paper money was destroyed, both State and Confederate. Night came; and with it came confusion worse confounded. There was no sleep for human eyes in Richmond that night. The City Council had met in the evening, and resolved to destroy all the liquor in the city, to avoid the disorder consequent on the temptation to drink at such a time. About the hour of midnight, the work commenced, under the direction of committees of citizens in all the wards. Hundreds of barrels of liquor were rolled into the street, and the heads knocked in. The gutters ran with a liquor freshet, and the fumes filled and impregnated the air. Fine cases of bottled liquors were tossed into the street from third-story windows, and wrecked into a thousand pieces. As the work progressed, some straggling soldiers, retreating through the city, managed to get hold of a quantity of the liquor. From that moment, law and order ceased to exist. Many of the stores were pillaged; and the side-walks were encumbered with broken glass, where the thieves had smashed the windows in their reckless haste to lay hands on the plunder within. The air was filled with wild cries of distress, or the yells of roving pillagers. But a more terrible element was to appear upon the scene. An order had been issued from Gen. Ewell's headquarters to fire the four principal tobacco warehouses of the city-namely, the public warehouse, situated at the head of the basin, near the Petersburg railroad depot; Shockoe ware-house, situated near the center of the city, side by side with the Gallego flour-mills; Mayo's warehouse, and Dibrell's warehouse, on Cary-st., a square below Libby prison. Late in the night, Mayor Mayo had dispatched, by a committee of citizens, a remonstrance against this reckless military order, which plainly put in jeopardy the whole business portion of Richmond. It was not heeded. Nothing was left for the citizens but to submit to the destruction of their property. The warehouses were fired. The rams in the James river were blown up. The Richmond, Virginia, and another one, were all blown to the four winds of heaven. The Patrick Henry, a receivingship, was scuttled. Such shipping, very little in amount, as was lying at the Richmond wharves, was also fired, save the flag-of-truce steamer Allison. The bridges leading out of the city — namely, the Danville railroad bridge, the Petersburg railroad bridge, Mayo's bridge, leading to Manchester and the opposite side of the James were also fired, and were soon wrapped in flames. Morning broke upon a scene such as those who witnessed it can never forget. The roar of an immense conflagration sounded in their ears; tongues of flame leaped from street to street; and in this baleful glare were to be seen, as of demons, the figures of busy plunderers, moving, pushing, rioting, through the black smoke and into the open street, bearing away every conceivable sort of plunder. The scene at the commissary depot, at the head of the dock, beggared description. Hundreds of government wagons were loaded with bacon, flour, and whisky, and driven off in hot haste to join the retreating army. Thronging about the depot were hundreds of men, women, and children, black and white, provided with capacious bags, baskets, tubs, buckets, tin pans, and aprons; cursing, pushing, and crowding; awaiting the throwing open of the doors, and the order for each to help himself. About sunrise, the doors were opened to the populace; and a rush that almost seemed to carry the building off its foundation was made, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of bacon, flour, &c., were soon swept away by a clamorous crowd.Our lines opposite Richmond — that is, north of the James — had been held, since Ord's withdrawal south-ward, by Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, with Kautz's division of the 24th, and Ashborne's and Thomas's divisions of the 25th corps, under instructions from Grant to make the utmost show of strength and purpose to assault, so as to keep the enemy here in force, while the bulk of our army should be flanking and fighting him out of Petersburg. These instructions had been faithfully, efficiently obeyed; though Longstreet, confronting Weitzel, had at length suspected the true character of Grant's strategy, and had himself, with a part of his force, moved southward to the help of Lee at Petersburg. Weitzel, however, persisted in speaking daggers, but using none; and, throughout the memorable Sunday evening of the Rebel Hegira, though his guns were silent, his bands were vocal far into the night, treating our friends behind the opposite intrenchments with variations
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