« ZurückWeiter »
and in communication with its new base before the Nationals crossed the Pamunat the White House. This movement com- key. He was at a point where he could pelled Lee to abandon his strong position cover the railways and highways leading at the North Anna, but, having a shorter to Richmond. route, he was in another good position The Nationals were now within 15 miles
of Richmond. Their only direct pathway Grant proceeded to throw his army across to that capital was across the Chicka- to the south side of the James River, and hominy. There was much skirmishing, to operate against the Confederate capital and Grant was satisfied that he would be on the right of that stream. It was near compelled to force the passage of the the middle of June before the whole
Chicka hominy on Lee's flank, and he pre- National force had crossed the Chickapared for that movement by sending Sher- hominy and moved to the James by way idan to seize a point near Cold Harbor, of Charles City Court-house. There they where roads leading into Richmond di- crossed the river in boats and over ponverged. After a fight with Fitzhugh Lee's toon bridges; and on June 16, when the cavalry, it was secured, and on the same entire army was on the south side, Gennight (May 30) Wright's corps pressed eral Grant made his headquarters at City forward to the same point. A large body Point, at the junction of the Appomattox of troops, under Gen. W. F. Smith, called and James rivers. A portion of the Army from the Army of the James, were ap- of the James, under General Butler, had proaching Cold Harbor at the same time. made an unsuccessful attempt to capture These took position on Wright's right Petersburg, where the Confederates had wing. There a terrible battle occurred constructed strong works. Before them (June 1-3), in which both armies suffered the Army of the Potomac appeared on the immense loss. It was now perceived that evening of June 16, and in that vicinity the fortifications around Richmond were the two armies struggled for the mastery too formidable to warrant a direct attack until April the next year, or about ten upon them with a hope of success, so months. VII.—2 E
Sunday morning, April 2, 1865, while safety. That body employed every vehicle attending service at St. Paul's Church, for this use, and the people who prepared President Davis received this message to leave the city found it difficult to get from General Lee:
any conveyance. For these as much as “ It is absolutely necessary that we $100 in gold was given for service from a should abandon our position to-night, or dwelling to the railway station. It was run the risk of being cut off in the morn- revealed to the people early in the evening.”
ing that the Confederate Congress had · Hastily reading it he left the church, ordered all the cotton, tobacco, and other quickly followed by others, and the ser property which the owners could not carry vice was abruptly concluded. Rumors away, and which was stored in four great that Richmond was to be evacuated were warehouses, to be burned to prevent it soon succeeded by the definite announce- falling into the hands of the Nationals. ment of the fact. One special train car. There was a fresh breeze from the south, ried the President and the cabinet, to- and the burning of these warehouses gether with several million dollars in gold. would imperil the whole city. General Late in the afternoon Governor Smith Ewell, in command there, vainly remonand the members of the legislature embark: strated against the execution of the order. ed on canal-boats for Lynchburg. The A committee of the common council went roads from the city leading to the north to Jefferson Davis before he had left to reand west were crowded with wagons, car- monstrate against it, to which he replied riages, and carts, horsemen, and men and that their statement that the burning of women on foot seeking for a place of the warehouses would endanger the city refuge.
was “a cowardly pretext on the part of The night when the Confederate govern- the citizens, trumped up to endeavor to ment fled from Richmond was a fearful save their property for the Yankees.” A one for the inhabitants of that city. All similar answer was given at the War Deday after the receipt of Lee's despatch- partment. “My lines are broken in three places; The humane Ewell was compelled to Richmond must be evacuated to-night "- obey, for the order from the War Depart. the people were kept in the most painful ment was imperative. The city council suspense by the reticence of the governo took the precaution, for the public safety, ment, then making preparations to fly for to order the destruction of all liquors that
might be accessible to lawless men. This the city. When at 7 A.M., the troops was done, and by midnight hundreds of were all across the river, the bridges were barrels of spirituous liquors were flow- burned behind them. A number of other ing in the gutters, where stragglers from vessels in the river were destroyed. The the retreating army and rough citizens bursting of shells in the arsenal when the gathered it in vessels, and so produced the fire reached them added to the horrors calamity the authorities endeavored to of the scene. At noon about 700 buildavert. The torch was applied, and at day- ings in the business part of the city, break the warehouses were in flames. The including a Presbyterian church, were in city was already on fire in several places. ruins. While Richmond was in flames The intoxicated soldiers, joined with many National troops entered the city, and, of the dangerous class of both sexes, by great exertions, subdued the fire and
formed a marauding mob of fearful pro- saved the city from utter destruction. portions, who broke open and pillaged Many million dollars' worth of propstores and committed excesses of every erty had been annihilated. Gen. Godfrey kind. From midnight until dawn the city Weitzel had been left, with a portion was a pandemonium. The roaring mob of the Army of the James, on the released the prisoners from the jail and north side of that river, to menace burned it. They set fire to the arsenal, and Richmond, and he kept up a continual tried to destroy the Tredegar Iron Works. show of great numbers, which had deConflagrations spread rapidly, for the fireceived Longstreet, standing in defence of department was powerless, and by the the Confederate capital. After midnight middle of the forenoon (April 3) a greater on April 3, a great light in Richmond, portion of the principal business part of the sound of explosions, and other events, Richmond was a blazing furnace.
