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[160] There is no lovelier spot in all Virginia than this little mountain-locked valley; and, as it had escaped the desolation of war, it was the very spot for rest. Our regiment was camped nearest the river, and the company to which I belonged was nearest the river of all. My messmate and myself had crossed the fence from the field in which the regiment was camped to make our bed in a soft green fence corner, so that I believe we were the nearest of the whole brigade to the enemy. We had been camped quietly a day or two when, in the middle of the night, the order came to ‘saddle up.’ We soon were ready for a reported advance of the enemy, but after waiting an hour or two with no further orders, the men gradually got under their blankets and went to sleep. Just at the break of day I felt a rude shock, which I supposed came from the careless tread of a comrade, and I made an angry remonstrance. This was followed by a kick which I thought came from a horse. I, furious, threw the blanket from over my head and found a couple of Averill's men, with cocked pistols at my head, one of whom said: ‘Get up, you——Chambersburg burning——!’ I got up at once and at this moment, had Mr. Hoke been there, he would have been delighted, for I mildly intimated that I had nothing to do with the burning of Chambersburg and considered it altogether wicked and unjustifiable.

As soon as I collected my thoughts I took in the situation at a glance. I saw the blue-black column of Averill winding down the road and breaking off into the fields where our men slept. I saw them, to my utter humiliation and disgust, dashing in among the men and waking them up from their sleep. Some of our command who had heard the rush of the charge succeeding in mounting their horses and escaping. With such, some shots were exchanged, but the greater part of our regiment was caught asleep and captured without firing a shot. A complete answer to the statement adopted by Mr. Hoke is that not one of my regiment (to the best of my recollection), was killed or wounded, and, as I have already stated, they were nearest to the enemy and received the first shock of the charge. Farther on down the road, where the shouts of combat had aroused the other

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Chambersburg, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)

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Jacob Hoke (2)
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