In seventy-two hours the Chancellor family's world was turned upside down. A Union soldier described the Chancellor women on April 30:
"Upon the upper porch was quite a bevy of ladies in light, dressy, attractive spring costumes. They were not at all abashed or intimidated, scolded audibly and reviled bitterly. They ... stated they had assurances from General Lee, who was just ahead, that he was their anxiously awaiting an opportunity to extend the 'hospitalities of the country.' They had little conception of the terrors in store for them...."
Unknown Union soldier, 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Three days later Confederate artillery shells set fire to the Chancellor house, forcing Sue Chancellor and the other women to flee.
"The sight that met our eyes as we came out of the dim light of that basement room beggars description. The woods around the house were a sheet of fire - the air was filled with shot and shell - horses were running, rearing and screaming - the men, a mass of confusion moaning, cursing, and praying.... At our last look, our old home was completely enveloped in flames."
Fourteen-year-old Sue Chancellor