Here is my corrected draft. I’m not totally satisfied with it but I feel much better about it than the first draft. I’m not sure how to attach a file so I have copied and pasted it bellow. If the footnotes look all messed up, its because for whatever reason, they appear differently when I copy and paste. Here it is:
November 1, 2010
War is often most traumatic for the innocent civilians such as women and children who become engulfed by its unyielding course. The American Civil War was no exception to this unfortunate truth. However, the southerners were more directly affected by the brutality of warfare as the majority of fighting occurred on confederate soil. The Confederate shelling of Carlisle, during the invasion of in June and July of 1863, was one unique exceptions when Union women and children were caught in the crossfire of bombardment. Though Carlisle was never occupied, the shelling of the town proved profoundly traumatic to Carlisle’s citizens who feared for their lives, their loved ones and their homes.
Three upper-middle class Carlisle natives depicted their experiences during the event through written letters. Margaret Fleming Murray and Marry Murray were two teenagers who wrote to their brother Harmer Denny explicitly detailing the Confederate bombardment.  The Murray sisters wrote to their brother Harmar about their personal experiences of the shelling in days immideatly following the event. Sarah Meyers, an elderly widow living by herself, wrote a thank you letter to General Smith’s wife in the aftermath of the shelling.. The two sisters and Sarah Meyers were from different age groups and their letters concerned different elements of the event. Regardless of these minor differences, all three women present the common themes of general unease, fear for their homes, and gratitude for General Smith’s bravery. Their writing offers small but precise personal insight into the traumatic shelling. More importantly, the women’s depictions of first-hand contact with the Confederate army are telling as very few Union women were exposed to Confederate bombardment during the war.
The Confederate bombardment of Carlisle occurred during the second stage of rebel occupation. Initially, the Confederate General Richard S. Ewell occupied the town on June 27, 1863 to accumulate supplies on his journey to seize the state capital. After his departure, the Carlisle residents believed their encounter with rebel troups was final; however, on July 1, 1863, they were surprised by the arrival of General J.E.B Stuart who had come in search of Ewell’s army and supplies. General Stuart initially attempted to seize the town through peaceful Union surrender but General William F. Smith refused Stuarts’s requests. Stuart responded with by shelling the town and burning the Carlisle Barracks, a lumberyard, and the gas works on July 1, 1863. General Smith defended the small Pennsylvania town and Stuart and his continued to Gettysburg where fighting had broken out in the initial stages of the Battle of Gettysburg. By the end of the bombardment, Carlisle civilians experienced only twelve casualties and one death and houses were only minimally damaged by the shells, the civilians who were present during the attack were emotionally traumatized by one of the only encounters union civilians had with Confederate soldiers over the course of the entire war. 
Margaret Fleming Murray and Mary Denny Murray were only young women during the shelling of the town of Carlisle. The two girls were the daughters of William Boyd Murray and Margaret Parker Fleming. Additionally, the Murrays were decedents of Parker family – long time settlers who came to the Pennsborough Township before Indian titles had been diminished.  The Murray sisters came from a comfortable fortune, which included multiple properties throughout Carlisle – one of which was later donated to Dickinson college and is today known as Denny Hall. Margaret, the eldest of the two sisters, was born in November of 1841. Her younger sister Mary was born in November, 1846.  Neither of the two was ever married, and they seem to have moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the later years of their lives. Throughout the Civil War, the two wrote letters to their older brother Harmar Denny Murray, who was living in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In the aftermath of the war, Harmar became involved in the glass business in Pittsburg. The two sisters wrote to their brother during the few days following the shelling. The letters that the sisters wrote reveal vivid details of the event and the actions taken on the part of native residents. Undoubtedly, the girls were frightened for their safety and the well being of their homes as well as the well being of their brother.
