on Sunday evening, June fourteenth, the dark clouds of contrabands commenced rushing upon us, bringing the tidings that General Milroy
's forces at Martinsburgh
had been attacked and scattered, and that the rebels, under General Rhodes
, were advancing upon Pennsylvania
With due allowance for the excessive alarm of the slaves, it was manifest that the rebels were about to clear out the Shenandoah valley, and, that once done, the Cumberland
, with all its teeming wealth, would be at rebel mercy.
On Sunday night our people were much excited, and the question of protection became one of paramount interest.
To inquiries, the authorities at Washington
answered that the aspect of the war just at present rendered it unwise to divide or weaken the army of the Potomac, and that Pennsylvania
must furnish her own men for her defence.
A call from the President
was issued to that effect, which is noticed elsewhere.
On Monday morning the flood of rumors from the Potomac
fully confirmed the advance of the rebels, and the citizens of Chambersburgh
and vicinity, feeling unable to resist the rebel columns, commenced to make prompt preparation for the movement of stealable property.
Nearly every horse, good, bad, and indifferent, was started for the mountains as early on Monday as possible, and the negroes darkened the different roads northward for hours, loaded with household effects, sable babies, etc., and horses and wagons and cattle crowded every avenue to places of safety.
About nine o'clock in the
morning the advance of Milroy
's retreating wagon-train dashed into town, attended by a few cavalry, and several affrighted wagon-masters, all of whom declared that the rebels were in hot pursuit; that a large portion of the train was captured, and that the enemy was about to enter Chambersburgh
This startling information, coming from men in uniform, who had fought valiantly until the enemy had got nearly within sight of them, naturally gave a fresh impetus to the citizens, and the skedaddle commenced in magnificent earnestness and exquisite confusion.
Men, women, and children, who seemed to think the rebels so many cannibals, rushed out the turnpike, and generally kept on the leading thoroughfares as if they were determined to be captured, if the rebels were anywhere within range and wanted them.
We watched the motley cavalcade rush along for a few hours, when it seems to have occurred to some one to inquire whether the rebels were not some distance in the rear; and a few moments of reflection and dispassionate inquiry satisfied the people that the enemy could not be upon us for several hours at least.
The railroad men were prompt and systematic in their efforts to prepare for another fire, and by noon all the portable property of the company was safely under control, to be hauled and moved at pleasure.
The more thoughtful portion of our people, who felt it a duty to keep out of rebel hands, remained until the cutting of telegraph communication south, and the reports of reliable scouts rendered it advisable to give way to the guerrilla army of plunderers.
being but five miles north of the Maryland
line, and in the direct route of the rebels, was naturally enough in the highest state of excitement on Sunday night and Monday morning. Exaggerated rumors had of course flooded them, and every half-hour a stampede was made before the imagined rebel columns.
Hon. John Rowe
at last determined to reconnoitre, and he mounted a horse and started out toward Hagerstown
A little distance beyond he was captured by a squad of rebels, and held until General Jenkins
came up. Jenkins
his name, and was answered correctly.
He subsequently asked Mr.----, who was with Rowe
, what Rowe
's name was, and upon being told that the name had been given to him correctly, he insisted that the Major
had been an officer in the United States
that the Major
had never been in the service, and he was satisfied.
had evidently confounded Major Rowe
with his son, the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Rowe
, of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth.) Jenkins
then asked Mr.----whom he had voted for at the last Presidential election.
He answered that he had voted for Lincoln
To which Jenkins
gave the following chaste and classic reply: “Get off that horse, you — abolitionist.”
The horse was surrendered, and the same question was propounded to Major Rowe
, who answered that he had voted for Douglas
, and had scratched every Breckinridge
man off his ticket.
answered: “You can ride your horse as long as you like — I voted for Douglas
He then demanded to know what forces were in Greencastle
, and what fortifications.
told him that the town was defenseless; but Jenkins
seemed to be cautious lest he might be caught in a trap.
He advanced cautiously, reconnoitred all suspicious buildings, and finally being fully satisfied that there was not a gun in position, and not a man under arms, he resolved upon capturing the town by a brilliant charge of cavalry.
He accordingly divided his forces into two columns, charged upon the vacated streets, and reached the centre of the town without the loss of a man!
