Historic Hunter Hill burning, 153 years later

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The Civil War was a dividing time for many families, including one person who burned down his cousin’s home in Jefferson County more than a 150 years ago.          
 
The Hunter cousins were known to be close, practically brothers, but during the time of the Civil War, there were no boundaries.
 
“They loved each other dearly.They were like brothers,” Kevin Breeden, an amateur historian for Charles Town’s Haunted History Walks, said.
 
But when David Hunter was ordered to burn down Andrew Hunter’s home by President Lincoln, he followed orders. Andrew was a special prosecuting attorney in the John Brown Trial and the trial of his cousin.
 
“He was found upstairs in a chifforobe hiding. Two members of the First New York Calvary were pulling him from the chifforobe [and] announced they were here to burn the house. He said, ‘I don’t give a care about the house, but oh, if I was 20 years younger!’” Breeden said.
 
David Hunter and at least 50 other people stood on this property, ready to burn down his cousin’s house.
 
“This home was basically burned in retribution for Jubal Early and his Confederate Army burning the Governor of Maryland Augustus Bradford’s home during the 1864 Valley Campaign, where early actually attacked Washington, D.C.,” Breeden said.
 
That burning left nothing but four walls, but 153 years later, the house continues to stand.
 
For the house’s 153rd anniversary, Charles Town Haunted History Walks is offering a walk of the property.
 
“We want to put the real stories out there. We want to do the history. We want to try and confirm who these people are with the history,” Angela Manuel, Tour Guide, Charles Town’s Haunted History Walks, said.
 
Through the walks, officials hope to give an in-depth story of the property’s rich history and even some ghost stories
 
The tour starts at 8 p.m. with tickets costing $10; proceeds will go to Happy Retreat, Charles Washington’s historic home.

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