Margaret Flemming, the younger of the two sisters was the first to write a letter detailing the events of the shelling. Margaret’s letter was written on July 3,1863. The
sixteen year old recalled the event as being both “inhumane” and “barbarous” because it disregarded the fact that there were innocent women and children civilians who were being bombarded. Margaret’s writing depicts her personal experience of the events of the shelling and thus provides a source for understanding both the events that occurred as well as the personal reactions that ensued. Her words reveal her panic for the safety of her home and her well-being. Margaret recalls the attack coming as a blatant surprise to the people of Carlisle whom she recalls ran in a state of panic. She writes, “Such a stampede of women and children you never saw in your life. You cannot imagine the confusion that ensued. It was a disagreeable surprise.” She continues in her recollection of the traumatic event during which she feared for her life. Margaret depicts the horridness of hearing the shells ricocheting off of town buildings and homes. She exclaims, “The shot and shell were coming thick and fast, and we all retreated to the cellar for our safety, the sound of the shells as they came over the house and exploded near by was terrific.” Margaret continues by emphasizing the perpetual noise and explains, “I cannot use a more significant expression that to say they had an infernal sound. I liked the booming of the cannon but the whizzing of those shells, I hope to never hear again.” Margaret goes on to highlight her particular concern for the safety of her home on West High Street when she writes, “we thought it best to go out of the town, as a great many were leaving and our houses were just in the rage of the guns. (Besides we did not know but the town would be completely shelled before morning).” Margaret’s recollection specifically emphasize her uncertainty of the situation and her fear for her personal safety as well as the security of her home. The illustration of the Shelling of Carlisle by Thomas Nast that appeared in Harper’s Weekly Magazine on July 25, 1863 attests to Margaret’s depiction of the event. The sketch reveals women and children flocking in all directions in the chaotic downtown Carlisle.
Mary Murray, the elder Murray sister, wrote a letter to her brother in the aftermath of the battle on July 23, 1963. Her writing exhibits the uncertainty she maintained in regard to her brothers potential conscription as well as focuses on the physical state of Carlisle in the aftermath of the shelling. Throughout the letter, her tone reflects the personal impact that the damage had on her and her family. At the commencement of the letter, Mary mostly concentrates on the fact that her brother had not yet been drafted. She exhibits profound relief that he is still living safely in Pittsburg. Mary highlights her relief when she writes, “You have been remarkably fortunate in escaping the Draft, Harmar, and feel very much relieved I assure you.” Mary notes that a family friend will surely pay a three hundred dollar fee in order for Harmar to escape the draft, a practice that some families took part in to avoid military service during the war. Mary’s concentration on the subject of her brother’s drafting clearly emphasizes her fear perpetual fear regarding his safety and security. Her concern of his being drafted was undoubtedly a fear shared by many women at this time who were frightened by the notion of potentially losing loved one in wartime conflict. In her description of the damaged town, she reveals her disdain for the destructive actions of the Confederate s when she explains, “but the other buildings have all been destroyed, the bare and smoked walls alone are standing; monuments of rebel barbarism.”  Mary’s letter, though not as distinctly descriptive as her sisters, reveals her intense fearfulness concerning her brother’s involvement in the war as well as her personal response to the damaged town. Though Mary’s fear is demonstrated in a different way than her sisters, it is evident that she too was living in a state of continual fear concerning her loved one.
Sarah Meyers, a woman who was not originally from Carlisle, but who had come to Carlisle from her native Wilmington, Delaware with her physician husband Theodore Myers, wrote another telling letter. Her letter presents the similar the theme of fearfulness that was presented in both letters written by the Murray sisters. Sarah Meyers was a graduate of the Moravian Seminary as well as a talented musician who studied art at the Philadelphia Academy. She was born in a Scots-Irish household and was very familiar with German. She translated several books from German and supported herself my giving music lessons and painting. When her husband died at the age of 36, she supported herself by giving music lessons in Carlisle. She resided on 127 West High Street. Meyer’s response to the bombardment was a very personal one. Meyers wrote a thank you letter to General Smith’s wife whom she thought was in New York though in reality was residing in Vermont. Though the letter was returned to her and never conveyed to Mrs. Smith, the letter serves as crucial evidence in revealing Meyer’s personal response to the attack. While the Murray sisters wrote during the few days following the battle and depicted certain specific details, Sarah Meyer’s undated letter was clearly written some time in the aftermath of the event and thus offers a personal response instead of a chronological reflection. Her words provide distinct gratitude for her undamaged home and for the bravery of General Smith – the person she viewed most responsible for saving her town and her home. Upon reflection on leaving her home during the attack, she recalls the sadness and fear she felt when leaving her home and recalls,” I although a great invalid wished also to do my part and in my own way. I left my home where I have lived for thirty years – twenty-five as a widow- with everything in it to the mercy of the rebels, never expecting to see it again.” However, Meyer’s fears were put to rest when she returned after the battle to find her home “saved although somewhat injured.” Meyer’s letter continues and addresses her unwavering gratitude and admiration for the bravery exhibited by General Smith and his soldiers whom she considers personally responsible for the safety of her home. She writes, “on my return my first feeling was that of gratitude, for I am assured that under Providence, I am indebted to the exertions of Gen. Smith and his brave soldiers – I wish I could do something for each of them – that I still have a home.” Sarah Meyer’s letter is brief, but her words contain important insight into a personal encounter with the brutality of war violence. Throughout her letter, she most clearly emphasizes her attachment to her home and her admiration for those who were able to protect it. It is safe to assume that her fears were similar if not identical to the fears of other women who experienced first-hand encounters with enemy forces. 