This brilliant achievement, so soon after.entering Pennsylvania
, seemed to encourage the gallant guerrilla chief to still more daring deeds, and he immediately commenced to empty stables and capture every article within his reach that seemed to suit the fancy of his men. He announced in terms unfit for ears polite that he had come to burn and destroy, and that he would begin at Greencastle
informed him that he could burn Greencastle
, but that he would end his depredations and his mundane career at about that point.
pondered as he blustered, and Jenkins
didn't burn and destroy.
He probably forgot to apply the torch.
Generous teaching of memory!
The rebels were evidently under the impression that forces would be thrown in their way at an early hour, and they pushed forward for Chambersburgh
About eleven o'clock on Monday night they arrived at the southern end of the town, and the same intensely strategic movements exhibited at Greencastle
were displayed here.
Several were thrown forward cautiously to reconnoitre, and a few of our brave boys captured them and took their horses.
This taste of war whetted the appetite of Jenkins
, and he resolved to capture the town by a brilliant dash, without so much as a demand for surrender.
He divided his forces into several columns — about two hundred in advance as a forlorn hope, to whom was assigned the desperate task of charging upon the empty undefended streets, store-boxes, mortar-beds, etc., of the ancient village of Chambersburgh
Every precaution that strategy could invent was taken to prevent failure.
Men were detailed to ride along the columns before the charge was made, bawling out as loudly as possible to plant artillery at different points, although the redoubtable Jenkins
had not so much as a swivel in his army.
The women and children having been sufficiently frightened by the threatened booming of artillery, and all things being in readiness, the forlorn hope advanced, and the most desperate charge ever known in the history of war — in Chambersburgh
at least — was made.
Down the street came the iron clatter of hoofs, like the tempest with a thousand thunderbolts; but the great plan had failed in one particular, and the column recoiled before it reached the Diamond
A mortar-bed on the street, in front of Mr. White
's new building, had not been observed in the reconnoitring
of the town, nor had willing copperheads advised him of it. His force was hurled against it; down went some men and bang went a gun. To strike a mortar-bed and have a gun fired at the same.
time was more than the strategy of Jenkins
had bargained for; and the charge was broken and fell back.
A few moments of fearful suspense, and the mortar-bed was carefully reconnoitred, and the musket report was found to be an accidental discharge of a gun in the hand of one of his own men, who had fallen.
With a boldness and dash worthy of Jenkins
, it was resolved to renew the attack without even the formality of a council of war.
Again the steeds of war thundered down the street, and, there being nothing in the way, overcame all opposition, and the borough of Chambersburgh
was under the rule of Jenkins
Having won it by the most determined and brilliant prowess, Jenkins
resolved that he would be magnanimous, and would allow nothing to be taken from our people-excepting such articles as he and his men wanted.
had doubtless read the papers in his day, and knew that there were green fields in the “Green
spot;” and what is rather remarkable, at midnight he could start for a forty-acre clover-patch belonging to the editor of the Repository
without so much as stopping to ask where the gate might be found.
Not even a halt was called to find it; but the march was continued until the gate was reached, when the order “File right!”
was given, and Jenkins
was in clover.
Happy fellow thus to find luxuriant and extensive clover as if by instinct.
By way of giving the devil his due, it must be said that, although there were over sixty acres of wheat, and eighty acres of corn and oats in the same field, he protected it most carefully, and picketed his horses so that it could not be injured.
An equal care was taken of all other property about the place, excepting half a dozen of our fattest Cottswell sheep, which were necessary, it seems, to furnish chops, etc., for his men. No fences were wantonly destroyed, poultry was not disturbed, nor did he compliment our blooded cattle so much as to test the quality of their steak and roasts.
Some of his men cast a wistful eye upon the glistening trout in the spring; but they were protected by voluntary order, and save a few quarts of delicious strawberries, gathered with every care, after first asking permission, nothing in the gardens or about the grounds was taken.
Having had a taste of rebel love for horses last October, when General Stuart
's officers first stole our horses, and then supped and smoked socially with us, we had started to the mountains slightly in advance of Jenkins
's occupation of the town, and, being unable to find them, we are happy to say that General Jenkins
didn't steal our new assortment.
However earnest an enemy Jenkins
may be, he don't seem to keep spite, but is capable of being very jolly and sociable when he is treated hospitably.
