proclamation which he had issued, calling upon them to furnish me with one hundred thousand dollars in gold, or five hundred thousand dollars in greenbacks, and in case the money was not furnished I was ordered to burn the city and return to Virginia
The proclamation also stated that this course.had been adopted in retaliation for the destruction of property in Virginia
, by the orders of General Hunter
, and specified that the houses of Andrew Hunter
, A. R. Boteler
, E. J. Lee
, Governor Letcher
, J. T. Anderson
, the Virginia Military Institute, and others in Virginia
, had been burned by the orders of General D. Hunter
, a Federal commander, and that the money demanded from Chambersburg
was to be paid to these parties as a compensation for their property.
It appears that the policy of General Early
had been adopted upon proper reflection; that his orders were distinct and final, and that what was done on this occasion by my command was not the result of inconsiderate action or want of proper authority, as was alleged by many parties at the North
, both at the time and since the close of the war.
On the 29th of July, the two cavalry brigades that were to make the dash into Pennsylvania
, by turning the right of Hunter
's army, were assembled at or near Hammond's mill, in Berkeley county, West Virginia
During the night the Federal
pickets on the northern side of the Potomac
were captured, and the troops crossed just at daylight on the morning of the 30th, and moved out and formed the line of march on the National
drove the Federal
cavalry from the small village of Clear Spring
, and pushed on toward Hagerstown
to create the impression that the rest of the troops were following.
At Clear Spring
we left the National
road and turned north on the Mercersburg
We reached Mercersburg
about dark, and stopped to feed our horses, and to give time for the stragglers to come up. After this stop the march was continued all night, notwithstanding the opposition made at every available point by a regiment of Federal cavalry.
, with his cavalry battalion, kept the roads clear, and we reached Chambersburg
at daylight on the 31st.
The approach to the town was defended only by one piece of artillery and some irregular troops that were soon driven off, and the advance of our force took possession of the town.
The main part of the two brigades was formed in line on the high ground overlooking the town.
I at once went into the place with my staff, and requested some of the citizens to inform the city authorities that I wanted to see them.
I also sent my staff through the town to find out where the proper officials were, and inform them that I had a proclamation for their consideration.
Not one could be