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[735] and defeated his antagonists, taking 2 guns and 600 prisoners.

Longstreet, who had hitherto held the defenses of Richmond north of the James, had joined Lee at Petersburg at 10 A. M. this day, with Benning's brigade; and A. P. Hill, on Lee's left, now ordered a charge by Heth to regain some of the works carried by Parke in his assault. The attack was so vigorous and persistent that our men holding City Point were ordered up to Parke's support. Heth was repulsed. Hill was shot dead while reconnoitering this day. He was among the ablest of Lee's lieutenants.

Petersburg was still held by the Rebel army; but Lee saw that it could not be held much longer. His heavy losses — by this time exceeding 10,000 men — and the utter demolition of his right, rendered it morally certain that to hold on was to insure the capture or destruction of his army; and well he knew that his veterans were the last hope of the Rebellion. For Grant was now at liberty to throw forward his left to the Appomattox; while it was morally certain that his cavalry would soon clutch the railroad junction at Burkesville, which had now become the jugular vein of the gasping Confederacy. At 10 1/2 A. M., therefore, he telegraphed to Davis in Richmond a dispatch, containing very nearly these words:

My lines are broken in three places. Richmond must be evacuated this evening.

That message found Mr. Davis, at 11 A: M., in church, where it was handed to him, amid an awful hush; and he immediately went quietly, soberly out — never to return as President of the Confederacy. No word was spoken; but the whole assemblage felt that the missive he had so hastily perused bore words of doom. Though. the handwriting was not blazoned on the wall, it needed no Daniel to declare its import.

But no one can duly depict that last afternoon and night of Confederate rule in Richmond but an eyewitness: so let Pollard narrate for us the visible collapse and fall of the Slave Power in its chosen metropolis. After stating how, upon Mr. Davis's withrawal from church, “the rumor was caught up in the streets that Richmond was to be evacuated, and was soon carried to the ends of the city,” he proceeds:

Men, women, and children, rushed from the churches, passing from lip to lip news of the impending fall of Richmond. And yet, it was difficult to believe it. To look up to the calm, beautiful sky of that Spring day, unassailed by one single noise of battle, to watch the streets, unvexed by artillery or troops, stretching away into the quiet, hazy atmosphere, and believe that the capital of the Confederacy, so peaceful, so apparently secure, was in a few hours to be the prey of the enemy, and to be wrapped in the infernal horrors of a conflagration I

It was late in the afternoon when the signs of evacuation became apparent to the incredulous. Wagons on the streets were being hastily loaded at the departments with boxes, trunks, &c., and driven to the Danville depot. Those who had determined to evacuate with the fugitive Government looked on with amazement; then, convinced of the fact, rushed to follow the Government's example. Vehicles suddenly rose to a premium value that was astounding; and ten, fifteen, and even a hundred dollars, in gold or Federal currency, was offered for a conveyance. Suddenly, as if by magic, the streets became filled with men, walking as though for a wager, and behind them excited negroes with trunks, bundles, and luggage of every description. All over the city, it was the same — wagons, trunks, bandboxes, and their owners, a mass of hurrying fugitives, filling the streets. The banks were all open, and depositors were as busy as bees removing their specie deposits; and the directors were equally active in getting off their bullion. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of

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