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and the rebel troops were thrown out in that part of the lines in heavy force. The President remained at City Point, and at 3 P. M. sent the following telegram to the Secretary of War :
At 12.30 P. M. to-day, General Grant telegraphed me as follows:
There has been much hard fighting this morning. The enemy drove our left from near Dabner's house back well towards the Boydton Plankroad. We are now about to take the offensive at that point, and I hope will more than recover the lost ground.
Later lie telegraphed again as follows:
Our troops, after being driven back to the Boydton Plankroad, turned and drove the enemy in turn, and took the White Oak road, which we now bure. This gives us the ground occupied by the enemy this morning. I will send you a rebel flag captured by our troops in driving the enemy back. There have been four Hags captured to-day. ..
Judging by the two points from which General Grant telegraphs, I infer that he moved his head-quarters about one mile since he sent the first of the two dispatches.
On the 1st of April, General Sheridan's plans and the valor of the troops proved successful. The rebels being flanked by the Fifth Corps, which had been placed under his command, and vigorously attacked in front by the cavalry, were thoroughly routed, with a loss of five or six thousand prisoners, besides killed and wounded.
The only dispatch received from the President on this day was one sent before the final success was achieved, which was not till late in the afternoon.
The rebel right wing having been thus crushed, General Grant not only threw his indomitable left forward, but ordered a general attack all along the lines at daylight next morning, which proved everywhere successful.
The following dispatches were sent by the President during the day, and give a succinct account of the battle and its results :
City Point, VIRGINIA, April 2, 1865–8.30 M. Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Last night General Grant telegraphed that General Sheridan, with his cavalry and the Fifth Corps, bad captured three brigades of infantry, a train of wagons, and several batteries; the prisoners amounting to sererul thousand.
This morning General Grant, having ordered an attack along the wholo line, telegraplis as follows:
Both Wright and Parke got through the enemy's lines. The battle now rages furiously. General Sheridan, with his cavalry, the Fifth Corps, and Miles's Division of the Second Corps, which was sent to him this inorning, is now sweeping down from the west.
All now looks highly favorable. General Ord is engaged, but I have not yet hicard the result in his front.
City Point, 11 4. k., April 2. Dispatches are frequently coming in. All is going on finely. Generals Parke, Wright, and Ord's lines are extending from the Appomattox to Hatcher's Run. They have all broken through the enemy's intrenched lines, taking somo forts, guns, and prisoners.
Sheridan, with his own cavalry, the Fifth Corps, and part of the Second, is coming in from the west on the enemy's flank. Wright is already tearing up the Southside Railroad.
Orry Point, VIBGINIA, April 2, 3 P. X At 10.45 a. M. General Graut telegraphs as follows:
Every thing has been carried from the left of the Ninth Corps. The Sixth Corps alone captured more than three thousand prisoners. The Second and Twenty-fourth Corps captured forts, guns, and prisoners from the eneiny, but I cannot tell the numbers. We are now closing around the works of the line immediately enveloping Petersburg. All looks remarkably well. I have not yet heard fronn Sheridan. His head-quarters have been moved up to Banks's House, near the Boydton road, about three miles southwest of Petersburg.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, April 2, 8.30 P. X. At 4.30 P. M. to-day General Grant telegraphs as follows:
We are now up and have a continuous line of troons, and in a few hours will be intrenched from the Appomattox below Petersburg to the river above. The whole capture: since the army started out will not amount to less than twelve thousand inen, and probably fifty pieces of artillery, I do not know the number of men and guns accurately, however. A portion of Foster's Division, Twenty-fourth Corps, made a most gallant charge this afternoon, and captured a very important fort from the enemy, with its entire garrison. All seems well with us, and every thing is quiet just now.
The results of the fighting of this 2d of April were so disastrous to the rebels, that General Lee saw at once that he must evacuate Petersburg, and Richmond also. His dispatch announcing the necessity was handed to Mi. Davis while at church. He immediately left the
church, and, making a hasty preparation for departur, left that night by the Danville Railroad. Richmond and Petersburg were both abandoned during the night. At half-past eight the President sent the following dispatch to Secretary Stanton :
i This morning Lieutenant-General Grant reports Petersburg evacuated, and he is confident that Richmond also is. He is pushing forward to cut off, if possible, the retreating rebel army.
Fifteen minutes before this dispatch was sent, Richmond had been ocrupied by our troops. The second brigade of the Third Division of the Twenty-fourth Army Corps, under Major-General Weitzel, were the first to enter the city. They found that the rebel authorities had not only carried off whatever they could, but had set fire to tobacco warehouses, Government workshops, and other bnildings, till there was great danger that the whole city would be consumed. General Weitzel at once set the men to work to put out the fires, and re-cstablished as much order as was possible.
