previous next

[541] babe has ceased to be motherless, for it shares a mother's sepulchre. The houses of Messrs. McLellan, Sharpe, and Nixon, were saved miraculously. They are located east of the railroad, and out of the business part of the town. They were not reached until the rest of the town was in flames, and the roads were streaming with homeless women and children. Mr. McLellan's residence was the first one entered, and he was notified that the house must be burned. Mrs. McLellan immediately stepped to the door, and laying one hand on the rebel officer, and pointing with the other to the frantic fugitive women and children passing by, said to him: “Sir, is not your vengeance glutted? We have a home, and can get another; but can you spare no homes for those poor, helpless people and their children? When you and I and all of us shall meet before the Great Judge, can you justify this act?” He made no reply, but ordered his command away, and that part of the town was saved. Mrs. Louis Shoemaker rushed up stairs, when they fired her house, to save some valuables, and returned with some silver spoons in her hand. She found the rebels quarreling over a valuable breast-pin of hers — several claiming it by right of discovery, and the dispute was ended, for the time at least, by one rudely taking the spoons from Mrs. Shoemaker and dividing them among the squad. Mrs. Denig escaped by wetting blankets and throwing them around her, thus enabling her to get out through the burning building in the rear of her house. The residence of Mr. McElwaine was burned by a squad of rebels, who first demanded and procured their breakfast from him, because he was guilty of teaching colored children, and he was fired at as he made his escape. S. M. Royston, bar-keeper at Montgomery's Hotel, was robbed on his way down stairs of seven hundred dollars--all the savings of his life. He was met by a squad of rebels, and dexterously relieved of his money and all valuables. Mr. Holmes Crawford was taken into an alley while his house was burning, and his pockets rifled. All he had about him was one dollar and sixty cents, and that was appropriated. He was thus detained until it was impossible for him to get out by the street, and he had to take his feeble wife and sit in the rear of his lot until the buildings burned around him. Father McCnulloen, Catholic priest of this place, was robbed of his watch. He was sitting on his porch, and a party of rebels came up and peremptorily demanded his watch, which he delivered. He was also robbed of his watch last year by Jenkins' men — the same command that burned Chambersburg. Colonel Stumbaugh was arrested near his home early in the morning, and with pistol presented to his head, ordered to procure some whiskey. He refused, for the very good reason that he had none, and could get none. He was released, but afterward re-arrested by another squad, the officer naming him, and was insulted in every possible way. He informed the officer that he had been in the service, and that if General Battles was present, they would not dare to insult him. When asked why, he answered--“I captured him at Shiloh, and treated him like a soldier.” A rebel major present, who had been under Battles, upon inquiry, was satisfied that Colonel Stumbaugh's statement was correct, ordered his prompt release, and withdrew the entire rebel force from that part of Second street, and no buildings were burned. Colonel Boyd's residence--“Federal Hill,” --was also put under guard, when Mrs. Boyd informed them who lived there. They had some recollections of Colonel Boyd occasionally penetrating the Shenandoah Valley, and it was not deemed wholesome to burn his property. Mr. John Treher, of Loudon, was robbed by the rebels of two hundred dollars in gold and silver, and one hundred dollars in currency. The money was in a bureau drawer, but it was most dexterously appropriated by the scienced light-fingered gentry of McCausland. They also stole all his liquors. Mr. D. R. Knight, an artist, started out to the residence of Mr. McClure when he saw Norland on fire, and on his way he was robbed of all his money by a squad of rebels. He reached the house in time to aid in getting the women away. Rebel officers had begged of him before he started; to get the women out of town as fast as possible, as many rebel soldiers were intoxicated, and they feared the worst consequences.

Soon after the work of destruction had commenced, a squad was detailed to burn “Norland,” the residence of A. K. McClure. It is situated a mile from the centre of the town, and no other building was fired within half a mile of it, although fifty houses stand between it and the burnt portion of Chambersburg. The squad was commanded by Captain Smith, son of Governor Smith (Extra Billy), of Virginia, whose beautiful residence near Warrenton has ever been carefully guarded by Union troops when within our lines. The mother and sisters of the officer who fired “Norland” had lived in peace and safety in their home, under Federal guards, since the war commenced. With the cry of “retaliation,” Captain Smith proceeded to Mr. McClure's residence. Passing the beautiful mansion of Mr. Eyster, he supposed he had reached the object of his vengeance, and he alighted and met Mr. Eyster at the door. “Colonel McClure, I presume,” said the chivalrous son of Virginia. “No, sir; my name is Eyster,” was the reply. “Where is McClure's house?” was the next interrogatory. As the property was evidently doomed, and in sight, Mr. Eyster could only answer that it was further on the road, and the noble warrior passed on. He found Mrs. McClure quite ill — having been confined to her bed for ten days previous. He informed her that the house must be burned by way of retaliation — for what particular wrong, he did not seem anxious to explain. He magnanimously stated that she should have ten minutes to get the family out of the house and


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.
Chambersburg, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (2)
Warrenton (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: