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Captain Smith, the worthy son of a noble Virginia sire, now Governor of what treason has left of the Old Dominion, gave his name and parentage at “Norland,” and also at Rev. James F. Kennedy's. It seems that the residences of ministers were not to be burned, and he gave the following order to Mr. Kennedy.

Chambersburg, July 30, 1864.
Rev. James F. Kennedy's house is not to be burned, positively prohibited. By order of Brigadier-General McCausland.

F. W. Smith, A. A. D. C.

The order was hastily written with lead pencil, but in a very legible hand, while he was delivering Mrs. McClure's pitcher to Mrs. Kennedy, and declaring by way of justification of his conduct, that his father's house had been burned by our troops, a statement he knew to be false.

Fiendish and relentless as were McCausland and most of his command, there were notable exceptions who bravely maintained the humanities of war in the midst of the infuriated freebooters who were plying the torch and securing plunder. Surgeon Budd was conversing with several citizens when the demand for tribute was made, and he assured all present that the rebel commander would not burn Chambersburg. In the midst of his assurances, the flames burst forth almost simultaneously in every part of the town. When he saw the fire break out he wept like a child, and publicly denounced the atrocities of his commander. He took no part in it whatever, save to aid some unfortunate ones in escaping from the flames. Captain Baxter, formerly of Baltimore, peremptorily refused to participate in the burning; but aided many people to get some clothing and other articles out of the houses. He asked a citizen as a special favor to write to his friends in Baltimore and acquit him of the hellish work. Surgeon Richardson, another Baltimorean, gave his horse to a lady to get some articles out of the burning town, and publicly deplored the sad work of McCausland. When asked who his commanding officer was, he answered. “Madam, I am ashamed to say that General McCausland is my commander!” Captain Watts manfully saved all of Second street south of Queen, and with his command aided to arrest the flames. He said he would lose his commission rather than burn out defenceless people, and other officers and a number of privates displayed every possible evidence of their humunity. One whole company was kept by its Captain — name unknown — from burning and pillaging, and the south-eastern portion of Chambersburg stands today solely because an officer detailed there kept his men employed in aiding people out of their burning houses, and did not apply the torch at all. After the rebels had left, the following note was received by Rev. S. J. Nicolls, Presbyterian pastor, written on an envelope with a pencil:

Rev. Mr. Nicolls: Please write my father and give him my love. Tell him, too, as Mrs. Shoemaker will tell you, that I was most strenuously opposed to the burning of the town.

That there was a most formidable opposition to burning the town in McCausland's command was manifested in various ways. In the morning before daylight, when McCausland was at Greenawalt's, on the turnpike west of Chambersburg, a most boisterous council was held there, at which there were earnest protests made to McCausland against burning anything but public property. McCausland was greatly incensed at some of his officers, and threatened them with most summary vengeance if they refused to obey orders. Many, however, did openly disobey, and went even so far as to give the ut-most publicity to their disobedience.

Captain Fitzhugh exhibited to J. W. Douglas, Esquire, an attorney of this place, a written order with the name of Jubal A. Early to it, directing that Chambersburg should be burned, in retaliation for the burning of six houses in Virginia by Hunter. The burning of Chambersburg was therefore by order of one of the corps commanders of General Lee's army, instead of the work of a guerrilla chief, thus placing the responsibility squarely upon the shoulders of General Lee. We have in support of this the statement of Rev. Mr. Edwards, Episcopal clergyman of Hagerstown, who was taken as a hostage after Chambersburg had been destroyed. He was brought to General Early's headquarters at Williamsport, and there paroled to effect his exchange. General Early there informed him that he had directed Chambersburg to be burned in. retaliation for the destruction of property in Virginia by Grant, Meade, and Hunter, and that the account was now squared.

A number of the thieves who participated in burning Chambersburg, were sent suddenly to their last account. An officer whose papers identify him as Major Bowen, Eighth Virginia cavalry, was conspicuous for his brutality and robberies. He got too far south of the firing parties to be covered by them, and in his desire to glut his thieving propensities, he was isolated. He was captured by several citizens, in the midst of his brutal work, and was despatched promptly. When he was fired at and slightly wounded, he took refuge in the burning cellar of one of the houses, and there with the intense heat blistering him, he begged them to spare his life; but it was in vain. Half the town was still burning, and it was taxing humanity rather too much to save a man who had aided the boldest robbery to atrocious arson. He was shot dead and now sleeps near the Falling Spring, nearly opposite the Depot. He was about five feet five inches in height, very stoutly built, with sandy hair, goatee and

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July 30th, 1864 AD (1)
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