While countless southern women dreadfully suffered from Union invasions between the years 1861 to 1865, very few northern women were exposed to encounters with the rebel army. In addition to the town of Carlisle, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was the only other Federal town that uprooted by the Confederate army. Margaret and Mary Murray and Sarah Meyers serve as crucial witness to rebel bombardment as they were apart of the small handful of women who not only encountered the Confederate army, but also lived to tell their experiences through their letters. The common and overlapping fears of Margaret Murray, Marry Murray, and Sarah Meyers provides telling details that reveal the strong connection that women felt towards their homes and their loved ones. It can thus be concluded that the experiences of the three Carlisle women are distinctively symbolic and noteworthy as they reflect the experiences of a minute number of Union women who came into distinct contact with rebel forces. Their words are not only pertinent in furthering our understanding of the personal reactions of female citizens but more simply provide contextual evidence that provides us with historical details of the shelling.
Note: I have reproduced this transcription exactly as it was transcribed by an unknown amateur historian.
Carlisle, July 3, 1863
Dear Harmer –
I wrote to you Tuesday morning, after the Rebs had nearly all left; but on account of there being no mail, either to or from Harrisburg, I could not send it until yesterday, when I gave it to a gentleman to post it in the Harrisburg P.O. We have not seen a newspaper for a week, — the cars made their appearance at the edge of town today, the first time since yesterday week; it was a freight train, bringing commissary stores for the soldiers quartered here, and also timber to build the bridge. They can’t come farther that the Fas House- or rather where the Gas House Stood, it having been burned by the Rebs. We will have to do without gas for some time to come, as we thought the Rebs had taken their final departure, my last letter was written in rather a hopeful strain, and we never dreamed that the very evening the Rebel demons would attempt to shell the town, and that too, without giving the usual warning. A number of regiments N. York, Philadelphia, and others from the country, amassed here on foot from Harrisburg, stopped here to rest themselves and partake of refreshments provided by the citizens which were sent to the Market house for their use. They were on their way out the Baltimore Pike after the Rebs and did not expect to stop here longer than necessary. A great many citizens-ladies ad gentlemen- were down at the Square looking at them, and talking with them, Mary and I among the number. We were having a very nice time, when the cry “the Rebels are coming” was raised, sure enough it was true; the Rebs were in sight- just bellow the ramains of the Gas House; they had come in the Trindle Spring road and as we had not sent the Scouts out in that direction owing to the fleet that they ( the Rebs) were out towards Holly, and our scouts were in every direction, but the one in which the Rebels came. Such a stampede of women and children you never saw in your life. You cannot imagine the confusion that ensued. It was a disagreeable surprise. Officers calling to their men, who were scattered in all directions, some eating, others worn out with their long march, fast asleep on the square and on the pavements; soldiers loading their pieces; the gunners away from their armour and no where to be seen; the excitement was intense, Uncle Joe and Pappers helped to draw one of the guns out and place it in proper position. Mary and the rest of us ran up the 1st Church alley, as far as the Senseman’s stable, and I proposed we should go onto Main St. to see if it was really true that the Rebs were in sight, and our men drawn up in line of battle. We go as far as Mr. Mile’s store, and were gazing down Main St. when a shell came whizzing over the town, right above us; we all rushed into the house, but as we were two squares from home I could not stay there. We got out the back way, tore up the alley like wild people, then accross to Maine St, then home. The shot and shell were coming thick and fast, and we all retreated to the cellar for our safety, the sound of the shells as they came over the house and exploaded near by was terrific. I cannot use a more significant expression that to say they had an infernal sound. I liked the booming of the cannon but the whizzing of those shells, I hope to never hear again. The firing commenced about ____? and lasted until 11; there was a short cessation about 11 we thought it best to go out of the town, as a great many were leaving and our houses were just in the range of the guns. (Besides we did not know but the town would be completely shelled before morning). We took a few valuables with us and went out to the ——. Mr. —-?—. where we met a great many citizens who had left the town; we stayed all night and next day went to the Meeting House Springs and then came home this morning. A few shots were fired after we left town and the enemy retreated after burning the Barracks and Gas house. Several houses in town were damaged by the shells, but not to a very great extent. I think the attack was the most inhuman and barbarous I ever heard of, attempting to destroy a town with the women and children in it. Fitzhugh Lee was the commander of the Rebs: it just shows what they would do if they had the opportunity…We have a great many soldiers in town, and many more are expected – they are coming as fast as they can. Henderson’s warehouse is used by them for a depot for provisions. The College West is used for a hospital, where the wounded were taken after the engagement, we had not more that 15 or 20 wounded and none killed. There were 42 Rebel prisoners brought into town this evening captured by Capt. Boyd’s cavalry, near Shippensburg. They will be taken to Harrisburg. It is late and I will close for tonight. Saturday Morn, July 4. I hear the drum and fife this morning and understand 8 or 10 thousand men have just passed out the Baltimore Pike to the mountain to the Gaps. Everything tells us we are in the midst of the war–that this state–Pennsylvania is a battleground now. We were afraid you might be anxious about us and come home, but Mother says stay where you are; we are perfectly safe and if Carlisle should be attacked we can leave the town. If you have been getting late papers containing an account of the engagement here, save them for us, and sent them when the mail is regularly established again. Write us soon and as often as you can. I hear we are to have mail today, and will close in time for it.
N.B We have not yet receive and word from you since the Rebs were here; June 22 was the date of the last one. All mail matter to Harrisburg, from East to West was sent to Philadelphia but we expect it to be sent back, and we in Carlisle look for ours today; your letter will probably arrive today. It is now 9 o’clock, and the news from Adams county is very cheering; there has been heavy fighting for the last tow days near Gettysburg and Cashtown, the Army of the Potomac has been driving them back towards Benderville: ot os saod tjh(?) are slaughtered terribly- the division that stopped in Carlisle is among those who suffered most – I rejoice to hear it. I mentioned Costa’s bill in my last, but for fear you have not received it, I will remind you of it again; attend to it, if it is possible to do so. We need all the money we can get.
Carlisle July 23, 1863
Your long looked for letter arrived safely Thursday afternoon, we are glad that you have got back to the usual time of writing – the beginning of the week, which sums to come more material to receive your letters than the later part of the week. You also directed your letters rightly, as it was my turn to receive one. We were glad to hear that you enjoyed the cake from home, but you did not mention the sweet and “sour ball or the beautiful engraving of the bombardment of Carlisle which you could not fail to recognize. The way we came to sent those articles, Maggie happened to meet on the street on Thursday evening. He said he was going to Pittsburg on Wednesday, and very kindly offered to take any packages to you, that we might have to send. We embraced the opportunity, and sent the package on Wednesday morning, thinking that of course he had a trunk but found otherwise, however we thought we would send the package any how. You have been remarkably fortunate in escaping the Draft, Harmar, and feel very much relieved I assure you. In looking over the “Pittsburg Chronicle” I see the names of some young men who were drafted in two or three different wards, how you escaped seemed very strange. But Mrs. V says if you had been drafted, Mrs. L would certainly have paid the three hundred dollars, in order to keep you in the establishment. I see by the paper, Mr. Hailman is Drafted, the gentleman who owns that handsome riodimer, Miss Plaks about. The Draft has not yet come off here and the young men are feeling very anxious as to who will be the “lucky ones.” Monday I believe is the day appointed for Draft. I am glad we have anxiety on that score. Carlisle is beginning to wear its old appearance again. The College yard looks beautiful, the late heavy rains having washed away all braces of the rebs. The grass has grown so rank and luxuriant, we can scarcely tell where the rebel camp fires were no other damage having been done to this yard, not even a tree cut down. The College is now used as a hospital for our sick and wounded. The stores are all opened again, the store keepers having bought back their goods again. The warehouses are doing business and altogether the town wears a lively appearance. Mr. Henderson’s warehouses is still used as a depot for commissary stores. Poor Nonmaker lost a little by his southern friends. They stole his (——-?) which he feels very much provoked about. Made nice camp kettles & —– this morning the two burden trains came down the usual time the first time they have made their appearance for five weeks. We were really glad to see them although they were small trains. Nonemakers cars have not yet been brought back from Baltimore. Master Abe is growing fast and seems to be growing in mischief as well as in size. Altogether he is too “many” for miss Maggie. He says he would like very much to see Harmar. In answer to your inquiry about the firm of —- Flemming, I will inform you that it is not our John, but “cousin Crawford” Flemming who is in partnership with Charly Halbert. Our John has gone to Philadelphia. Last Saturday evening Papa, Mother and myself walked out to the garrison to see the Garrison to see the ruins. It’s really a desolate looking place. The old magazine was not destroyed, neither was Samson’s house, (the bakery I suppose) situated at the western part of the Garrison ground, but the other buildings have all been destroyed, the bare and smoked walls alone are standing; monuments of rebel barbarism, but our flag is again waving from the flag-staff and looks more beautiful than ever. The regulars are back, and are —- in tents on the open green around the flag staff. How have you been doing about going to church since uncle Cliff’s? Have you a ——-? Is old Mrs. Lyon still at Mrs. Lagars? I wish you would tell me. If you have not made a party, call at Alice’s you can call and see. Miss Virginia is well and in very good spirits, Harmar, we have for the last two weeks been looking, and hoping, and expecting, the “needful”, and hope it will —- come this week. Write soon.
When the ladies of Carlisle resolved on presenting a memorial to General Smith for his gallant defense of our town on the night of July 1st, I although a great invalid wished also to do my part and in my own way. I left my home where I have lived for thirty years – twenty-five as a widow- with everything in it to the mercy of the rebels, never expecting to see it again. But it was saved although somewhat injured. On my return my first feeling was that of gratitude, for I am assured that under Providence, I am indebted to the exertions of Gen. Smith and his brave soldiers – I wish I could do something for each of them – that I still have a home.
Will you therefore accept the accompanying picture which is my own work, as a pledge of my appreciating of his important service in Carlisle. I offer it not on account of its worth as a painting or ivorytype, for you may have many better, but because of the spirit in which it is offered. For ‘A grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still
Payes at once
Indebted and discharged’
The frame is no the kind I wished or intended, but it is the best that coupd be procured in time to send the picture as it was feared you might leave new york and in such case that delay might cause the loss of the box.
Very Respectfully Yours,
Sarah A. Myers
Mrs. General Smith 9 Street New York
List of Works Cited
Flower, Lenore E. Civil War: Cumberland County. Middletown: Wert Bookbinding, Inc., 1969.
Jeremiah Zeamer. Biography Annals of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. Maryland:The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905.
Boatner, Mark Mayo. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988.
Murray, Margaret, to Harmar Denny, Pittsburg, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA.
Murray, Mary, to Harmar Denny, Pittsburg, Carlisle, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.
United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the Unites States, 1900. Washington D.C: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900.
United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration 1900. Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Wittenberg, Eric J. The Shelling of Carlisle.” Blue and Gray 25, no. 2(2007):41-45.
Zeamer, Jeremiah. Biographical Annals of Cumberland County. New York: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905, PAGE
The two letters written by the Murray sisters that are referred to in this paper are located at the Carlisle Historical Society in Carlisle Pennsylvania. Margaret Murray to Harmar Denny, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA. Mary Murray to Harmar Denny, Carlisle, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.
 Sarah Meyers to Mrs. Smith. Civil War: Cumberland County (Middletown: Wert Bookbinding, Inc., 1969).
 Eric J Wittenberg. “The Shelling of Carlisle.” Blue and Gray 25. 2(2007):41-45.
 Mark Mayo Botner, The Civil War Dictionary. (New York: McKay, 1988) PAGE.
 Jearemiah Zeamer, Biographical Annals of Cumberland County. (New York: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905), 12.
 Lenore E. Flower, Civil War: Cumberland County (Middletown: Wert Bookbinding, Inc., 1969).
 “Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900.” Prepared by the National Archives (Washington D.C, 1900).
 “Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900.” Prepared by the National Archives (Washington, DC: 1900): 2.
 Jeremiah Zeamer, Biography Annals of Cumberland County Pennsylvania (Maryland: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905). PAGE
 Margaret Murray to Harmar Denny, Carlisle, 3 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle PA. For full text see appendix I.
 Dickinson College. “House Divided The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College.” Shelling of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1863 (2010). http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/32027
 Murray, Mary, Carlisle, 23 July 1863. Record Group 1838-1910, Papers of Harmar Denny Murray, Collection of the Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA. For full text see Appendix II.
 Lenore E. Flower, Civil War: Cumberland County (Middletown: Wert Bookbinding, Inc., 1969).
 Sarah Meyers to Mrs. Smith, Civil War: Cumberland County (Middletown: Wert Bookbinding, Inc., 1969).