America's Civil War

Salvage Effort

an exhausted Confederate officer, accompanied by a bugler holding a flag of truce, passed a few frightened but curious citizens as they rode into Carlisle, Pa., in search of the town’s Union commander. They did so to deliver Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s ultimatum: Surrender or the shelling would resume. Unfortunately for Fitz Lee, he was not facing an easily rattled local militia officer. Brigadier General William F. “Baldy” Smith was an experienced, combative former Army of the Potomac corps commander, who had no intention of surrendering Carlisle. So he sent the messenger back to Lee with his response—reported as either “shell away” or “if he wanted the town he must take it.” Whether it was bluff, bravado, or

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