The wanton destruction of the private property of citizens of Virginia
, by the orders of General Hunter
, a Federal commander, may be considered as one of the strongest reasons for the retaliation, by Early
's order, upon the city of Chambersburg
lived in the county of Jefferson
, near Harper's Ferry
, and was a relative of General Hunter
; A. R. Boteler
and E. J. Lee
also lived in the same vicinity.
No reasons that I have ever heard have been given for the burning of their houses.
's property was in Lexington, Virginia
; the Military Institute was near Lexington
I do not think that any better reasons can be given for the destruction of these properties than could have been given if General Hunter
had destroyed every house, barn, or other building, that was standing and in good order, upon his line of march from Staunton
The property of J. T. Anderson
was in the county of Botetourt
, and located near the banks of James river
, at Buchanan
and a lady relative were the only occupants at the time.
I destroyed the bridge across James river
to retard Hunter
in his march upon Lynchburg
, and it detained him with his army for two days, during which time he occupied this house as his headquarters.
He promised the ladies protection, and after his departure, an officer and some soldiers returned with a written order from him to destroy everything about the premises.
A few days afterward, as General Hunter
was passing another Virginia
mansion, a lady asked him why he destroyed the magnificent home of Colonel Anderson
He replied, “that Virginia