18. Brig. Gen. John3 McCausland (John2, Alexander1) was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 13 September 1836. John died on 23 January 1927 in "grape Hill", Mason Co., West Va., at 90 years of age. His body was interred on 25 January 1927 in Smith Cemetery, Henderson, West Va, Smith Cemetary.
He married Emmett Charlotte Hannah in Cliffside, Charlotte County, Va, on 3 October 1878.(1) Emmett was born 1851.(2) Emmett was the daughter of Sam Hannah. Emmett died 25 August 1891 in "grape Hill", Mason Co., West Va., at 40 years of age.(3) Her body was interred in Smith Cemetery, Henderson, West Va.(4) Educated at a woman's college in Hillsboro, NC.
Occupation: Brigadier General CSA. In 1848 he went with his brother to Point Pleasant, Mason Co, West Virginia. He graduated with first honors in class of 1857 at the Virginia Military Institute, and subsequently acted as Professor there. He was one of the most conspicuous figures in the warfare in the valley of the Shenandoah, and on the boarders of Virginia, held important Confederate commands. Spent a year or two in Europe and Mexico after the war. Sacked Chambersburg, PA. Chambersburg's Aburning! An incident of '64 by Garnett Laidlaw Eskew September 1940 issue of The American Legion Magazine. In the years just following the close of the War Between the States, groups of ex-Confederate generals used to gather at White Sulfur Springs in the West Virginia highlands to rid their minds of reconstruction bitterness by fighting over old battles, and their systems of digestive impurities by drinking of the waters. On several occasions General Lee was there. So was Beauregard. Joe Johnston came one year, and Texan John Hood. Among others were Hunton, Echols, Lilly, W. W. Loring, and John McCausland. To the White also, on one occasion, came a fezzed Oriental with seductive offers from the Khedive of Egypt. Would the honorable officers of the late defunct Confederacy care to accept service in Egypt? The Nile country was then autonomous; His Exalted Egyptian Nibs, sorely needing trained officers, was prepared to proffer high rank and rich monetary rewards to the erstwhile wearers of the Grey. One officer of the lot accepted. He was Major General W. W. Loring. (Incidentally he received fifty thousand a year and the rank of Pasha, and had full charge of a fine native army which shortly came to conclusions with the Dervishes in the Sudan.) The others declined with thanks. Strangely, the one Southern officer whom everyone expected to size upon the offer -- fierce-eyed, high-voiced, caustic little John McCausland, late brigadier, who was reputed to love fighting for its own sake -- said NO, with somewhat profane emphases. He was done with fighting! He'd just returned from Mexico and the tragic events of the Maximilian regime. He wanted nothing better, he said, than to return to his own wide acres on the shores of the Kanawha River in that part of Virginia which only recently had set up housekeeping for herself as West Virginia. Grant, McCausland believed, had paroled the Confederates to go home, do their farming and live in peace, unmolested so long as they behaved themselves. "And that," said McCausland, who had met Grant and liked him, "is what I'm going to do." Back to the Kanawha Valley, to his thousands of rich acres, went John McCausland to set up as a gentleman farmer, establish his family. He was a man of large means, although barely turned thirty. He lived in a massive house built of blocks of sandstone quarried by slave labor from the hills on his own property. He owned various estates and held a great deal of property in St. Louis and other places. So he settled down. But not to the peace and quite he anticipated. Living in that border section, where Northern sentiment still ran strong, he soon discovered his neighbors had an uncomfortable habit of recalling things in the late unpleasantness which might well have been forgotten. Indeed, for the most part, they shunned him. The general amnesty and renewed harmony between the late warring sections was apparently inoperative in his case. Well, there was a reason, his late enemies pointed out; remembering the charred ruins of a certain pretty little Pennsylvania town -- Chambersburg -- laid waste by the hand of this same John McCausland when he led his Grey cavalry battalions raiding into the Keystone State in 'Sixty-Four. Forgive the man who had had the temerity to carry fire and sword north of the Mason-Dixon line? Not by a jugful! McCausland lived the life of a recluse. He associated with hardly anyone. In time, no one dared to mention the Chambersburg episode to him. He especially disliked newspapermen. I think I am the only one of the breed, in fact, to whom General McCausland opened his heart and, from the accumulated bitterness of more than half a century, told his version of the burning of Chambersburg. Beneath his fierce bitterness, I found, there lay a pathetic plea for justice. He had, as said above, no liking for newspaper writers as a breed; he charged, and evidently with some justice, that they did not accurately report his statements to them. On several occasions, while I was a cub reporter on our home town paper, in Charleston, I went down the river and visited the