county, where, on the 19th of July, 1864, he caused to be burned the residence of the lion.
A. R. Boteler
, “Fountain Rock
.” Mrs. Boteler
was also a cousin of General Hunter
This homestead was an old colonial house, endeared to the family by a thousand tender memories, and contained a splendid library, many pictures, and an invaluable collection of rare and precious manuscripts, illustrating the early history of that part of Virginia
, that Colonel Boteler
had collected by years of toil.
The only members of the family who were there at the time were Colonel Boteler
's eldest and widowed daughter, Mrs. Shepherd
, who was an invalid, her three children, the eldest five years old and the youngest eighteen months, and Miss Helen Boteler
. Colonel Boteler
and his son were in the army, and Mrs. Boteler
The ladies and children were at dinner when informed by the servants that a body of cavalry had turned in at the gate, from the turnpike, and were coming up to the house.
It proved to be a small detachment of the First New York Cavalry, commanded by a Captain William F. Martindale
, who, on being met at the door by Mrs. Shepherd
, coolly told her that he had come to burn the house.
She asked him by what authority.
He told her by that of General Hunter
, and showed her his written order.
On reading it, she said: “The order, I see, sir, is for you to burn the houses of Colonel Alexander R. Boteler
and Mr. Edmund I. Lee
Now this is not Colonel Boteler
's house, but is the property of my mother, Mrs. Boteler
, and therefore must not be destroyed, as you have no authority to burn her house.”
“It's Colonel Boteler
, and that's enough for me,” was Martindale
She then said: “I have been obliged to remove all my personal effects here, and have several thousand dollars' worth of property stored in the house and out-buildings, which belongs to me and my children.
Can I not be permitted to save it?”
curtly told her that he intended to “burn everything under roof upon the place.”
Meanwhile, some of the soldiers were plundering the house of silver spoons, forks, cups, and whatever they fancied, while others piled the parlor furniture on the floors, and others poured kerosene on the piles and floors, which they then set on fire.
They had brought the kerosene with them, in canteens strapped to their saddles.
, being devoted to music, pleaded hard for her piano, as it belonged to her, having been a gift from her grandmother, but she was brutally forbidden to save it; whereupon, although the flames were roaring in the adjoining rooms, and the roof all on fire, she quietly went into the house, and seating herself for the last time before the instrument,