advised Mr. Davis
of the necessity of abandoning the lines that night, and, having noted Grant
's pause after the capture of Fort Gregg, now, about 3 P. M., he issued the formal orders for the evacuation in time to have the troops begin to move at dark.
My headquarters had been on the Richmond
side for some months, and my duty included the command of Drury's and Chaffin's bluffs, and the defence of the river.
It happened that on April 2, I had prepared several torpedoes to be placed in the river that night, and early in the morning I went down into the swamp and was detained until late in the afternoon, when the orders of evacuation reached me. Part of my command was to cross the river at Drury's Bluff and part at Richmond
After giving necessary instructions, I rode into Richmond
, and took my post at the bridge to see my batteries go by. Many accounts have been given of the scenes in Richmond
that night, and I will not refer to them.
The freight depot of the Danville Road
was close by the bridge, and I walked into it and saw large quantities of provisions and goods which had evidently run the blockade at Wilmington
I treated my horse to an English bridle and a felt saddle-blanket, and I hung to a ring on my saddle a magnificent side of English bacon, which proved a great acquisition during the next few days.
These provisions were intended for Lee
's army, and had been sent to Amelia C. H.
, the train being ordered to come on to Richmond
to take off the personnel and property of the government.
Unfortunately, the officer in charge of it misunderstood his orders and came on without unloading at Amelia
Near my station in the street, a cellar door opened in the sidewalk, and while I waited for my batteries a solitary Irish woman brought many bales of blankets from the freight depot in a wheelbarrow and tumbled them into the cellar.
Many fires were burning in the city, and a canal-boat in flames came floating under the bridge at which I stood.
I could not see by what agency, but it was soon dragged away.
The explosions of our little fleet of gunboats under Admiral Semmes
at Drury's Bluff were plainly heard and the terrific explosion of the arsenal in Richmond
About sunrise, my last battalion passed and I followed, taking a farewell look at the city from the