Thursday, June 27, 2013

Countdown to Gettysburg: June 27th 1863 -- Arthur Fremantle Joins General Longstreet's HQ Entering Greencastle, PA

  27th June, Saturday.-- Lawley was so ill this morning that he couldn't possibly ride. I therefore mounted his horse a little before daybreak, and started in search of the generals. After riding eight miles, I came up with General Longstreet, at 6.30 A. M., and was only just in time, as he was on the point of moving. Both he and his staff were most kind, when I introduced myself and stated my difficulties. He arranged that an ambulance should fetch Lawley, and he immediately invited me to join his mess during the campaign. He told me (which I did not know) that we were now in Pennsylvania, the enemy's country--Maryland being only ten miles broad at this point. He declared that bushwhackers exist in the woods, who shoot unsuspecting stragglers, and it would therefore be unsafe that Lawley and I should travel alone. 

  General Longstreet is an Alabamian--a thickset, determined-looking man, forty-three years of age. He was an infantry Major in the old army, and now commands the 1st corps d'armee. He is never far from General Lee, who relies very much upon his judgment. By the soldiers he is invariably spoken of as "the best fighter in the whole army." Whilst speaking of entering upon the enemy's soil, he said to me that although it might be fair in just retaliation, to apply the torch, yet that doing so would demoralize the army and ruin its now excellent discipline. Private property is to be therefore rigidly protected.

Lieutenant General James Longstreet
  At 7 A. M. I returned with an orderly (or courier, as they are called,) to the farm house in which I had left Lawley; and after seeing all arranged satisfactorily, about the ambulance, I rode slowly on to rejoin General Longstreet, near Chambersburg, which is a Pennsylvania town, distant twenty-two miles from Hagerstown. I was with M'Laws's division, and observed that the moment they entered Pennsylvania, the troops opened the fences and enlarged the road about twenty yards on each side, which enabled the wagons and themselves to proceed together. This is the only damage I saw done by the Confederates. This part of Pennsylvania is very flourishing, highly cultivated, and, in comparison with the Southern States, thickly peopled. But all the cattle and horses having been seized by Ewell, farm labor had now come to a complete standstill.

Dolly Harris -- Civil War Heroine -- Major General George Edward Pickett and Dolly Harris Greencastle, Pennsylvania – June 1863 by Ron Lesser. Impassioned by her sense of patriotism, Dolly Harris is said to have rushed to the street waving a Union flag at Confederate Major General George Edward Pickett as he and his troops passed through Greencastle on their way to Gettysburg. Fearing Dolly might incite a confrontation, General Pickett saluted the courageous young lady and the "Stars and Stripes" thereby averting an uprising in the street. Recognized as a Civil War heroine, she was the only Franklin County, Pennsylvania woman from that era buried with Military Honors.
  In passing through Greencastle we found all the houses and windows shut up, the natives in their Sunday clothes standing at their doors regarding the troops in a very unfriendly manner. I saw no straggling into the houses, nor were any of the inhabitants disturbed or annoyed by the soldiers. Sentries were placed at the doors of many of the best houses. to prevent any officer or soldier from getting in on any pretense.

(to be continued...)

Read more about the James Fremantle and the Gettysburg campaign my new book for teens just published by Sky Pony Press, Gettysburg: The True Account of Two Young Heroes in the Greatest Battle of the Civil War, available at Amazon and

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