Doc. 1.-the invasion of Pennsylvania.
Colonel A. K. McClure's letter.
Chambersburgh, Pa., October--, 1862.I have had a taste of rebel rule; and, although not so bad as it might have been, my rather moderate love of adventure would not invite a repetition of it. I reached here on Friday evening to fill several political appointments in the county; and, when I got off the cars, the telegraphic operator called me aside, and informed me that he had a report from Greencastle, of the rebels entering Mercersburgh. We agreed that it was preposterous, and thought it best not to make the report public and alarm our people needlessly. I supposed that a few cavalry had crossed the Potomac to forage somewhere on the route leading to Mercersburgh, but never, for a moment, credited their advent into that place. I came home, and after tea returned to the telegraph-office to ascertain whether the rebels had been over the Potomac at any point, and I was there met by two reliable men, who had narrowly escaped from the rebel cavalry seven miles west of this place. The telegraph-wire had also been cut west, and it was then manifest that we had but an hour to prepare for our new and novel visitors. Our people were confounded with astonishment at the brilliant audacity of the rebels penetrating twenty miles in Gen. McClellan's rear; but, however reckless or well devised on their part, the fact and the rebels were both staring our people in the face. The rain was pouring down in torrents, and in a little time citizens were seen running to and fro with their muskets; but there was no organization, and no time to effect one. Col. Kennedy attempted to improvise mounted pickets for the several roads on which they might enter, but he had scarcely got his forces mounted until the clattering of hoofs was heard on the western pike, and in a few minutes the rebel advance was in the centre of the town. They stated that they bore a flag of truce, and wished to be taken to the commandant of the post. I had just got word of the movement to Gov. Curtin and Gen. Brooks, at Hagerstown, when I was sent for to meet the distinguished strangers. A hasty message to Hagerstown and Harrisburgh, stating that the town was about to be surrendered, closed telegraph communication, and Mr. Gilmore, the operator, prepared at once for the advent of his successors, and struck out along the line toward Harrisburgh with his instrument. I went up town to meet the flag of truce, and found a clever-looking “butternut,” dripping wet, without any mark of rank, bearing a dirty white cloth on a little stick. He politely stated that he sought the commander or authorities of the town, and in the name of the general commanding the confederate forces, he demanded the surrender of the village. He refused to give his name, or the name of the general commanding, and he could not state on what terms they would accept a surrender. As I had no command other than the scattered and bewildered home guards--all brave enough, but entirely without drill or organization — and about three hundred wounded men in the hospitals, I acted with the citizens as one of them; and it did not require a protracted council to determine that we could not successfully resist cavalry and artillery. So we concluded that the venerable village had to be consigned over to rebel keeping. We had been kindly allowed thirty minutes to decide, at the end of which time, we were informed, rebel artillery would demand submission in rather unpleasant tones. Col. T. B. Kennedy, (colonel by political brevet, like myself,) Judge Kimmell, provost-marshal, and your humble servant, mounted three stray horses, and filed in with the rebel escort, amidst a thunder of cheers for the Union and groans for the rebels, to meet we did not know whom, and to go we did not know where. Without umbrellas or overcoats, we had the full benefit of a drenching rain, and I must admit that we were treated with the utmost courtesy by our new associates. They conversed freely and without manifesting any degree of bravado. After travelling a mile westward we were brought to a halt by a squad of mounted men, and informed that. Gen. Hampton was one of the party, to whom we should address ourselves. It was so dark that I could not distinguish him from any of his men. Upon being informed that we were a committee of citizens, and that there was no organized force in the town, and no military commander at the post, he stated, in a respectful and soldier-like manner, that he corn manded the advance of the confederate troops--  that he knew resistance would be vain, and he wished the citizens to be fully advised of his purpose, so as to avoid needless loss of life and wanton destruction of property. He said he had been fired upon at Mercersburgh and Campbellstown, and had great difficulty in restraining his troops. He assured us that he would scrupulously protect citizens — would allow no soldiers to enter public or private houses unless under command of an officer upon legitimate business — that he would take such private property as