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Franklin County: Emma V. Stouffer to Amos Stouffer, August 1, 1864

In this letter to her brother, Emma V. Stouffer describes the burning of Chambersburg and the extent of the fire's destruction.

Due 3
Amos Stouffer
[deleted: Petesbough]
Chambersburg Pa
Box 951

Monday, August 1st 1864


My Dear Brother,

I have no doubt you are very anxious to hear from home, thanks to a kind Providence that we still retain our home. I suppose you hear all sorts of news. But hardly much worse than it really is. On Saturday morning at four O'clock we heard artillery firing which proved to be the rebs on the fair grounds, and a few of our soldiers between them and town. We had two pieces I do not know how many the rebels had, Our men then started with the horses, & sheep Abe Witmen along. Ben went

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with a soldier and Noah Sollenberger to town to see if the rebels were there, when one fired after them and a ball came within two inches of the soldiers head. The rebels were commanded by that old scoundrel Mc clausland. they first (for an excuse) demanded 500,000 in Greenbacks, or 100,000 in gold which of course could not be given them. They then fired the Companies ware house, Court-house-Hall, Academy [unclear: V.] and then carried fire in the private houses. There is nothing but ruins from the Depot up till Dr Sueserott's house Eysters mill the paper mill and everything is gone. There is nothing left but the superbs of the place. Col. M'clures house and barn and J. Ebys barn are

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burned. Mrs. Mclure was sick and they gave her ten minutes time to leave, Mrs. Mclellan saved her house by very hard pleading. Oh Amos, town looks wonderful, Alice Snively has every thing here she owns which is a few of her best dresses. Andrew Snively's property consists of one coat, besides what he has on. The Dr is in Philad seeing about his position. he is ready to take his place on the field as Surgeon. he has not come home yet, do not know what effect it will have on him. I heard of but two families who saved any thing but a few clothes, The Citizens Killed a Rebel Major who was drunk & had straggled back and was burning buildings. David & John Miller came up this morning to see whether we were burned

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out. There were two rebels came out to Porters on Saturday Morning and while they were busy talking a squad of our men came dashing out the lane there and captured them, they say now and it is the opinion of almost every one that they came out for the purpose of burning the mill, as the rebels said in town that Stouffers Mill must come down yet. In a short time Gen Averils men came, when the rebels, aware of the fact, moved off. Some attach great blame to Gens Couch and Averel. the former some persons say should have rallied the 1500 men who went through here on Friday eve, and the latter was so drunk in GreenCastle that he could not write an answer to a dispatch sent him by Couch

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It is hard to tell where the blame rests it surely is a shame that so few should come in & do so much damage. No one knows the correct amount of rebs here, Some say not more than 3-others 800 & some 1500. Mother & Aunt Leah are still up at Grandmothers We have not heard any thing from there since last Thursday, it may likely be that Grandmother is no more. There are a great many persons come to town, some from Lancaster, Carlisle Gettysburg &c. to see the place. I suppose you will be home soon, About that Photograph you need not send any I suppose to Leah, as she, I suppose appropriated Abe's to herself. I was in town twice on

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Saturday, Once while the fire was raging and again when it was pretty well over, from the mill we could see the Cupola of the Academy, Benjm Franklin &c. fall over it looked very hard. Since I am writing it began to rain but I think it is already pretty well over, I have a great deal to tell you and hope to see you soon when I can have the pleasure of again speaking to you. I have not time now to write more. Uncle Daniel got a horse some-where and has gone up to Loudon. The friends & neighbors are well so far as I know. It is now reported that Averell is fighting the rebels at McConnellsburg but I do not think it is correct. Write soon we are very anxious to hear from you

from your loving sister


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