For prudential reasons the editor was not at home to do the honors at his own table; but Jenkins
was not particular, nor was his appetite impaired thereby.
He called upon the ladies of the house, shared their hospitality, behaved in all respects like a gentleman, and expressed very earnest regrets that he had not been able to make the personal acquaintance of the editor.
We beg to say that we reciprocate the wish of the General
, and shall be glad to make his acquaintance personally--“when this cruel war is over.”
and Surgeon Bee
spent much of their time with Mrs. McClure
, and the former showed his appreciation of her hospitality by taking her revolver from her when he left.
An order having been made for the citizens to surrender all the guns and pistols they had, Colonel French
took the pistol of his hostess.
How many rifles he didn't get that were in her keeping, we “dinna choose to tell.”
Horses seemed to be considered contraband of war, and were taken without the pretence of compensation; but other articles were deemed legitimate subjects of commerce even between enemies, and they were generally paid for after a fashion.
True, the system of Jenkins
would be considered a little informal in business circles; but it's his way, and our people agreed to it perhaps, to some extent, because of the novelty, but mainly because of the necessity of the thing.
was liberal — eminently liberal.
He didn't stop to higgle about a few odd pennies in making a bargain.
For instance, he took the drugs of Messrs. Miller
, and Heyser
, and told them to make out a bill, or if they could not do that, to guess at the amount, and the bills were paid.
Doubtless our merchants and druggists would have preferred greenbacks to confederate scrip that is never payable, and is worth just its weight in old paper; but Jenkins
hadn't greenbacks, and he had confederate scrip, and such as he had he gave unto them.
Thus he dealt largely in our place.
To avoid the jealousies growing out of rivalry in business, he patronized all the merchants, and bought pretty much every thing he could conveniently use and carry.
Some people, with the antiquated ideas of business, might call it stealing to take goods and pay for them in bogus money; but Jenkins
calls it business, and for the time.
being what Jenkins
calls business, was business.
In this way he robbed all the stores, drug-stores, etc., more or less, and supplied himself with many articles of great value to him.
, like most doctors, don't seem to have relished his own prescriptions.
Several horses had been captured by some of our boys, and notice was given by the General Commanding
that they must be surrendered or the town would be destroyed.
The city fathers, commonly known as the town council, were appealed to in order to avert the impending fate threatened us. One of the horses, we believe, and some of the equipments were found and returned, but there was still a balance in favor of Jenkins
We do not know who audited the account, but it was finally adjusted by the council appropriating the sum of nine hundred dollars to pay the claim.
hoped for nine hundred dollars in “greenbacks,” but he had flooded the town with confederate scrip, pronouncing it better than United States
currency, and the council evidently believed him; and, desiring to be accommodating with a conqueror, decided to favor him by the payment of his bill in confederate scrip.
It was so done, and Jenkins
got just nine hundred dollars worth of nothing for his trouble.
He took it, however, without a murmur, and doubtless considered it a clever joke.
Sore was the disappointment of Jenkins
at the general exodus of horses from this place.
It limited his booty immensely.
Fully five hundred had been taken from Chambersburgh
and vicinity to the mountains, and Jenkins
's plunder was thus made just so much less.
But he determined to make up for it by stealing all the arms in the town.
He therefore issued an order requiring the citizens to bring him all the arms they had, public or private, within two hours; and search and terrible vengeance were threatened in case of disobedience.
Many of our citizens complied with the order, and a committee of our people was appointed to take a list of the persons presenting arms.
Of course very many did not comply, but enough did so to avoid a general search and probable sacking of the town.
The arms were assorted — the indifferent destroyed, and the good taken along.
On Tuesday a few of Milroy
's cavalry, escaping from Martinsburgh
, were seen by the redoubtable Jenkins
hovering in his front.
Although but thirteen in number, and without the least appetite for a battle with his two thousand men, he took on a fright of huge proportions, and prepared to sell his command as dearly as possible.
Like a prudent general, however, he provided fully for his retreat.
The shrill blast of the bugle brought his men to arms with the utmost possible alacrity; his pickets were called in to swell the ranks; the horses and baggage, consisting principally of stolen goods, were sent to the rear, south of the town; the surgeon took forcible possession of all our buildings, houses, barns, sheds, etc., to be used as hospitals, and especially requested that their wounded should be humanely treated in case of their sudden retreat without being able to take them along.
