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[213] the military, where he was detained until the reply was ready. In the mean time his communication was conveyed to Gen. Longstreet, whose troops were encamped a short distance outside of the city. The following is the reply of the Mayor:

Mayor's office, Fredericksburgh, November 21, 1862.
Brevet Major-General E. V. Sumner, Commanding U. S.A.
sir: I have received at twenty minutes before five o'clock this afternoon, your communication of this date, in which you state that under cover of the houses of this town, shots have been fired upon the troops of your command; that our mills and manufactories are furnishing provisions and the materials for clothing for armed bodies in rebellion against the Government of the United States ; that our railroads and other means of transportation are removing supplies to the depots of such troops; that this condition of things must terminate; that by command of Major-Gen. Burnside, you demand the surrender of this town into your hands as the representative of the Government of the United States, at or before five o'clock this afternoon; that failing an affirmative reply to this demand by the time indicated, sixteen hours will be permitted to elapse for the removal from the town of women and children, the sick and wounded, and aged, which period having elapsed, you will proceed to shell the town.

In reply, I have to say, that this communication did not reach me in time to convene the council for its consideration and furnish a reply by the hour indicated, five P. M. It was sent to me through the hands of tile commanding officer of the army of the confederate States, near this town, to whom it was first delivered by consent of Gen. Patrick, who brought it from you, as I am informed, and I am authorized by the commander of the confederate army to say that there was no delay in passing it through his hands to me.

In regard to the matter complained of by you, the firing of shots upon your troops occurred upon tile northern suburbs of the town. and was the act of tile military officer commanding the confederate forces near here, for which matter neither the citizens nor the civil authorities of this town are responsible. In regard to the other matters of complaint, I am authorized by the latter officer to state that the condition of things therein complained of shall no longer exist; that your troops shall not be fired on from this town; that the mills and manufactories here will not furnish any further supplies, provisions, or material for clothing for the confederate troops ; nor will the railroads or other means of transportation here convey supplies from the town to the depot of said troops outside of the town. The civil authorities of Fredericksburgh have no control; but I am assured by the military authorities of the confederate army near here that nothing will be done by them to infringe the conditions herein named as to matters within the town; but the latter authorities inform us that while their troops will not occupy the town, they will not permit yourself to do so.

You must be aware that there will not be more than three or four hours of daylight within the sixteen hours given by you for the removal of the sick and wounded, the women and children, and the aged and infirm from this place; and I have to inform you that while there is no railroad transportation accessible to the town, because of the interruption thereof by your batteries, all other means of transportation within the town are so limited as to render the removal of the classes of persons spoken of within the time indicated an utter impossibility. I have convened the council, which will remain in session awaiting any further communication you may have to make.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The following are the concluding letters of the correspondence between Gen. Sumner and the authorities of Fredericksburgh, which show why the threat to shell the city was not executed. The following is Gen. Sumner's reply to the Mayor's letter refusing to surrender the town:

headquarters right Grand division, camp near Falmouth, November 21, 1862.
To the Mayor and Common Council, Fredericksburgh, Va.:
Your letter of this afternoon is at hand, and in consideration of your pledge that the acts complained of shall cease, and that your town shall not be occupied by any of the enemy's forces, and your assertions that a lack of transportation renders it impossible to move the women, children, sick, wounded and aged, I am authorized to say to you that our batteries will not open upon the town at the hour designated.

Gen. Patrick will meet a committee of representatives from your town to-morrow morning at nine o'clock, at the Lacey House.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. V. Sumner, Brevet Major-Gen. Commanding Division.

An interview having thus been invited at nine A. M., Mayor Slaughter, Dr. J. G. Wallace, J. L. Marye, Jr., W. A. Little, and W. S. Scott, on the part of the citizens, and Gen. Kershaw on behalf of the military, proceeded at the hour named, to the opposite shore, but were not received, as the following note will explain. It will also be seen that an apology was made for firing on the train which left, carrying out the departing citizens.

headquarters right Grand division, near Falmouth, Va., Nov. 22, 1862.
To the Mayor of Fredericksburgh, Va.:
The invitation given you in my letter of last night was in these words:

Gen. Patrick will meet a committee or representatives from your town to-morrow morning, at nine o'clock, at the Lacey House.

The invitation was intended only for the civil anthoritics at Fredericksburgh, but I have no objection to the committee being accompanied by one or two military persons. If you wish to



1 See page 19 Docs. ante.

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