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Mr. Slingluffs letter.

An interesting contribution to the literature of the Civil War is an account of the burning of Chambersburg written by Mr. Fielder C. Slingluff, of the law firm of Slingluff & Slingluff, Baltimore. He was present at the destruction of the town as a member of the First Maryland Cavalry, and his account is, accordingly, from the standpoint of a Confederate soldier. For 25 years Mr. Slingluff's narrative has been tucked away in archives, which gives it added historic interest.

The account of the event is in the form of a letter to Mr. Ephraim Hiteshew, of Chambersburg, Pa., who prevailed upon Mr. Slingluff to write it in connection with some reminiscences compiled by Mr. Hoke, of Chambersburg. The letter telling of the destruction which Mr. Singluff has permitted to be published, is as follows:

Baltimore, August 1, 1884.
Epraim Hiteshew, Esq., Chambersburg, Pa.:
My Dear Sir: I have received the papers sent me by you containing Mr. Hoke's reminiscences of the burning of Chambersburg, and have carefully read them. At your request I will give you my recollection of the events which immediately preceded and followed that occurrence.

I write from the standpoint of the private soldier, having had no knowledge of the reasons which dictated official orders at the time, nor had my associates. We simply obeyed orders.

I do not pretend to give dates, distances, names of places, of persons or localities with precision. Twenty years is a long span in a man's life, and as I passed through many stirring events during the war this one did not make as great an impression upon me as it did upon those who immediately suffered from it.

I believe, though, that that 20 years has so curbed and tempered the excitement of early manhood and mollified the passions and resentments of war that I can write calmly and without bias on the subject. At least such will be my endeavor. At the same time I shall not hesitate to speak frankly and freely from my standpoint. To do less would render valueless, for the purpose of impartial history, anything which I might say.

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Fielder C. Slingluff (5)
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