Gen. Jubal Early interviewed in 1864 about his invasion of York County, Pennsylvania
Within a month after ordering the town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to be burned in July 1864, Confederate Major General Jubal A. Early granted an interview to a reporter in Hagerstown, Maryland. The above newspaper clipping (courtesy of newsinhistory.com) is from the August 26, 1864, Cincinnati Enquirer. Click on the clipping to enlarge the image for easier reading.
The vitriolic Virginia general had captured several men in the Hagerstown area and was holding them prisoner. In his discussion with the newspaperman, he began by explaining his reasons for seizing the prisoners, and then soon launched into a defense of his actions in burning property in Pennsylvania. He recounted his march the previous summer through Adams and York counties to Wrightsville, where hastily organized Union emergency militia thwarted his attempt to cross the Susquehanna River by burning the Columbia Bridge. Early goes on to justify his “modest ransom” of the town of York, Pa., an event that netted $28,610 in U.S. greenbacks. He had asked for $100,000.
In his discourse, he threatened to return to Pennsylvania a few more times, but luckily for war-weary residents who had suffered more than enough at the hands of the former attorney and politician, he would never return at the head of an army.
For much more on Jubal Early and his invasion of south-central Pennsylvania just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, pick up a copy of the second edition of my book on the topic (set to be shipped on February 28 from Savas Beatie) — Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863. It is now on sale at amazon.com