he needed for his government or troops, but that he would do so by men under officers who would allow no wanton destruction, and who would give receipts for the same, if desired, so that claim might be made therefor against the United States Government. All property belonging to or used by the United States, he stated, he would use or destroy at his pleasure, and the wounded in hospitals would be paroled. Being a United States officer myself, I naturally felt some anxiety to know what my fate would be if he should discover me, and I modestly suggested that there might be some United States officers in the town in charge of wounded, stores, or of recruiting offices, and asked what disposition would be made of them. He answered that he would parole them, unless he should have special reasons for not doing so, and he instructed us that none such should be notified by us to leave town. Here I was in an interesting situation. If I remained, there might, in Gen. Hampton's opinion, be “special reasons” for not paroling me, and the fact that he had several citizens of Mercersburgh with him as prisoners did not diminish my apprehensions. If I should leave, as I had ample opportunity afterwards to do, I might be held as violating my own agreement, and to what extent my family and property might suffer in consequence, conjecture had a very wide range. With sixty acres of corn in shock, and three barns full of grain, excellent farm and saddle-horses, and a number of best blooded cattle, the question of property was worthy of a thought. I resolved to stay, as I felt so bound by the terms of surrender, and take my chances of discovery and parole. The committee went through the form of a grave but brief consultation, somewhat expedited, perhaps, by the rain, and we then solemnly and formally surrendered the town upon the terms proposed. True, the stipulations were but verbal, and but one side able to enforce them; but the time, the weather, the place, and our surroundings generally were not favorable to a treaty in form, and history must therefore be without it. We asked permission to go a little in advance of his forces to prepare our people for the sudden transition from the stars and stripes to the stars and bars. Gen. Hampton permitted my associates to do so, but detailed me to pilot his advanceguard at once to the telegraph office. I performed the duty assigned me with no great compunctions, as I had seen Mr. Gilmore, the operator, begin to “fix up” for them fully an hour before, and the rebel that outwits him must take a very early start. Messrs. Kennedy and Kimmell proceeded to town to get the people to retire peaceably and prevent any provoking demonstrations; and so rebel rule began at Chambersburgh. They marched in very orderly, and most of their force started out different roads to procure horses, forage, and provisions. I started in advance of them for my house, but not in time to save the horses. I confidently expected to be overrun by them, and to find the place one scene of desolation in the morning. I resolved, however, that things should be done soberly, if possible, and I had just time to destroy all the liquors about the house. As their pickets were all around me, I could not get it off. A barrel of best old rye, which Senator Finney had sent me to prove the superiority of the Crawford County article over that of Franklin, was quietly rolled out of a cellar sidedoor, and a good-sized hole bored into it. A keg of Oberholtzer's best, sent me several years ago, but never tapped, followed Finney's testimonial to Crawford County distillation; and a couple cases of Presbury's best Girard House importation had the necks of the bottles taken off summarily, and the contents given to the angry storm. I finished just in time, for they were soon out upon me in force, and every horse in the barn--ten in all — was promptly equipped and mounted by a rebel cavalryman. They passed on towards Shippensburgh, leaving a picket-force on the road. In an hour they returned with all the horses they could find, and dismounted to spend the night on the turnpike in front of my door. It was now midnight, and I sat on the porch observing their movements. They had my best corn-field beside them, and their horses fared well. In a little while, one entered the yard, came up to me, and, after a profound bow, politely asked for a few coals to start a fire. I supplied him, and informed him as blandly as possible where he would find wood conveniently, as I had dim visions of camp-fires made of my palings. I was thanked in return, and the mild-mannered villain proceeded at once to strip the fence and kindle fires. Soon after, a squad came and asked permission to get some water. I piloted them to the pump, and again received a profusion of thanks. Communication having thus been opened between us, squads followed each other closely for water, but each called and asked permission before getting it, and promptly left the yard. I was somewhat bewildered at this uniform courtesy, and supposed it but a prelude to a general movement