(Civil War, Confederate),Early, Jubal Anderson (1816-1894), Important autograph letter signed, June 30th, 1863, two pages, to the citizens of York, Pennsylvania, declaring that his troops are not going to burn the town and appealing to the populace as to the generous nature of the Confederate troops in contrast to the Union army, 8vo, (ink smudging, folds, minor soiling).
Text in full: York Pa. June 30th, 1863. To the Citizens of York. I have abstained from burning the rail-road buildings and car shops in your town, be=cause after examination I am satisfied the safety of the town would be endangered, and acting in the spirit of humanity which has ever characterized my government and its military authorities I do not desire to involve the innocent in the same punishment with the guilty. Had I applied the torch without regard to consequences, I would have pursued a course that could have been fully vindicated as an act of just retaliation for the many author=ized acts of barbarity perpetrated by your own army upon our soil. But we do not war upon women and children, and I trust the treatment you have been met with at the hands of my soldiers will open your eyes to the mon=strous iniquity of the war waged by your government upon the people of the Confederate States, and that you will make an effort to shake off the revolting tyranny under which it is ap=parent to all you are your yourselves growing. J.A. Early Major Genl. C.S.A.
Note: On June 28th, 1863, Early and his army had captured Gettysburg and had demanded a ransom in exchange for sparing the town. As the monies were not forthcoming, he moved on and captured York, Pennsylvania, the largest town to fall to the Confederate Army during the course of the Civil War and yet another ransom was demanded and partially paid ($28,000). However, on this day Robert E. Lee recalled Early and his troops to face the Federals now gathering near Gettysburg for the epic battle to follow.