revealed to Weitzel the fact that the ConBetween midnight and dawn the Con- federates were evacuating the city. At federate troops made their way across the daylight he put Draper's negro brigade bridges to the south side of the James. in motion towards Richmond. The place At 3 A.M. the magazine near the alms- of every terra-torpedo in front of the Conhouse was fired and blown up with a con- federate works was marked by a small cussion that shook the city to its founda- flag, for the safety of their own men, and tions. It was followed by the explosion in their hasty departure they forgot to reof the Confederate ram Virginia, below move them. Cannon on the deserted
works were left unharmed. Early in the body, led by General Hill, was sent to morning the whole of Weitzel's force were West Union, to prevent the escape of any in the suburbs of the town. A demand Confederates by that way over the Allewas made for its surrender, and at seven ghany Mountains, to join Johnston at o'clock Joseph Mayo, the mayor, handed Winchester. the keys of the public buildings to the Garnett was then strongly intrenched at messenger of the summons. Weitzel and his Laurel Hill, with about 8,000 Virginians, staff rode in at eight o'clock, at the head Georgians, Tennesseeans, and Carolinians. of Ripley's brigade of negro troops, when To this camp Morris nearly penetrated, Lieut. J. Livingston Depeyster, of Weit- but not to attack it-only to make feints zel's staff, ascended to the roof of the to divert Garnett while McClellan should State-house with a national flag, and, with gain his rear. There was almost daily the assistance of Captain Langdon, Weit- heavy skirmishing, chiefly by Colonels zel's chief of artillery, unfurled it over Dumont and Milroy, on the part of the that building, and in its Senate chamber Nationals. So industrious and bold had the office of headquarters was established. been the scouts, that when McClellan apWeitzel occupied the dwelling of Jeffer- peared they gave him full information son Davis, and General Shepley was ap- of the region and the forces there. Durpointed military governor. The troops ing a few days, so daring had been the were then set at work to extinguish the conduct of the Nationals that they were flames. See “ ON TO RICHMOND!”; “ ON TO regarded almost with awe by the ConfedWASHINGTON !”
erates. They called the 9th IndianaRich Mountain, BATTLE OF. Early in whose exploits were particularly notable 1861 the Confederates attempted to per- — " Swamp Devils.” While on the road manently occupy the country south of the towards Beverly, McClellan ascertained Baltimore and Ohio Railway in Virginia. that about 1,500 Confederates under Col. They were placed under the command of John Pegram, were occupying a heavily R. S. Garnett, a meritorious soldier, who intrenched position in the rear of Garwas in the war with Mexico, and was nett, in the Rich Mountain Gap, and combrevetted for gallantry at Buena Vista. manding the road over the mountains He made his headquarters at Beverly, in to Staunton, the chief highway to southRandolph county, and prepared to prevent ern Virginia. Pegram boasted that his the National troops from pushing through position could not be turned; but it was the mountain-gaps into the Shenandoah turned by Ohio and Indiana regiments and Valley. The roads through these gaps some cavalry, all under the command of were fortified. At the same time ex-Gov- Colonel Rosecrans, accompanied by Coloernor H. A. Wise, with the commission of nel Lander, who was with Dumont a brigadier-general, was organizing a at Philippi. They made a détour, July brigade in the Great Ranawha Valley, be- 11, in a heavy rain-storm, over most perilyond the Greenbrier Mountains. He was ous ways among the mountains for about ordered to cross the intervening moun- 8 miles, and at noon were on the summit tains, and co-operate with Garnett. Gen- of Rich Mountain, high above Pegram's eral McClellan took command of his camp, and a mile from it. troops in western Virginia, at Grafton, Rosecrans thought his movement was towards the close of May, and the entire unknown to the Confederates. Pegram force of Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia was informed of it, and sent out 900 men, troops under his control numbered full with two cannon, up the mountain-road, 20,000 men. With these he advanced to meet the Nationals, and just as they against the Confederates. He sent Gen. struck the Staunton road the latter were J. D. Cox with a detachment to keep Wise fiercely assailed. Rosecrans was without in check, while with his main body, about cannon. He sent forward his skirmishers; 10,000 strong. he moved to attack Gar- and while these were engaged in fighting, nett at Laurel Hill, near Beverly. At the his main body was concealed. Finally same time a detachment 4,000 strong, un- Pegram's men came out from their works der General Morris, moved towards and charged across the road, when the Beverly by way of Philippi, while another Indianians sprang to their feet, fired, and,