The Burning of Chamber sburg. 161
portion of the brigade, and they had time to rally to some ex- tent, there was fighting, and some of our men were killed, and I saw some of Averill's wounded brought to the rear, but our rout -was complete and irretrievable and the rallies, as I after- ward heard, were without vigor on our part.
As soon as the comrade with whom I was sleeping (a cousin of mine,, now in business in this city), and myself had given up our arms the usual and almost invariable compliments passed on such occasions took place. "I want them boots," said trooper No. i, I had just gotten them in Hancock a day or so before and, as they were regular cavalry boots and worth, with us at least, $150 to $200 in Confederate money, it nearly broke my heart to part with them. But the occasion was pressing and they 'were soon exchanged for a very sorry looking pair. My hat, which was also a recent Maryland acquisition, with a mar- tial black plume, was appropriated by trooper No. 2. The ob- ject with which he replaced it was a much greater insult to my dignity than the loss of my boots. My pockets were carefully investigated, but that part of the raid was a complete failure. I was not at all surprised at their attentions, for, as I have said above, the custom was a general one and I had myself paid the same compliments to my guests when the situation was reversed.
EXPLANATION OF THE ROUT.
And how was it that the burners of Chambersburg were thus ignominiously routed, scattered and captured by a foe whom I have said they despised. The answer is a simple one. It was through the carelessness of our commanding officer, and was inexcusable. It happened in this way, and I am again in posi- tion to give the exact facts. When we camped in the little val- ley, a detail was called on for picket duty. That duty fell to the lot of Lieut. Samuel G. Bonn, of my company. No truer man or more charming gentleman ever wore a saber in our cavalry than he. After the war he settled in Macon, Ga., be- came a prosperous merchant, and died some years ago. He went out on picket post with about 10 men, some two or three miles from our camp. This was the only guard between Averill