general, and listened to his war experiences -- all but Chambersburg. For my part, I knew better than to mentioned it. That was in 1922. Three years later, I went down from New York one Thanksgiving and had dinner with him. It came about this way. One of the pieces I had written about him had found its way into the New York Times. That had pleased him. Then, too, having found out that my grandfather had served in the quartermaster's department of his own brigade in the 'Sixties, he had eased up in his dislike of at least one newspaperman and invited me down to eat wild turkey killed on his estate. Despite his eighty-seven years, the general himself met me at the station, and rowed me across the flooded Kanawha to where his Ford car, driven by a Negro, awaited us. The dinner, served in country style, was sumptuous, thought the house (his family, all but one daughter, having moved to homes of their own) was rather Spartan in its furnishings. Mostly bridles, saddles, guns and cases of books along the walls. And a big blaze going in the wide fireplace. After dinner, while fall rains drowned the outside world, he sat there once again and talked about himself. When he commented favorably on my Times piece I seized the opportunity, and asked him to tell me the real Story of Chambersburg. Suddenly he broke out, his eyes blazing: "I am the most maligned man in this country! They hate me -- those people in Pennsylvania -- because I burned that town! Let 'em remember their General Pope in Virginia, Sheridan and Hunter in the Valley and Sherman in Georgia, if they want to learn really about destruction of private property! "But," he resumed his former easy tone, "that's all over long ago, and maybe when I explain the reasons attending the raid and the burning of the town, it will clear up some of the misunderstanding." He drifted off into reverie but shortly took up his story again, the sequence of events apparently coming to him readily, as from long remembering. And this is what he said. "Bradley T. Johnston and I each headed a brigade making up the advance guard of Early's army, in the Shenandoah Valley in the Spring of '64. Sheridan and Hunter had been giving us pretty warm times of it when an order came, late in June, for Early to move in full force down the Valley towards Washington and threaten the Northern capital.... "You probably don't know it, young man, but the Confederate army came nearer to a big victory right at that moment than at almost any other time during the war. Our advance guard moved right into Georgetown. I sat on one of the big guns that were guarding the city. The gunners had all deserted. If a man had gone up in the Capital dome he could have looked, that day, down southeastward in the Valley and seen our battle flags. All the city was terrified. But we were unsupported, and General Lee had ordered us simply to threaten the city, not to try to capture it. So the opportunity passed. "Now here is something that many people don't understand. The plan for the raid into Pennsylvania was not a rabble expedition -- not a guerrilla act of terrorism. It was carefully though out by General Early, and for a definite purpose. Up there in Northern Virginia, according to the general, Hunter had been using the torch with a free hand -- especially around Charlestown and Harper's Ferry. Homes of prominent Confederates had been burned to the ground -- those of ex-Governor John Letcher, and Andrew Hunter and A. R. Boteleer, members of the Confederate Congress; also one J. R. Lee, a relative of the Southern general-in-chief. Down at Lexington, not long before, Hunter had burned the buildings of Virginia Military Institute. "And only a week or two before that," the old man went on, "in early June, after we had driven Hunter's men over the Alleghenies into Greenbrier County and headed them for the Kanawha, Hunter was all set to burn the White Sulfur Springs Hotel and the cottages. He would have done it, too, if a fine young Pennsylvania colonel named Schoonmaker had not begged him not to. "Now it was because of this kind committed by Hunter (and of course you remember Sheridan's statement about leaving the Valley of Virginia with not enough food to supply a crow with rations), and for the incendiary acts of Pope in Orange County, that General Early ordered me to make the Pennsylvania raid and give the Yankees a taste of their own medicine.... "Nick Fitzhugh, my adjutant, handed me a dispatch from Early on July 28th. Early was over in the Page Valley just the other side of the Massanutton mountains from my brigade. When I read that dispatch, I was dumfounded. I had a nasty job to do. Early ordered me to get my force in motion at once and advance into Pennsylvania. I'd like you to read what Early himself says about it." My host handed me a thick red volume from his table -- the memoirs of General Early. I turned to the page he indicated. "The town of Chambersburg" wrote Early, "was selected as the one on which retribution should be made, and McCausland was ordered to proceed, with his brigade and that of Bradley Johnson and a battery of artillery, to that place and demand of the municipal authorities the sum of $100,00 in gold or $500,000 U. S. currency, as a compensation for the destruction of the