A correspondent writing from Gettysburgh
, June seventh, relates a talk between General Lee
and a mill-owner of this State, during the recent invasion:
's confiscation of paper at the mills near Mount Holly Springs
has been mentioned.
, one of the sufferers, at whose house the General
breakfasted, gives me some facts of interest.
“It is not that we love the Pennsylvanians,” observed Lee
, “that we refuse to let our men engage in plundering private citizens.
We could not otherwise keep up the morale
of the army.
A rigid discipline must be maintained, or the men would be worthless.”
“In fact,” adds Mr. G., “I must say that they acted like gentlemen, and, their cause aside, I would rather have forty thousand rebels quartered on my premises than one thousand Union troops.
The colonel of one of the New-York
regiments (militia) drove his horse into the engine-room of my mill, a place which must be kept as clean as a parlor; the men broke all the locks, and defiled every apartment from basement to garret.
Yet all this time I have been quartering sick officers at my house, and my new hotel is thrown open to the men to sleep in free of charge.”
“I told General Lee
,” continued Mr. Givin
, “that the South
must give it up; that the North
would fight it out rather than see the country broken in two, and that their invasion of Pennsylvania
was a great mistake.”
“What would you do,” replied the General
, “if you were in our place?”
Here he produced copies of the Richmond papers, which complained so bitterly about the war being waged in the South
, while it ought to be carried into the Free States
One of the motives to this inroad was, therefore, the pressure of public opinion brought to bear on the confederate government by means of the newspapers.
The circumstance shows that uncle Jeff's throne is not so stable as has been supposed.
If the insurgents acted somewhat humanely by the way, they exacted an ample recompense from the citizens of Gettysburgh
After getting possession on Wednesday, they advised the people to leave.
Those who did so had their houses broken into and robbed without mercy.
Every thing was carried off that could be made use of, and what could not be was torn, soiled, defaced, or rendered useless.
With the influx of strangers, the destruction of property, and the railroad in the hands of Government agents, it is positively difficult to get enough to eat, except “hard tack,” and even that is not easily come-at-able by civilians.
As to sleeping accommodations, blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed.
Yet I have good reason to believe the people kind and hospitable to strangers to a degree that Harrisburgh
has never attained and never may.