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[565] as a soldier, and his conduct on that retreat, and in the battle of Sailor's Creek, for which he is commended, was only what I anticipated.

Of the forces constituting the defense of Richmond on April 2d, it remains only to account for the naval force in the James. After General Ewell had withdrawn his command, Admiral Semmes embarked the crews of his gunboats on some small steamers, set fire to his war vessels, and proceeded up the river to the landing opposite Richmond. Here he found no land transportation awaiting him, and the last railroad train had left at early dawn. With the energy and capacity so often elsewhere displayed by him, however, on finding the railroad station deserted, he commenced a search for material which, with his steam engineers, he could make available. He states that a few straggling passenger cars lay uncoupled along the track, and that there was also a small engine, but no fire, and no fuel to make one. They coupled the cars together, his marine sappers and miners cut up a fence for steam fuel, and thus he got under way, but the engine proved insufficient to draw the train, and at an up-grade he was brought to a halt immediately after starting. One of his engineers, however, found in the workshops another engine; with the two he was able to proceed, and thus to transport his sailors to Danville, the best mode known to him to execute the order sent to him by the Secretary of the Navy, ‘You will join General Lee in the field with all your forces.’1 When General Longstreet was withdrawn from the north side of the James, Colonel Shipp, commandant of the Virginia Institute, with the battalion of cadets, youths whose gallantry at the battle of New Market has been heretofore noticed, and such convalescents in Richmond as were able to march, moved down to supply the vacancy created by the transfer of Longstreet's force to Petersburg. General Ewell, in command at Richmond, had for its defense the naval force at Drewry's Bluff under Commander Tucker, which was organized as a regiment and armed with muskets. On the north side of the James were General Kershaw's division of Confederate troops and General G. W. C. Lee's division, composed mostly of artillerymen armed as infantry, and the ‘reserves,’ or ‘local troops.’ Cooperating with these was Admiral Semmes's naval force on the James. On the night of April 2d these forces were withdrawn, and took up their line of march to join General Lee's army on its retreat.

In obedience to a law of the Congress, General Ewell had made arrangements to burn the tobacco at Richmond whenever the evacuation of the city should render the burning necessary, to prevent the

1 Memoirs of Service Afloat, Admiral Semmes, pp. 811-815.

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