were worse traitors than their husbands, and he would burn the houses over their heads to make them personally and immediately experience some punishment for their treason;” and on another occasion said to a lady, that he would “humble the Virginia
women before he left the State
I could enumerate many other acts of actual destruction, and threats and acts of wanton violence on the part of Hunter
, all of which went to make up public sentiment that prevailed at the time in Virginia
, and which required the military authorities to take some steps to prevent their recurrence in future, besides stopping the useless destruction that was then going on. But what I have given is considered sufficient to explain the reasons why the city of Chambersburg, in Pennsylvania
, was destroyed.
It may be considered as indispensable to give the location of the forces composing the Union
and Confederate armies during the latter part of the month of July, 1864, in order to properly understand the raid that was made into the State of Pennsylvania
, and which resulted in the destruction of Chambersburg
's army (Union) was scattered along the northern bank of the Potomac river
, in Maryland
, from near Hancock
to Harper's Ferry
, the main body being near the latter place.
Early's army (Confederate) was located on the opposite side of the same river with its main body near Martinsburg
Each army had its cavalry on the flanks.
My, command was on the left of Early
's army, and I think that Averills cavalry was located opposite to me-at least a portion of it was there.
When I speak of cavalry, in the course of this sketch, I am aware that the term is not properly applied; and, as far as the Confederate
troops which I commanded were concerned, they were badly armed, badly mounted, and worse equipped — in fact, they were mostly mounted militia.
The men would have made good soldiers if there had been time to discipline them, and arms and equipments to have furnished them.
The horses were nearly all worn out, and there was no supply to draw others from.
We attempted to get horses in Pennsylvania
, but found them removed from the line of march, and we had no time to look for them elsewhere.
In July, 1864, the cavalry brigade which I commanded was encamped near the Potomac river
, in the county of Berkeley, West Virginia
It made the advance post of the army under General Early
, that was guarding the approaches into Virginia
through the Shenandoah Valley.
On the 28th of July, I received an order from General Early
to cross the Potomac
with my brigade and one under General Bradley T. Johnston
, and proceed to the city of Chambersburg
, and after capturing it to deliver, to the proper authorities, a