upon every thing eatable in the morning. It was not a grateful reflection that my beautiful mountain trout, from twelve to twenty inches long, sporting in the spring, would probably grace the rebel breakfast-table; that the blooded calves in the yard beside them would most likely go with the trout; and the dwarf pears had, I felt assured, abundant promise of early relief from their golden burdens. About one o'clock, half a dozen officers came to the door and asked to have some coffee made for them, offering to pay liberally for it in confederate  scrip. After concluding a treaty with them on behalf of the colored servants, coffee was promised them, and they then asked for a little bread with it. They were wet and shivering, and seeing a bright, open wood-fire in the library, they asked permission to enter and warm themselves until their coffee should be ready, assuring me that under no circumstances should any thing in the house be disturbed by their men. I had no alternative but to accept them as my guests until it might please them to depart, and I did so with as good grace as possible. Once seated around the fire, all reserve seemed to be forgotten on their part, and they opened a general conversation on politics, the war, the different battles, the merits of generals in both armies, etc. They spoke with entire freedom upon every subject but their movement into Chambersburgh. Most of them were men of more than ordinary intelligence and culture, and their demeanor was in all respects eminently courteous. I took a cup of coffee with them, and have seldom seen any thing more keenly relished. They said they had not tasted coffee for weeks before, and then they had paid from six dollars to ten dollars per pound for it. When they were through, they asked whether there was any coffee left, and finding that there was some, they proposed to bring some more officers and a few privates who were prostrated by exposure to get what was left. They were, of course, as welcome as those present, and on they came in squads of five or more, until every grain of browned coffee was exhausted. They then asked for tea, and that was served to some twenty more. In the mean time, a subordinate officer had begged of me a little bread for himself and a few men, and he was supplied in the kitchen. He was followed by others in turn, until nearly an hundred had been supplied with something to eat or drink. All, however, politely asked permission to enter the house, and behaved with entire propriety. They did not make a single rude or profane remark, even to the servants. In the mean time, the officers, who had first entered the house, had filled their pipes from the box of Killickinick on the mantle — after being assured that smoking was not offensive — and we had another hour of a free talk on matters generally. When told that I was a decided Republican, they thanked me for being candid; but when, in reply to their inquiries, I told them that I cordially sustained the President's emancipation proclamation, they betrayed a little nervousness, but did not for a moment forget their propriety. They admitted it to be the most serious danger that has yet threatened them, but they were all hopeful that it would not be sustained in the North with sufficient unanimity to enforce it. Their conversation on this point bore a striking similarity to the speeches of Frank Hughes and Charles J. Biddle; and had you heard them converse, without seeing them, you would have supposed that I was having a friendly confab with a little knot of Pennsylvania Breckinridge politicians. Of the two, I am sure, you would have respected the rebels the most; for they are open foes, and seal their convictions with their lives, and they openly avow their greater respect for open, unqualified supporters of the war over those who oppose every war measure, profess fraternal sympathy with the South, and yet say they are in favor of preserving the Union. They all declared themselves heartily sick of the war, but determined never to be reunited with the North. At four o'clock in the morning the welcome blast of the bugle was heard, and they rose hurriedly to depart. Thanking me for the hospitality they had received, we parted mutually expressing the hope that should we ever meet again, it would be under more pleasant circumstances. In a few minutes they were mounted and moved into Chambersburgh. About seven o'clock I went into town, and found that the First brigade, under General Hampton, had gone toward Gettysburgh. Gen. Stuart sat on his horse in the centre of the town, surrounded by his staff, and his command was coming in from the country in large squads, leading their old horses and riding the new ones they had found in the stables hereabouts. General Stuart is of medium size, has a keen eye, and wears immense sandy whiskers and moustache. His demeanor to our people was that of a humane soldier. In several instances his men commenced to take private property from stores, but they were arrested by General Stuart's provost-guard. In a single instance