The President, immediately after sending the above dispatch, went to the front, where all things had changed at once from the terrors of the fierce assault to the exultation of eager pursuit. General Grant's objective in the whole campaign had been, not Richmond, but Lee's army; and for that he pushed forward, regardless of the captured cities which lay behind him, showing himself as relentless in pursuit as he had been undaunted in at. tack.
The President did not, indeed, follow the army in its forced march to cut off Lee's retreat, but he did what. would be almost as incredible, if we did not know how difficult he found it to attribute to others hatred of which he felt no impulse himself-he went to Richmond on the day after it was taken.
Nothing could be more characteristic or more striking than his entrance into the rebel capital. He came up in a man-of-war, about two P. M., to the landing called the
Rocketts, about a mile below the city, and thence, accompanied by his young son and Admiral Porter, came to the city in a boat. His coming was unannounced. No roll of drums or presented arms greeted his approach. He had not even a military guard. The sailors who had rowed him up accompanied him, armed with carbines. He came in no triumphal car, not even on horseback, to' be “the observed of all observers ;" but, like any other citizen, walked up the streets towards General Weitzel's head-quarters, in the house occupied two days before by Jefferson Davis. But the news of his arrival spread as he walked, and from all sides the colored people came running together, with cries of intense exultation, to greet their deliverer. A writer in the Atlantic Monthly, thus, from personal observation, describes the scene :
They gathered round the President, ran ahead, hovered upon the flanks of the little company, and hung like a dark cloud upon the rear. Men, women, and children joined the constantly-increasing throng. They came from all the by-streets, running in breathless haste, shouting and ballooing, and dancing with delight. The men threw up their bats, the women wared their bonnets and handkerchiefs, clapped their hands, and sang, “Glory to God! glory, glory!" rendering all the praise to God, who had heard their wailings in the past, their moanings for wives, husbands, children, and friends sold out of their sight; had given them freedom, and after long years of waiting, had permitted thein thus unexpectodly to behold the face of their great benefactor.
"I thank you, dear Jesus, that I behold President Linkum !" was the exclamation of a woman who stood upon the threshold of her liunuble home, and with streaming eyes and clasped hands gave thanks aloud to the Saviour of men.
Another, more demonstrative in her joy, was jumping and striking her hands with all her might, crying, “Bless de Lord! Bless de Lord ! Bless de Lord!" as if there could be no end to her thanksgiving.
The air rany with a tumultuous chorus of voices. The street became almost impassable on account of the increasing multitude, till soldiers were summoned to clear the way. * * *
The walk was long, and the President halted a moment to rest. “May de good Lord bless you, President Linkuni!” said an old negro, removing his hat and bowing, with tears of jor rolling down his cheeks. The President removed his own hat, and bur d in silence; but it was a bow which upset the forms, laws, customs, and ceremonies of centuries. It was a death-shock to chivalry and a inortal wound to caste. Recognize a
oigger! Faugh! A woman in an adjoining house beheld it, and turned froin the scene in unspeakable disgust.
Arrived at General Weitzel's head-quarters, after a brief interval the President held a short levée, then took a rapid drive about the city, and left on his return at half-past six P. M.
On Thursday he again visited Richmond, accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln, Vice-President Johnson, and spveral Senators and others. He held interviews while here with some of the leading men, who sought to obtain from him something which should make the submission of the South more easy, and should save to the rebel leaders as much as possible of their wealth and power. By them he was urged to issue a conciliatory proclamation. He did, indeed, go so far as to send to General Weitzel the following order, allowing the reassembling of the Virginia Legislature for the purpose stated in the order :
HEAD-QUARTERS ARNIES OP toe UNITED STATES, Į
City Point, April 6, 1865. Major-General WEITZEL, Richmond, Va.:
It has been intimated to me that the gentlemen who have acted as the Legislature of Virginia, in support of the rebellion, may now desire to assemble at Richmond and take measures to withdraw the Virginia troops and othor support from resistance to the General Government. If they attenipt it, give them permission and protection, until, if at all, they attempt some action hostile to the United States, in which case you will notify them, give them reasonable time to leave, and at the end of which time arrest any who remain. Allow Judge Campbell to see this, but do not make it public.
As Lee surrendered the remains of his army to General Grant on Sunday, April 9, that reason no longer existed ; and, on the 12th, General Weitzel received a telegram from the President in Washington to annul the call, as the necessity for it had passed.
The President returned to Washington on April 9th, his return having been hastened somewhat by an accident to Mr. Seward, who had been thrown from his carriage some days previous, and had broken his right arm