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AT SIX O'CLOCK, Our triumph was complete---our prisoners almost like the sands on the sea-shore. We were burdened with them, and obliged to call the marines and sailors from PORTER'S fleet to help guard them. The day's work was over.
Generals GRANT and MEADE established headquarters for the night on the Boydton road, three miles west of Petersburg, and our forces were poured over the Appomattox above the city. Petersburg was of no use, and GRANT was pursuing LEE with the wrath of an avenging angel.
TRANSACTIONS ON THE JAMES RIVER.
The picket boat of PORTER'8 fleet the night of the 2d of April, was the Commodore Perry, lying immediately under Howlett House. The rebel rams Virginia and Rappahannock had been for a long time lying in the river some distance above Howlett House, but in plain sight.
At three o'clock in the morning, the watch on board the Perry saw a dark object iloating by. It was grappled, and proved to be the raft used by the Rebels to moor alongside their vessels when in need of repairs. It had all the tools on board. Here the scene shifts to Richmond. Here was the first positive sign of intended evacuation. An hour later and the earth was shook as by a volcanic eruption. At City Point the terrible concussion shook the frail buildings in every timber, and awakened every weary sleeper. The sight as viewed from the deck of the Perry, and from the ramparts of Fort HARRISON, on WEITZEL's lines, was grand in the extreme. A deafening, crashing roar, a thousand hissing, glowing masses of fiery matter, suspended for an instant in mid-air, then falling with a heavy sound and mighty splash into the vexed river. Thus one of the rebel rams passed from existence. A few minutes later and the scene was repeated, and the
other ram followed its mate. The slighter explosions and great conflagrations, further up the river at the same time, were the destruction of the rebel wooden fleet.
Around our lines from Hatcher's Run to Petersburg, in the changing, shifting scenes of Sunday up the James, the story is complete; but to the full recital of the glories of the day there yet remains WEITZEL's lines on
THE NORTH SIDE OF THE JAMES To chronicle. When General ORD withdrew to the lines investing Petersburg he brought with him exactly onehalf of his army, being TURNER's and FOSTER's Divisions, of the Twenty-fourth Corps, and BIRNEY's Division of the Twenty-fifth (colored) Corps. On the north side, occupying his entire line, he left WEITZEL, with KAUTZ's Division of the Twenty-fourth Corps, and ASBORNE's and THOMAS' Divisions, of the Twenty-fifth Corps.
Sunday, while the greatest scenes of history were enacting around Petersburg, WEITZEL's entire line was perfectly quiet, not a shot anywhere. The enemy made a great show; every man on the line doubtless had orders to make himself appear as much as possible like six. WEITZEL'S command certainly had such orders; both sides were playing the same game, and one was probably as little deceived as the other. When night came on the rebel bands played vociferously and persistently in various parts of their lines : probably half the bands in the rebel camps had been called into requisition in the game of attempted deception. WEITZEL followed the example set him : he set all his bands at work upon our National airs, and the night was filled with melodious strains, conflicting somewhat, however, in their political significance.
Toward midnight, however, this musical contest ceased, and silence, complete and absolute, brooded over the con
tending lines. At the hour specified the camps were startled into life again by the explosions already detailed. To WEITZEL's clear brain the full meaning of the event came bome at once, and he did not need the confirmatory lurid light he saw hanging over the rebel capital to tell him that the hour had almost come. His orders were to push on whenever satisfied of his ability to enter the city, and summoning what patience he could he waited the short interval until daylight, when he sent out the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry to reconnoitre. Its report soon came inno enemy to be found; his camps deserted of wbatever force had been there. The way to Richmond was open. Southwest of Petersburg had been found the key that had unlocked its stubborn gates, and WEITZEL was instantly on the road. Let his own despatch tell the story.
“City Point, Va., April 3, 11 A. M. “General Weitzel telegraphs as follows :
“ We took Richmond at 8.15 this morning. I captured mony guns. The enemy left in great haste.
“The city is on fire in one place. We are making every effort to put it out.
