note.—This article, published in the Baltimore American
, March 28, 1909, and written by Lieut. Fielder C. Slingluff
, who was a member of the First Maryland Cavalry, C. S. A., and is now a prominent lawyer, citizen, clubman and churchman of Baltimore, Md.
, was sent for publication by Captain Frederick M. Colston
, of the same place.
The letter, beside the following: ‘As an act of simple justice and for historical accuracy, I ask you to publish this, as an addenda to the Rev. Dr. Seibert
's account of the burning of Chambersburg
,’ contained a clipping from the Baltimore Sun
of April 26, 1909, as follows:
Sheridan, like Sherman, indulged his proclivities for pillage and destruction only after the last vestige of Confederate military organization had vanished from his front, and it was on a people incapable of armed resistance that vengeance was wreaked.
Some idea of the pitiless and wanton devastation wrought in the valley may be gathered from the report of a committee appointed just after the close of the hostilities by the county court of Rockingham to estimate the havoc inflicted on the property of noncombatants under Sheridan's orders in that county alone:
Dwellings burned, 36; barns burned, 450; mills burned, 31; fences destroyed (miles), 100; bushels of wheat destroyed, 100,000; bushels of corn destroyed, 50,000; tons of hay destroyed, 6,233; cattle carried off, 1,750 head; horses and hogs carried off, 3,350 head; factories burned, 3; furnace burned, I. In addition, there was an immense amount of farming utensils of every description destroyed, many of them of great value, such as reapers and threshing machines, also household and kitchen furniture, and money, bonds, plate, etc., pillaged.
We are glad to print this article written 25 years ago, supplementary to Dr. Seibert's vivid description written 50 years ago. The two papers give us opposite aspects of the same events and have for this reason unusual historical value.