previous next

[310] who fled on our approach. If Mr. Blair had been at home his property and his privacy would have been respected, as was that of all citizens who remained in their houses. When I found that his house was abandoned, and had been plundered of some valuables, I placed a guard over it with orders that no one should enter it without permission, and that the property should be protected. Most, if not all, the valuables that had been taken were recovered and placed in the charge of some neighbor for the purpose of being restored to Mr. Blair on his return. His cattle, which were fit for beeves, were taken by my orders, as were the cattle of other citizens, it being necessary that my troops should be supplied with provisions from the country. His house was not used for a hospital, and if any wounded men were found in it they were men who had been wounded in the affair which occurred late in the afternoon of the 12th, between some troops sent out from the works and a portion of the troops on my front line, who could not be transported, and found their way to the house after I retired. If the writer is to be understood as intimating that Montgomery Blair's house was burned by my orders, then the statement is incorrect. I had placed a guard over that house also, and it was not burned by my orders, but was fired after my guard had been withdrawn. I have never been able to ascertain who did the burning.

General Rodes, whose division occupied my front line, and furnished the guard for the house, was of opinion that it was burned by some resident of the neighborhood, who took advantage of our presence to commit the act. It is not impossible that the burning was by some of my men, but it was without my authority. It was my policy to prohibit everything like marauding on the part of my troops, and I was especially determined to prevent the destruction of the property of the Blairs, for it was understood that both the father and the son were opposed to the policy pursued by some Federal commanders in the South in the destruction of private property and the imprisonment of non-combatant citizens. In fact, it was understood by us that Montgomery Blair had lost caste with the extreme Radicals of the party to which he was attached at that time, and it was not a great while before he retired from the Cabinet. There is a citizen of one of the upper counties of the Valley, who is still living, who had followed my command into Maryland, and who came to me while I was in front of Washington with the request that I would permit him to burn the house of Montgomery Blair, in retaliation for the burning of many houses in the Valley by General Hunter's orders. This permission I refused, with a statement of my reasons therefor. Judge Blair, however,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Montgomery Blair (4)
Francis P. Blair (2)
Rodes (1)
W. Hunter (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: