Gen. Daniel H. Hill, in a letter to a Union general.
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., March 24, 1863.
Maj. Gen. J.G. FOSTER, Federal Army.
SIR: Two communications have been referred to me as the successor of Gen. [Samuel G.] French. The prisoners from Swindell’s company and the Seventh North Carolina are true prisoners of war and if not paroled I will retaliate five-fold.
In regard to your first communication touching the burning of Plymouth you seem to have forgotten two things. You forget, sir, that you are a Yankee and that Plymouth is a Southern town.
It is no business of yours if we choose to burn one of our own towns. A meddling Yankee troubles himself about every body’s matters except his own and repents of everybody’s sins except his own. We are a different people. Should the Yankees burn a Union village in Connecticut or a cod-fish town in Massachusetts we would not meddle with them but rather bid them God-speed in their work of purifying the atmosphere.
Your second act of forgetfulness consists in your not remembering that you are the most atrocious house-burner as yet unsung in the wide universe.
Let me remind you of the fact …
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