only, that I have heard of, did they enter a store by intimidating the proprietor. All our shops and stores were closed, and, with a very few exceptions, were not disturbed. There were considerable Government stores here — some two hundred pairs of shoes, a few boxes of clothing, and a large quantity of ammunition captured recently from General Longstreet. It was stored in the warehouses of Wunderlich & Nead. About eleven o'clock their rear-guard was ready to leave, and they notified the citizens residing near the warehouses to remove their families, as they were going to burn all public property. The railroad station-house, machine-shops, round house, and the warehouses, filled with ammunition, were then fired, and the last of the rebels fled the town. In a little time a terrific explosion told that the flames had reached the powder, and for hours shells were exploding with great rapidity. The fire companies came out as soon as the rebels left, but could not save any of the buildings fired because of the shells. They saved all others, however. So ended a day of rebel rule in Chambersburgh. They took some eight hundred horses from our people, and destroyed, perhaps, one hundred thousand dollars' worth of property for the Cum berland Valley Railroad Company, probably five thousand dollars for Wunderlich & Nead, and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the Government. Our people generally feel that, bad as they are, they are not so bad as they might be. I presume that the cavalry we had with us are the flower of the rebel army. They are made up mainly of young men in Virginia, who owned fine  horses, and have had considerable culture. I should not like to risk a similar experiment with their infantry. I was among them all the time here, and was expecting every minute to be called upon to report to Gen. Stuart; but they did not seem to have time to look after prisoners, and I luckily escaped. But from the fact that I can't find a horse about the barn, and that my fence is stripped of paling to remind me of the reality of the matter, it would seem like a dream. It was so unexpected — so soon over — that our people had hardly time to appreciate it. They crossed the South-Mountain about eleven to-day, on the Gettysburgh pike, but where they will go from there is hard to conjecture. They are evidently aiming to recross the Potomac at or near Edwards's Ferry; and, if so, Gettysburgh may escape, as they may go by Millerstown to Emmettsburgh. If they should recross below Harper's Ferry, they will owe their escape to the stupidity or want of energy of our military leaders, for they were advised in due season of the rebel route. Hoping that I shall never again be called upon to entertain a circle of rebels around my fireside, believe me, truly thine,
Another National account.
Chambersburgh, October 11, 1862.There are doubtless many vague rumors afloat respecting the recent raid of Stuart's cavalry into Pennsylvania. To the citizens of Chambersburgh, it became a stern reality before they had time to become much frightened or panic-stricken. It was rumored on the streets at five o'clock P. M., on Friday last that the rebels were in St. Thomas, a village seven miles west on the Pittsburgh turnpike. The rumor seemed to attract but little attention. All believed that such could not be the case, since the Potomac River in that direction was occupied by Union troops. The tale soon changed, however, and our citizens found that instead of enjoying wonted peace and security, gentlemen of known respectability came dashing into town at full speed, bringing the unwelcome news. The court-house bell was rung, the drums were beat, and the home guards called. The citizens seemed reluctant about shouldering their guns. They consulted about the propriety of resistance, and conjectured as to the probable force of the enemy. Some seemed to think they would not attack Chambersburgh before morning, and that during the night forces could be procured from abroad. It was concluded, however, to throw out pickets, and while the home guards were marched out to be distributed for this purpose, a flag of truce by the enemy was brought into town, demanding its surrender. The officer accompanying the flag of truce reported their forces at one thousand five hundred cavalry, with a full battery of artillery. They reported their guns planted and ready for action, in case there should not be an immediate surrender. This, to the citizens of Chambersburgh, was quite as surprising as a most terrible earthquake would have been. What to do was the question. Shall we surrender, or shall we not? Many said, surrender, and others, no, not on any terms. The matter was considered. What could we do? There were not more than five hundred muskets distributed among the citizens. Some had a small quantity of ammunition, and others had none. There was no way of arriving at a fair estimate of the enemy's forces. Numerous inquiries crowded upon the mind, each of some importance, and all demanding a decision. A committee of three was sent