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[543] our cruel enemy.1 It has been lost upon the Yankees, however, as so far from appreciating the forbearance shown, I am informed that it has been actually charged by some of their papers that Gordon's command fired the town of Wrightsville, whereas the exertions of his men saved the place from utter destruction.2 On the afternoon of the 29th I received through Captain Elliott Johnson, Aide to General Ewell, a copy of a note from General Lee, and also verbal instructions, which required me to move back and rejoin the rest of the corps on the western side of the South Mountain; and accordingly at daylight, on the morning of the 30th, I put my whole command in motion, taking the route with the main body through Weigalstown and East Berlin, in the direction of Heidlersburg, from which place I could move either to Shippensburg or Greenwood by the way of Arendtsburg, as circumstances might require. I, at the same time, sent Colonel White's cavalry on the turnpike from York towards Gettysburg, to ascertain if any force of the enemy was on that road. At East Berlin a small squad of

1 Before leaving York I wrote and had printed the following address to the citizens, and I think they will bear me out in the assertion that my troops preserved the most perfect order, and that they themselves were deprived of nothing, except what was furnished on the requisition made upon the town authorities. It was well that my demands were complied with, as otherwise I would have been compelled to have resorted to measures that would not have been agreeable either to them or to me. The balance of the money, however, is still unpaid.

Address of General Early to the people of York.

York, Pa., June 30th, 1863.
To the Citizens of York:--I have abstained from burning the railroad buildings and car shops in your town, because, after examination, I am satisfied the safety of the town would be endangered; and acting in the spirit of humanity, which has ever characterized my government and its military authorities, I do not desire to involve the innocent in the same punishment with the guilty. Had I applied the torch without regard to consequences, I would have pursued a course that would have been fully vindicated as an act of just retaliation for the many authorized acts of barbarity perpetrated by your own army upon our soil. But we do not war upon women and children, and I trust the treatment you have met with at the hands of my soldiers will open your eyes to the monstrous iniquity of the war waged by your government upon the people of the Confederate States, and that you will make an effort to shake off the revolting tyranny under which it is apparent to all you are yourselves groaning.

J. A. Early, Major-General C. S. A.

2 The houses that were burned adjoined the toll-house, which was connected with the bridge, and their destruction was thus inevitable from the burning of the bridge.

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