Off the top of my head I canít think of any town north of the Mason-Dixon line that was subjected to more torment from Confederates than Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. For three years running there was a seemingly annual pilgrimage, beginning in 1862 when J.E.B. Stuartís cavalry destroyed railroad property and made off with hundreds of horses and guns, not to mention a number of free black males. The fourth and last visit occurred on July 30, 1864, when Brig. Gen. John McCausland demanded a half-million dollar ransom and burnt large portions of the town when the money wasnít forthcoming.
1863 in and of itself was neither a good year for French winemakers nor the good citizens of Chambersburg. On June 15th, Brig. Gen. Albert Jenkins' cavalry paid a less than social call by occuping the town and, in turn, burnt warehouses and bridges. Nine days later and for the next four days after that Confederates paraded through the town on their way to another town with the suffix "burg" affixed to its name. The road the Confederate troops followed upon leaving, the Chambersburg Pike, would lead them past a business establishment situated exactly halfway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg. Here, at Mr. Ed's, a local and now historic landmark, many raw and heretofore untested recruits and conscripts from the South would "see the elephant" for the very first time.
Undernourished and underfed, it was here at Mr. Ed's that Confederate troops stripped the shelves bare, an action that not only allowed them to replenish their meager rations, but proved of utmost importance throughout the rest of the long and grueling Gettysburg campaign.