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peacefully waved. He walked as one in a dream. Richmond, so long and so painfully the object of Union hopes and desires, was in the hands of the United States, its Congress and bureaus dispersed, and the members of its exploded government fugitives.
Multitudes of colored people, apparently the only persons left in the city flocked around the Liberator. They rent the air with their frenzied shouts. They danced, they sang, they prayed for blessings on the head of their deliverer; they wept, kneeling at his feet. In that supreme moment Lincoln was speechless. He wore no look of triumph over a fallen foe, evidences of whose poverty and great trial were thick about him. The tears streamed down his cheeks, furrowed with many cares, and, simply bowing his thanks, or raising his hat to the jubilant and almost hysterical crowds of freed person", he passed on to the interior of the city. The statesman reared by God's wonderful providence and disciplined in the rough school of adversity, with the memories of his hard struggle in life still upon him, was in the last stronghold of the broken slave power. His lifework was done.
Meanwhile, Grant and Sheridan were drawing their lines more closely about the Rebel army under Lee, who, like a hunted fox, vainly turned this way and that to escape the net in which he was enveloped. Grant tarried at Petersburg long enough to meet the President, who pressed on to see him for a moment. The two men met. Lincoln seized Grant by the hands, and poured forth his thanks and congratulations with a glowing radiance on his counte
nance. Lincoln had hardly expected that the end would have come so suddenly, and that the “one more bloody battle" could have been thus mercifully averted. He had thought that it would be necessary to bring up Sherman's army, now operating to the southward, before the final surrender of Lee's army could be made certain and Richmond captured. But the collapse of the Confederacy had come without much bloodshed at the last.
Leaving the President, who returned to Washington, Grant hurried on westward, following the leading columns of infantry, and on the 7th of April, 1865, from the little village of Farmville, Virginia, he opened with General Lee the correspondence that resulted in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, April 9th, in the village of Appomattox Court-House, Virginia. The two great and famous generals met face to face. There were no impressive doings at the surrender. The terms were unconditional. The number of men surrendered was over 28,000; and as they were in sore need of food, General Grant ordered that they be supplied at once with rations from the Union army commissariat. It was now the opening of the agricultural year, and many of the Rebel scldiers were in haste to go home and prepare the ground for seeding, so soon did the pursuits of peace follow in the trail of war. Grant permitted them to take with them their own horses to work in the long-neglected fields. The Rebellion
The North was delirious with joy. First came the news of the capture of Petersburg, announced in a
despatch from President Lincoln to the War Department, and received in Washington about 10 o'clock in the morning of the 3d of April. Three quarters of an hour later, a despatch from General Weitzel told the glad tidings of the fall of Richmond. Although Lee had not been overtaken, these despatches were sufficient to set the people wild. The end of the rebellion was at hand. Davis a fugitive, men recognized Lee as the real head of the Rebellion, but did not wait to hear of his surrender. The national capital was in a tumult of excitement and triumph. Thence the wave spread all over the country; the news penetrated remote villages and hamlets in an incredibly short space of time. Flags were spread to the breeze. Guns were fired, and bands, processions, and every outward form of jubilation were used to express the joy of the people. The prevailing feeling was not one of victory over a fallen foe, but of relief that the war was over. No more fighting; no more dying on fields of battle; no more enlistments and drafts; no more anxious measures for the maintenance of the Union. The war was over. This was the burden of the song that flowed from the hearts of millions of men and women, relieved at last from an intolerable trial of patience.
In Washington the rejoicings took the form of a national celebration; the public departments were closed as for a holiday. Flags flew from all the government buildings, and the War Department ordered a salute of eight hundred guns, five hundred for Richmond and three hundred for Petersburg. Bands paraded the streets, and the members of the
Cabinet, in the absence of the President, were called out to address the excited crowds. Congress had adjourned, but the city was full of Congressmen; and multitudes of men, bent on seeing the end of the Rebellion, as it was celebrated in the capital of the nation, had gone thither. The cheering and the congratulations lasted far into the night. The city was given up to a mighty impromptu festivity. On the following day these demonstrations were renewed, and on the night of the 4th of April the city was illuminated. Public and private buildings were a blaze of light, and bonfires, fireworks, and every possible contrivance for the making of light and noise were resorted to by the happy people.
Late in the night of April 9th, Palm Sunday, the news of the surrender of Lee reached Washington and was communicated to Lincoln, who had returned and was waiting for it. Early on the following morning Washington was startled from its slumbers by the boom of cannon announcing the great news. Once more the capital went wild with joy. The city took a general holiday. Once more the air resounded with the boom of cannon and the blare of martial music. Government clerks assembled in the great rotunda of the Treasury building and sang “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” A great throng of excited citizens, dragging howitzers, poured into the grounds of the White House, rending the air with the explosion of gunpowder and lusty cheering. Lincoln, radiant with happiness, appeared at the historic window under the great porch, and bowed and smiled his thanks. The crowd would not depart
without a speech, for which they loudly called. At sight of the well-beloved face, the throng broke into promiscuous cries, blessing the name of Lincoln, shouting all manner of joyous recognition of his services, and uttering wild and whirling words of love. Men threw up their hats, embraced each other, and stretched forth their hands in passionate adoration of the savior and liberator of his country.
When order was restored and, at a motion from Lincoln's hand, a breathless silence fell on the crowd, he brushed the tears from his face, and briefly congratulated the people on the grand result that had called out such unrestrained enthusiasm. “But,” he said, “I understand there is to be a more elaborate celebration of this momentous event later on, and I shall have nothing to say then if it is all dribbled out of me now.” This homely saying pleased the people, who laughed good-humoredly and listened to the few words with which Lincoln concluded, calling for the “captured tune of Dixie,” which, he said, was ours by the laws of war. Then the President, waving his hand, proposed three cheers for General Grant and the officers and men under him; then three more for the officers and men of the navy. These were given with a will, and the crowd reluctantly dispersed.
On the evening of the 11th of April, Washington was illuminated by the Government, and again every possible token of national rejoicing was put into requisition. This was the formal celebration that Lincoln had alluded to and for which he was prepared. Coming into the drawing-room that night, after a