The hero of two brilliant cavalry charges upon undefended towns was agitated beyond endurance at the prospect of a battle; and instead of charging upon a little squad of men, who were merely observing the course of his robberies, he stood trembling in battle array to receive the shock.
No foe was nearer than the State
capital, over fifty miles distant, and there the same scene was being presented.
, and the militia at Harrisburgh
, were each momentarily expecting to be cut to pieces by the other.
But these armies, alike terrible in their heroism, were spared the deadly clash of arms, inasmuch as even the most improved ordnance is not deemed fatal at a range of fifty miles. Both armies, as the usual reports go, “having accomplished their purpose retired in good order.”
As a rule, we believe that private houses were not sacked by Jenkins
's forces; but there were some exceptions.
The residences of Messrs. Dengler
, near Chambersburgh
, were both entered (the familes being absent) and plundered of clothing, kettles, and other articles.
Bureaus and cupboards were all emptied of their contents, and such articles as they wanted were taken.
We have not learned of any instances of the kind in town.
A very few of our citizens exhibited the craven spirit of the genuine copperhead, but Jenkins
and his men, in no instance, treated them with even courtesy.
That they made use of some such creatures to obtain information, cannot be doubted; but they spurned all attempts to claim their respect because of professed sympathy with their cause.
To one who desired to make fair weather with Jenkins
, by ardent professions of sympathy with the South
, he answered: “Well, if you believe we are right, take your gun and join our ranks.”
It is needless to say that the cowardly traitor did not obey.
To another he said: “If we had such men as you in the South
we would hang them.”
They say, on all occasions, that there are but two modes of peace — disunion or subjugation, and they stoutly deny that the latter is possible.
had just returned from West-Point
the day the rebels reached here, and of his presence and residence they were minutely advised, for they called at the house and compelled his sister to go with them into every room to search for them.
also had the fullest information of the movements of the editor of this paper.
He told at our own house, when we had left, the direction we had gone, and described the horse we rode, and added that there were people in Chambersburgh
sufficiently cowardly and treacherous to give such information of their neighbors.
When it was suggested that such people should be sent within the rebel lines, he insisted that the South
should not be made a Botany Bay
for Northern scoundrels.
Quite a number of negroes, free and slave — men, women, and children — were captured by Jenkins
and started South to be. sold into bondage.
Many escaped in various ways, and the people of Greencastle
captured the guard of one negro train and discharged the negroes; but, perhaps, full fifty were got off to slavery.
One negro effected his escape by shooting and seriously wounding his rebel guard.
He forced the gun from the rebel and fired, wounding him in the head, and then skedaddled.
Some of the men were bound with ropes, and the children were mounted in front or behind the rebels on their horses.
By great exertions of several citizens some of the negroes were discharged.
The southern border of this county has been literally plundered of every thing in the stock line, excepting such as could be secreted.
But it was difficult to secrete stock, as the rebels
spent a full week in the county, and leisurely hunted out horses and cattle without molestation.
The citizens were unable to protect themselves, and owing to the want of promptness of our citizens elsewhere to respond to the call for troops, aid could not be had. We have not sufficient data to estimate the loss sustained by this county, but it cannot fall short of a quarter of a million of dollars.
It is a fearful blow to our people, coming as it does in the throngest season of the year, and many croppers, who had little else than their stock, have been rendered almost if not entirely bankrupt by the raid.
If the people of Pennsylvania
will not fight to protect the State
from invasion, the sufferers have a right to claim.
compensation from the common treasury of the State
The State professes to protect its citizens in the enjoyment of all their rights, and there is no justice in withholding the common tribute from individual sufferers.
Among the many unfortunate, perhaps the greatest sufferer is ex-Sheriff Taylor
, from whom the rebels captured a drove of fat cattle in Fulton County
His loss is some seven thousand dollars.
The route of Jenkins
was through the most densely populated and wealthiest portion of the county.
From this point he fell back to Greencastle
and south of it, thence he proceeded to Mercersburgh
, from where a detachment crossed the Cove Mountain
to McConnellsburgh and struck down the valley from there.
The main body, however, was divided into plundering parties, and scoured the whole southern portion of the county, spending several days in and about Greencastle
, and giving Welsh Run
a pretty intimate visitation.