property named (the private homes and the college noted elsewhere, and their contents); and in default of payment, to lay the town in ashes. A written demand to that effect was sent to the authorities, and they were informed what would be the result of a failure or refusal to comply with it. For I desired to give the people of Chambersburg an opportunity of saving their town by making compensation for part of the injury done..." "For this act," continues Early, "I alone am responsible, as the officers engaged in it were simply executing my orders and had no discretion left them. Notwithstanding the lapse of time which has occurred and the result of the war, I see no reason to regret my conduct..." "Those," resumed McCausland, "were my orders. I was simply obeying them when I set out through the Valley, crossed Maryland into Pennsylvania..." The route of the invading force lay across the old Chesapeake and Ohio Canal not far from Martinsburg, then over the National Road to the Clear Spring Pike and so on to Chambersburg, about 75 miles away. McCausland's and Bradley Johnson's brigades numbered at most 2600 men; the General told me he was constantly attacked by detachments of Averill's pickets. But on the 30th of July, very early of a sultry morning, the Johnny Rebs drew up on a rise behind the town, spread out, and unlimbered a piece or two of artillery, muzzles trained upon peaceful, pretty, wealthy little Chambersburg sleeping there below them. A six-pounder Parrott barked once -- that, says McCausland, was the only shot fired and it was fired across the town and not into it -- just as a shot is fired across the bow of an enemy ship at sea to bring it to a halt. It meant simply that Early had taken possession. The shot did no damage; it wasn't meant to. After that, McCausland explains, he rode with his staff down into town and met with no warm reception, you can well believe. The people stood scowling about, leering at the dirty Grey troopers on their bony nags. The general rode up to the city hall and found it deserted. Whereupon he called as many citizens together as he could find, told them what was in the wind and showed them Early's order. The general recalls this vividly. "I told them what they could expect, if they failed to raise the money. I warned them to get the city officials together at once. Some of the townspeople came to see me, but most of them held back. All I could do was explain that I would wait six hours until they had time to accumulate the money. Meanwhile the citizens, men and women, stood around and demanded that the money not be paid. They said that these dirty rebels wouldn't dare burn the town; that a big Federal force was on the way. At the end of six hours, the money was still unpaid. No effort had been made to collect it, and so I had my men set fire to the place and a large section of the city was burned." And that, the general told me at the end of his recital, was the true account of the burning of Chambersburg -- one of the few instances of the use of the torch on Northern soil during the Civil War. Afterwards, lurid accounts were printed again and again, telling the most exaggerated yarns of the killing of women and children and acts of downright cruelty. McCausland denies that. During the remainder of that afternoon visit, he made some further interesting observations in connection with the incident. Briefly they may be summed up. First, the charges to the contrary notwithstanding, he was definitely ordered by Early to burn the town of Chambersburg specifically. Second, also in refutation of the charge that no advance warning was given, he claims that he not only warned the Chambersburg people what was to happen, but he showed them Early's order, and gave them a chance to remove as many of their belongings as they chose from their homes, and had his men help some of them. Third, that although there was never a case of a Northern general giving a Southern town or property holder a chance to pay a ransom and thus prevent destruction of property. Early most definitely did provide that opportunity for the Chambersburg people, who scorned it. Fourth, that the raid was conducted in good order. I asked the general if he would have burned the town had he been acting on his own initiative. "Certainly not," he answered. "I can see Early's view of the matter: besides, our armies needed all kinds of clothing and supplies which good Yankee money would buy. But I am a soldier and make war in the field. Naturally the order was distasteful to me. Still, as a soldier I had to obey orders. And I have no apology to offer. What I did was in accord with the rules of civilized warfare. My old friend Grant, after the war, put his foot down on attempts to prosecute me for this matter. I have some letters here." The general rose and bought from an old secretary a yellowed, faded letter which he handed me. It read: Headquarters, Armies of the U.S. Washington, D. C. March 8, 1867. Dear Judge-- In response to your application of this date to have John McCausland, a paroled prisoner of war, exempted from trial for acts done by him during the war (by direction of officers recognized by him as superiors) I can only give my views, as one of the parties to the parole, on the