Roland Bruce and Madeline, or Mad- 
cap Hamilton, as she is sometimes familiarly called, the hero and heroine of 
the story, give a freshness and vigor to it, which, with the high moral incul- 
cated, commend it to the favorable attention of all classes of readers. 



ALSO, JUST READY, 
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EDITH'S MINISTRY. 12mo., cloth, price $1.50. 

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life, and how such a life, well employed, brings with it its own reward." — Epis- 
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SUNSHINE, OR KATE VINTON. IBmo., cloth, price $1. 
THE FLOUNCED ROBE, AND WHAT IT COST. 

16mo., cloth, price 75 cents. 
*' The authoress is favorably known to the reading community by her works. 
They all sustain a high moral and religious tone, and are not only safe but 
salutary in their influence in every family. — Christian Ghrouide. 

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PH1LADELPHL\. 



THE REV. SAMUEL A. PHILIPS' NEW BOOK, 

THE VOICE OF BLOOD, 

IN THE 

SPHERE OF NATURE AND OF THE SPIRIT WORLD. 

BY THE 

REV. SAMUEL A. PHILIPS, A. M., 

PASTOR OF THE REFORMED CHURCH, CARLISLE, AND AUTHOR OF "GETH- 
SEMANE AND THE CROSS," "THE CHRISTIAN HOME," ETC. 

IN ONE VOLUME, DEMY Svo., PRICE S3.00. 



"No reader of the Bible can have failed to discover the prominent place 
occupied by blood-^heildinj:^ in the Levitienl services, and in the grand funda- 
mentals of Christianity. The blood typical was the precursor of the blood shed 
on the cross. "While some of the 'voices of blood' considered by the author, 
may be considered as only retnotelj^ bearins:^ on the great subject of atonement, 
yet they are all designed to illustrate it. The atonement by blood is the marked 
feature of the gospel, without the shedding of which there could be no remission 
of sin, and the vitality of the gospel is lost where it does not stand forth promi- 
nently. It is the author's design to illustrate this blessed truth, and he does it 
Scripturally and practically, that all may see the h:irin(my between the voice of 
blood from the altar, and the voice of blood from the cross. The volume com- 
prises much precious truth in various respects, and may be profitably read." — 
Presbyterian. 

" In this work, the author first analyzes the voice, its structure, functions, 
capabilities, as a material organ of the spirit; then the blood in which is the 
life; then blood as the voice which utters mighty truths and testimonies; then 
* the voice of accusing blood from the ground,' beginning with the blood of 
Abel ; the * voice of typical blood from the altar,' comprehending the Jewish 
sacrifices; 'the voice of atoning blood from the cross;' 'the voice of martyr- 
blood from the church;' of 'sacramental blood from the Christian altar;' of 
'pleading blood from the mercy-seat;' of 'witnessing blood from the judgment 
throne;' of 'avenging blood from hell;' and, finall3% of 'glorifying blood in 
heaven.' These topics are treated in a fervid and impassioned style which sel- 
dom flags. The reader is never wearied by dulness. Without endorsing every 
sentiment, we find the work evangelical, earnest, and quickening." — Biblical 
Repertory and Princeton Review. 

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