gathering of many thousands immediately filled Wall-street
, and listened, with cheers and thanks-giving, to dispatches, addresses, &c.; while the bells of Trinity
and St. Paul
's chimed melodiously with the general joy and praise.
So in Washington
and other great cities, the popular feeling of relief and gratitude found many modes of expression, wherein the readers of next day's journals will detect no unmanly exultation over the fallen, and scarcely a word bespeaking wrath or bitterness, or demanding vengeful inflictions on those whose unhallowed ambition had so long divided, so widely devastated, and so nearly destroyed, the Republic
That joyful Monday was the Annual Election
--a State so closely contested barely five months before — but now every county went Republican by an aggregate majority of over 10,0001
--the victorious host, for the first time in many years, choosing a Representative in Congress from each of the four districts, and making a pretty clean sweep locally and generally.
A leading Democratic journal accounted for its party's over-whelming defeat by the fact that the votes were cast while guns were thundering, bands playing, and excited crowds shouting themselves hoarse, over the fall of Richmond
was of course evacuated simultaneously with Richmond
; and so noiselessly that our pickets, scarcely a stone's throw from the abandoned lines, knew not that the enemy were moving till morning showed that they were gone — no explosions and no conflagration having here marked the flight of the Rebels
; who were miles away when our troops, at daybreak, proudly marched unopposed into the city for which they had so long struggled, and which, although surrendered by its civil authorities, gave but a sullen welcome to its new masters.
The hearty responses to the enthusiastic cheers of the victors issued from Black throats alone.
Hours ere this, the Rebel
government, with its belongings, had passed down the railroad several miles north of Petersburg
, where it halted, and whither Lee
hoped to follow it with the remnant of his army; thence forming a junction with Johnston
, and thus collecting a force which, if too weak to protract the contest, would at least be strong enough to command favorable terms.
But now the purpose and value of Grant
's tenacious, persistent extensions of his left became palpable to the most obstinate of the multitudinous decriers of his military capacity.
To have beaten Lee
by a fair front attack would have thrown him back possibly to Lynchburg
: beating him by turning and crushing his right might prove his utter destruction.
For, now that his shattered array could no longer cling to its formidable intrenchments around Richmond
, and must retreat hurriedly westward or south-ward, the position of the 5th (Griffin
's) corps at Sutherland
's, 10 miles west of Petersburg
, with Sheridan
's cavalry at Ford
's, 10 miles farther west, barring his way up the south bank of the Appomattox
, with nearly all the residue of Grant
's forces but Weitzel
's command south or south-west