The rebels seemed omnipresent according to reports.
They were on several occasions since their departure from this place just about to reenter it, and the panic-stricken made .a corresponding exit at the other side.
On Thursday, the eighteenth, they were reported within two miles of here, in large force, and a general skedaddle took place.
And again on Sunday, the twenty-first, they were reported coming with reenforcements.
A few ran off, but most of our people, knowing that there was a military force to fall back upon between this and Scotland
, shouldered their guns and fell into ranks to give battle.
Prominent among these we noticed Rev. Mr. Niccoll
, whose people missed a sermon in.his determination to pop a few rebels.
One of the first acts done by the rebels here was to march down to the railroad bridge at Scotland
and burn it. The warehouse of Mr. Criswell
and several cars were spared upon satisfactory assurance that they were private property.
As soon as the rebels fell back the railroad company commenced to rebuild the bridge, and on Sunday evening, the twenty-first, trains passed over it again.
The only other instance of firing property that has reached us was the warehouse of Oaks and Linn
It was fired just as they left the town, but the citizens extinguished it.
We had not the felicity of a personal interview with the distinguished guerrilla chief, but our special reporters took his dimensions and autobiography with general accuracy, He was born of his mother at a very early age, and is supposed to be the son of his father.
He was flogged through school in his boyhood years much as other children; and may have startling traditions touching his early character, such as the hatchet and cherry-tree which proved that Washington
could not lie; but it is for the present regarded as doubtful.
He subsequently graduated at Jefferson College in this State, in the same class, we believe, with J. McDowell Sharpe
, and gave promise of future usefulness and greatness.
His downward career commenced some five years ago, when in an evil hour he became a member of Congress from Western Virginia
, and from thence may be dated his decline and fall.
From Congress he naturally enough turned fire-eater, secessionist, and guerrilla.
He is of medium size, has a flat but good head, light brown hair, blue eyes, immense flowing beard of a sandy hue, and rather a pleasant face.
He professes to cherish the utmost regard for the humanity of war, and seemed sensitive on the subject of his reputation as a humane military leader.
He pointed to the raids of the Union
troops, who left in many instances widespread and total desolation on their tracks, and expressed the hope that henceforth the Union
raids would do no more damage to citizens than he does.
He takes horses, cattle, and articles necessary for the army, as both sides treat them as contraband of war, and help themselves on every occasion offered.
He pointed with bitter triumph at the raid of Montgomery
, and at the destruction of Jacksonville, Fla.
, and Jackson, Miss.
, by our troops, and reminded us that his actions were in accordance with civilized warfare, while those referred to of our troops were barbarous.
We do not learn of any one who was able to count Jenkins
's forces accurately, but from the best information we can gather he had about two thousand men. They were clad, as rebel soldiers usually are, in the Southern
butternut cloth, and without any regard to uniformity.
They carried pistols, rifles, and sabres, and are classed as mounted infantry, or independent guerrillas, although they are recognized as part of the rebel army.
We believe that the plunder became their own private property, instead of the property of the rebel authorities, as is the case with their regular troops.
They have thus a double incentive to plunder.
We have heard much complaint of our people for not rushing to arms and driving the invaders away.
It must be remembered that the entire southern half of our county, embracing two thirds of our population, was occupied by the rebels, who had heavy supporting columns at Williamsport
Every man of ours was threatened hourly at his own door, and concentration was impossible.
Our people generally did their duty, but they were required in their respective neighborhoods to picket and protect, in some degree, their stock.
A concentration of our men at Chambersburgh
, or Mercersburgh
would have left twenty-five thousand people with their property entirely defenceless.
In the valley the citizens were under arms, and had the roads barricaded for defence, but the southern portion of the county is open and unsuited to defence by small parties.
On Sunday, the twenty-eighth, the Eighth New-York militia arrived here, having marched from Shippensburgh, and they were received with the wildest enthusiasm.
Considering that they are on our border in advance of any Pennsylvania
regiments, they merit, as they will receive, the lasting gratitude of every man in the border.
The old men of the town organized a company, headed by Hon. George Chambers
, for the defence of the town.
None were admitted under forty-five.
On Monday every man capable of bearing arms had his gun, and was in some organization to resist the rebels.