Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/276

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268 Southern Historical Society Papers.

tomac river, in Maryland, from near Hancock to Harper's Ferry , the main body being near the latter place. Early was located on the opposite side of the same river. My command was on the left of Early'sarmy, and I think that Averill's cavaly was located oppo- site to me at least a portion of it was there.

When I speak of cavalry in the course of this sketch, I am aware that the term is not properly applied, for so far as the Confederate troops which I commanded were concerned, they were badly armed, badly mounted, and worse equipped in fact, they were mostly mounted militia. The men would have made good soldiers if there had been time to discipline them, and arms and equipments to fur- nish them. The horses were nearly worn out, and there was no supply to draw from. We tried to get horses in Pennsylvania, but found them removed from the line of march, and we had no time to look for them elsewhere.

In July, 1864, a cavalry brigade which I commanded was encamped near the Potomac river, in the county of Berkeley, West Virginia. It made the advance post of the army under General Early that was guarding the approaches into Virginia through the Shenandoah Val- ley. On July 28 I received an order from General Early to cross the Potomac with my brigade and one under General Bradley T. Johnson, and proceed to the city of phambersburg. My orders were to capture the city and deliver to the proper authorities a procla- mation which General Early had issued, calling upon them to furnish me with $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in greenbacks, and in case the money was not forthcoming I was instructed to burn the city and return to Virginia. The proclamation also stated that this course had been adopted in retaliation for the destruction of property in Virginia by orders of General Hunter, and specified that the homes of Andrew Hunter, A. R. Boteler, E. J. Lee, Governor Letcher, J. T. Anderson, the Virginia Military Institute, and others in Virginia had been burned by orders of David Hunter, a Federal commander, and that this money demanded from Chambersburg was to be paid to the parties specified as compensation for their loss of property. It appears that General Early adopted this policy after proper reflec- tion; that his orders were distinct and final, and that what was done on this occasion by my command was not the result of inconsiderate action or want of proper authority, as was alleged by many parties at the North, both at the time and since the cfcse of the war.

SITUATION ON JULY 29. On the 2gth of July the two cavalry brigades that were to make