270 Southern Historical Society Papers.
zens and the Confederate officers fully understood why it was done and by whose orders.
After waiting until the expiration of the six hours, and finding that the proclamation would not be complied with, the destruction was begun by firing the most central blocks first, and after the inhabi- tants had been removed from them. Thus the town was destroyed, and the citizens driven to the hills and fields adjacent thereto. No lives were lost among the citizens, and only one soldier was killed, he being killed after the troops had left the place. About noon the troops were reformed on the high ground overlooking the town, where most of them had been posted in the early morning, and the return to the Potomac was begun. We encamped at McConnels- burg that night, and reached the river the next day at or near Han- cock, Md.
In confirmation of what I have here written, Major Gilmor says in his book, Four Years In the Saddle, page 210:
" He showed me General Early's order."
General Early, in his Memoir, page 57, says:
"A written demand was sent, to the municipal authorities, and they were informed what would be the result of a failure or refusal to comply with it."
On page 59, General Early says:
"On the 3Oth of July McCausland reached Chambersburg and made the demand as directed, reading to such of the authorities as presented themselves the paper sent by me."
Colonel W. E. Peters, who commanded one of the regiments in Johnson's Brigade, when the burning commenced, came and asked me if it was being done by my orders. I showed him the order of General Early, which he refused to obey, declaring that he would break his sword and throw it away before he would obey it, as there were only defenseless women and children in Chambersburg. He was put under arrest for this defiance, but was releived the same day and returned to his command when it was pressed by two brigades of Federal cavalry, and his valorous presence needed.
In this expedition our troops passed through more than 100 miles of hostile territory, executed all orders that were issued with prompt- ness regularity, and never have I heard of any complaint of acts unauthorized by their superior officers, of competent authority to order it, and, moreover, that it was an act of retaliation perfectly justified by the circumstances, and was at all times in keeping with the rules governing civilized warfare.