“The people received us with enthusiastic expressions of joy.
« General Grant started early this morning, with the army, towards the Danville road, to cut off Lee's retreating army, if possible.
President Lincoln has gone to the front. “ (Signed) “ T. S. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
“E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.” And so Richmond fell! Richmond, the capital of the so-called Confederacy; the city which for four years baffled all efforts for its reduction. Thanks to the genius of GRANT and a favoring Providence the Rebellion was now in the last throes of dissolution. Right and justice were again vindicated, and the long; weary and bloody war for the Union, the Constitution and the perpetuity of American Liberty was rapidly drawing to a close. The chief of the Rebellion was a fugitive, bis main army was
broken and flying, and there remained now no hope in his mind, or those of his followers, that the Union could ever be overthrown, and a Southern Confederacy established.
THE PURSUIT OF GENERAL LEE. With the energy which characterizes General GRANT, was the pursuit of LEE's flying and shattered columns maintained. On the 4th of April he telegraphed as follows to Secretary STANTON :
“Wilson's Station, Va., April 4th, 1865. “ Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:-The army is pushing forward in the hope of overtaking or dispersing the remainder of LEE's army.
“SHERIDAN, with his cavalry and the Fifth Corps, is between this and the Appomattox. General MEADE, with the Second and Sixth, following. General Ord following the line of the South Side railroad. All of the enemy that retains anything like organization have gone north of the Appomattox, and are apparently heading for Lynchburg, their losses having been very
The houses through the country are nearly all used as hospitals for wounded men. In every direction I hear of Rebel soldiers pushing for home, some in large and some in small squads, and generally without arms. The cavalry have pursued so closely that the enemy have been forced to destroy probably the greater part of their transportation, caissons, and munitions of war.
“ The number of prisoners captured yesterday will exceed two thousand. From the 28th of March to the present time, our loss in killed, wounded, and captured will probably not reach seven thousand, of whom from fifteen hundred to two thousand are captured, and many but slightly wounded. “I shall continue the pursuit as long as there appears to be
“U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.”
any use in it.
LEE had been defeated, and General GRANT was determined that he should have no opportunity to recover himself, and on the morning of the 3d of April, while the right of our line was pressing across the works at Petersburg, to find the city evacuated, the Fifth Corps and the cavalry, on the left, started out to intercept the retreat of Lee.
CUSTER's Third Division was in the cavalry advance, with WELLS's Second Brigade leading. Camp was broken about three miles east of Namozine Creek, and the route lay towards the creek along the Namozine road. At the creek the enemy's rearguard was found strongly entrenched behind earthworks, covering the crossing, the bridge being destroyed, and trees felled across the road leading down to it. Four guns, two ammunition wagons, and two ambulances were found abandoned on this side of the creek, bid in the woods. A section of artillery was instantly opened against the works, while the cavalry easily forded the stream above and flanked them. A short skirmish ensued, and the enemy was driven off, and the obstructions removed. The road beyond was filled with felled trees and piled-up rails, and with emptied caissons surrounded by fire, the latter designed to explode, and so delay our pursuit. The retreat of the enemy was evidently of that sort which follows a rout-the path being strewn with wagons, ambulances, dead and wounded horses and mules, caissons, boxes of ammunition thrown out to lighten the load, mess utensils, arms, accoutrements, blankets, clothing, loose cartridges, and similar wrecks. Several miles of rapid riding brought the column to Namozine Church, at the intersection of two roads, the left leading direct to Lynchburg, the one to the right of the church to Bevil's bridge, across the Appomattox, on to Amelia Court House.
WELLS passed the church to the left, and soon came up with a part of BARRENGER'S cavalry brigade. The latter were pretty well exhausted with their hopeless task, but turned and fired on our advance, the Eighth New York. That regiment, however, charged without a pause in the pace, and dispersed the rearguard, and, the rest of WELLS's Brigade and PENNINGTON's Brigade coming up, prisoners, horses, and arms were captured in abundance, and the