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Chambersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Burning of Chambersburg

 
 
The Burning of Chambersburg Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, April 25, 2009
1. The Burning of Chambersburg Marker
Inscription. During the Gettysburg campaign, Confederate troops were restrained, under orders, from destroying non-government property. By the time of the Rebelsí next raid into the North, however, the policy had changed.

On July 30, 1864, Brigadier General John McCausland and 2,800 Confederate cavalrymen entered Chambersburg and demanded $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in greenbacks. The residents of Chambersburg failed to raise the ransom, and McCausland ordered his men to burn the town. Flames destroyed more than 500 structures leaving more than 2,000 homeless. One resident died of smoke inhalation. Damage was estimated at more than $1.6 million. To make matters worse, many inebriated Confederate soldiers looted homes and abused civilians. Mobs of angry townspeople looking for retribution killed several Rebels.

Good Samaritans in the Rebel ranks helped citizens escape and save their valuables; a Confederate captain even ordered his company to douse the flames. One officers, Colonel William Peters, staunchly refused to take part in the burning. McCausland had him placed under arrest.

Chambersburg was the only Northern town the Confederates destroyed. The raid inspired a national aid campaign and influenced the Union Army to adopt a more aggressive strategy, contributing to the warís end.
 
Erected
Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 7, 2010
2. Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Marker
2009 by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 56.238′ N, 77° 39.698′ W. Marker is in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on Lincoln Way (Route 30). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chambersburg PA 17201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abolitionist John Brown Boards in Chambersburg (here, next to this marker); Confederate Conference (here, next to this marker); Memorial Fountain and Union Soldier Statue (a few steps from this marker); Union Soldiers of Franklin County (within shouting distance of this marker); World War II – Korean Conflict – Vietnam Conflict (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Mexican War – Spanish American War – World War (within shouting distance of this marker); War Between the States (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Chambersburg.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a Sketch of the Burning of Chambersburg from Harperís, courtesy of Cumberland Historical Society; And a photo of Chambersburg
The Burning of Chambersburg Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, April 25, 2009
3. The Burning of Chambersburg Marker
after the fire,
courtesy of Cumberland Historical Society
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,978 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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