The last of the Rebel
soldiers had departed, or were just going.
. A. H. Stevens
, 4th Mass., and E. Graves
, of Weitzel
's staff, had already hoisted two cavalry guidons over the imposing Capitol
, wherein the Confederate Congress had, since July, 1861, held its sittings; but these, being scarcely visible from beneath, were now supplanted by a real American flag, formerly belonging to the 12th Maine, which had floated over the St. Charles
, at New Orleans, when that hotel was Gen. Butler
had long since expressed a hope that it might yet wave over Richmond
; whereupon, Lt. Depeyster
had asked and obtained permission to raise it there, should opportunity be afforded; and now, having brought it hither on purpose, it was run up on a flag-staff rising from the Capitol
, and saluted with enthusiastic huzzas from the excited thousands below.
had left at 10 P. M. of Sunday.
Nearly all the Rebel
officials, including their members of Congress, had also taken their leave; as had William Smith
, Rebel Governor of Virginia
, and most of his satellites.
There was no shadow of resistance offered to our occupation; and there is no room for doubt that a large majority of all who remained in Richmond
heartily welcomed our army as deliverers.
Probably some cheered and shouted who would have done it with more heart and a better grace if our soldiers had been brought in as prisoners of war.
The city was of course placed under military rule: Gen. G. F. Shepley
being appointed Governor; Lt.-Col. Manning
The fire was extinguished so soon as possible; but not till it had burned out the very heart of Richmond
, including its great warehouses, the post-office, the treasury, the principal banks, newspaper offices, &c. The losses of private property by the conflagration must have amounted to many millions of dollars, since a full third of the city was destroyed.
Libby prison, Castle Thunder, and the Tredegar Iron-works, were unharmed.
Though most of the Confederate
stores had been burned, the spoils were considerable.
They included 1,000 prisoners, beside 5,000 sick and wounded left in the hospitals, over 500 guns, at least 5,000 small arms, 30 locomotives, 300 cars, &c., &c. Lack of time or of fuel doubtless prevented the loading of these cars with munitions and provisions, and taking them along with the fugitive host.
Before noon of that day, the news of Richmond
's fall had been flashed across the loyal States, and it was soon confirmed by telegrams from President Lincoln
, then at City Point
, and from the Secretary of War
At once, all public offices were closed, all business suspended by that great majority who profoundly rejoiced in the National
triumph, so long, so anxiously awaited — which had seemed so often just at hand, and the next moment farther off than ever — so intensely longed for by the Millions' who had for years been constrained to endure the taunts of Northern sympathizers with the Rebels
, and “the heart-sickness of hope deferred.”
These instantly and undoubtingly comprehended that the fall of Richmond
was a death-blow to the Rebellion
, and rejoiced over it accordingly.
In New York, an impromptu