subject. I have held, and have so recorded my views officially in substance, that the parole taken by officers and soldiers who were engaged in rebellion against the Government exempted them from trial or punishment for all acts of war, recognized by civilized governments, by orders of their recognized superiors, so long as they observe in good faith the terms of the parole. This opinion does not extend to protection against Acts of Congress such as refer to the property and political condition of the prisoner, but exclusively to his personal security and freedom from prosecution by local courts. (Signed) U. S. GRANT, General. To Judge N. Harrison Eighth Judicial District, West Va. "Judge Harrison was kindly representing my cause in Washington," the general explained. Grant's decision was only the prelude to the ultimate letting-up of government attacks on John McCausland. But that did not mean the North had forgotten. Far from it. The old captains of both Yankee and Rebel armies were all in their graves, and the Spanish War and the World War had done much to weld the two sections more tightly together than ever before; and yet mentioning the name McCausland in some parts of the North as late as that day in 1925, was like waving a red flag to a bull. Toward the shank end of that November day, after we had talked for hours, the general walked with me out on to his front porch as I was leaving to catch the local train back to Charleston. He stood looking across the fields to the Kanawha River. He knew he was nearing the great dark river that flows around the world. There was a deep wistfulness in his sunken old eyes as he said, shaking my hand: "Maybe after they read the story you are going to write, those Chambersburg people will know that I had nothing against them when I burned the town." He turned and went into the house. Two years later this last of the Confederate captains laid down his arms. He died on January 27, 1927, still unforgiven. Possibly if John McCausland had accepted the offer of the Khedive of Egypt that far-off day at White Sulfur and entered service abroad, he would have had a happier time of it. Hey, Uncle Sam, Pay Up! by William Ecenbarger One of the ugliest incidents of the Civil War occurred on July 30, 1864, at Chambersburg, Pa, about 17 miles from the Mason-Dixon Line. Gen. John McCausland appeared at the town square with a 3,000-man Confederate cavalry brigade and demanded that the town pay a tribute of $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in greenbacks. McCausland said he was acting in retaliation for destruction by Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, including the razing of part of the Virginia Military Institute -- which happened to be McCausland's alma mater. When the town fathers told McCausland that they could not raise the tribute, he withdrew from his pocket a written order from his superior Gen. Jubal Early, to burn the town. McCausland proceeded to follow orders, destroying two-thirds of the town's buildings -- 537 in all. One of them was Doerner's Wagon Shop. After McCausland's side surrendered, he was forced to live in exile in England and Mexico for several years, returning to farm in West Virginia only after receiving a pardon from President Ulysses S. Grant. The Pennsylvania legislature, meanwhile, compensated Chambersburg citizens for about half their losses, and issued certificates, called Boarder Raid Claims, to cover the other half. The certificates could be redeemed only when federal funds were provided. Congress has never acted on them. The passage of time cooled tempers and numbed memories, and to mark the 100th anniversary of the incident in 1964, the Chambersburg Rotary Club sponsored a visit by Gen. McCausland's grandson, who was greeted warmly. All seemed forgotten. But about the same time, Mary Brown Doerner found a certificate for $205.77 that had been issued to her grandfather for the depredations to his wagon shop. Mrs. Doerner began writing to Presidents -- Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Reagan (she says the names as though they soil her lips) -- seeking what she regards as her due. "I just can't get any cooperation from those ... I don't know what you call them, and I call them worse than that. I never got an answer from any of the presidents. I did get a letter from some clerk in Washington a couple of years ago, and she said they had just junked all these things. I wrote back and told her she probably didn't even know there was a war. I'm provoked, and I'm not giving up. I'll be 85 next January, but I've still got my good sense." Mrs. Doerner notes that Chambersburg is celebrating its bicentennial next year. "I'd like to get this thing settled by then."
Brig. Gen. John McCausland and Emmett Charlotte Hannah had the following children:
+ 25 i. Samuel Hannah4 McCausland was born on (birth date unknown).
26 ii. John McCausland was born on (birth date unknown). still living - details excluded
+ 27 iii. Alexander McCausland was born on (birth date unknown).
28 iv. Charlotte Emmette McCausland was born October 1883.(5) Charlotte died 1971 at 87 years of age.(6) Never married. Educated at a woman's college in NC. Stayed at home.
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