Doc. 1.-the invasion of Pennsylvania.
Colonel A. K. McClure's letter.
Chambersburgh, Pa., October--, 1862.I have had a taste of rebel rule; and, although not so bad as it might have been, my rather moderate love of adventure would not invite a repetition of it. I reached here on Friday evening to fill several political appointments in the county; and, when I got off the cars, the telegraphic operator called me aside, and informed me that he had a report from Greencastle, of the rebels entering Mercersburgh. We agreed that it was preposterous, and thought it best not to make the report public and alarm our people needlessly. I supposed that a few cavalry had crossed the Potomac to forage somewhere on the route leading to Mercersburgh, but never, for a moment, credited their advent into that place. I came home, and after tea returned to the telegraph-office to ascertain whether the rebels had been over the Potomac at any point, and I was there met by two reliable men, who had narrowly escaped from the rebel cavalry seven miles west of this place. The telegraph-wire had also been cut west, and it was then manifest that we had but an hour to prepare for our new and novel visitors. Our people were confounded with astonishment at the brilliant audacity of the rebels penetrating twenty miles in Gen. McClellan's rear; but, however reckless or well devised on their part, the fact and the rebels were both staring our people in the face. The rain was pouring down in torrents, and in a little time citizens were seen running to and fro with their muskets; but there was no organization, and no time to effect one. Col. Kennedy attempted to improvise mounted pickets for the several roads on which they might enter, but he had scarcely got his forces mounted until the clattering of hoofs was heard on the western pike, and in a few minutes the rebel advance was in the centre of the town. They stated that they bore a flag of truce, and wished to be taken to the commandant of the post. I had just got word of the movement to Gov. Curtin and Gen. Brooks, at Hagerstown, when I was sent for to meet the distinguished strangers. A hasty message to Hagerstown and Harrisburgh, stating that the town was about to be surrendered, closed telegraph communication, and Mr. Gilmore, the operator, prepared at once for the advent of his successors, and struck out along the line toward Harrisburgh with his instrument. I went up town to meet the flag of truce, and found a clever-looking “butternut,” dripping wet, without any mark of rank, bearing a dirty white cloth on a little stick. He politely stated that he sought the commander or authorities of the town, and in the name of the general commanding the confederate forces, he demanded the surrender of the village. He refused to give his name, or the name of the general commanding, and he could not state on what terms they would accept a surrender. As I had no command other than the scattered and bewildered home guards--all brave enough, but entirely without drill or organization — and about three hundred wounded men in the hospitals, I acted with the citizens as one of them; and it did not require a protracted council to determine that we could not successfully resist cavalry and artillery. So we concluded that the venerable village had to be consigned over to rebel keeping. We had been kindly allowed thirty minutes to decide, at the end of which time, we were informed, rebel artillery would demand submission in rather unpleasant tones. Col. T. B. Kennedy, (colonel by political brevet, like myself,) Judge Kimmell, provost-marshal, and your humble servant, mounted three stray horses, and filed in with the rebel escort, amidst a thunder of cheers for the Union and groans for the rebels, to meet we did not know whom, and to go we did not know where. Without umbrellas or overcoats, we had the full benefit of a drenching rain, and I must admit that we were treated with the utmost courtesy by our new associates. They conversed freely and without manifesting any degree of bravado. After travelling a mile westward we were brought to a halt by a squad of mounted men, and informed that. Gen. Hampton was one of the party, to whom we should address ourselves. It was so dark that I could not distinguish him from any of his men. Upon being informed that we were a committee of citizens, and that there was no organized force in the town, and no military commander at the post, he stated, in a respectful and soldier-like manner, that he corn manded the advance of the confederate troops--