with the bearer of the flag of truce to confer with the officer in command. It was agreed that the town surrender, but that the enemy protect the families of our citizens, private property, and respect the men. The citizens went to their homes feeling much humiliated at what the stern hand of necessity required them to do. To surrender to the rebels without striking a single blow in self-defence was indeed hard; but when the cannon's gaping mouth pictured bloodshed, devastation, and ruin before us, prudence dictated what course to pursue. But a few moments elapsed until the clattering of hoofs announced that Stuart's cavalry were taking possession of our town. In they came, without any noisy demonstration whatever. Occasionally some one would whisper a little loud: “Hurrah for Southern rights.” Another would ask: “Have you ever heard of Stuart's cavalry? This is it.” Another would ride up and ask for a drink of whisky, and offer “the silver for it.” They halted in the principal streets, and stood for some time, but the object of this waiting soon became apparent. Here came one out of an alley with a valuable horse of a neighbor's; here came another with a few more horses, and thus it continued until the stables of our citizens had been broken open and their horses stolen. They then went out of town and quartered for the night. No houses were broken open, and none of the families of our citizens disturbed. We were treated much better than we had expected we would be. But one of our business men had his store broken open — a shoe-store. They took from it ladies' and children's shoes to the value of three or four hundred dollars. On Saturday morning, they commenced plundering the ware-houses, etc. They destroyed considerable property of some of our forwarding and commission men. They discovered arms, ammunition, and army clothing in some of these buildings. They took the clothing, threw their old sabres away and took new ones, exchanged pistols, and took as much ammunition as they could conveniently carry. They then set fire to the depot, several warehouses, a large machine-shop, and burned them to the ground. The consternation this created was no little. The citizens all knew of the large quantities of ammunition these houses contained, and much of it was shell. The frequent explosion of these deadly missiles kept the citizens in their houses, and thus prevented them from doing any thing that might check the progress of the fire. It had rained the day and night before, and the buildings were wet, consequently no other buildings were destroyed, except  several stables in the immediate neighborhood of the depot and warehouses. After these buildings were enveloped in flames, our rebel visitors departed in the direction of Gettysburgh. There was not a farmer within miles of their course that they did not visit, robbing every farmer of all his horses. The horses they took from our county, the property they destroyed, and buildings they burned, we think can reasonably be estimated at two hundred and fifty thousand. We conversed with two or three of them upon the street, and they candidly acknowledged that Lincoln's last proclamation was more to be dreaded by them than any other steps yet taken by our Government. Several of them are men of education, and converse freely upon the great issue involved in the war. We have now forces enough to give them an unpleasant reception. Should they retreat this way we think none could escape to tell the tale.
E. S. W.
Quartermaster Ashmead's letter.
Chambersburgh, October 14.sir: The account in one of your contemporaries of public property taken and destroyed at this place by the rebel cavalry, is so exaggerated that I feel compelled to give you a <*>ect account. There were but two hundred suits of United States uniforms on hand, being the balance of a lot which had been sent here for distribution among the hospital patients, besides about fifty articles of condemned clothing; but even these latter the rebels were glad to exchange for their own still worse ones. They destroyed four hundred and sixty-eight boxes of confederate ammunition, which had been previously captured by our forces from Gen. Longstreet's train ; but this was almost worthless, as was evidenced by the fact of the little damage made by its explosion. From the time I got word that the rebels were approaching until they entered the town, was not an hour. And even in that short interval, I obtained the services of a number of men to remove the articles into the cars, but the railroad company could not furnish me with cars. I secured the safety of my papers, horses and mules, and remained in town and witnessed their entrance and departure, without removing my uniform, or being captured or paroled. There were, probably, seven hundred muskets, two hundred sabres, four hundred pistols, and a lot of accoutrements belonging to the State, which were also taken or destroyed.
To the Editor of the Philadelphia Press:
To the Editor of the Philadelphia Press:
Albert S. Ashmead, Acting Assistant-Quartermaster.