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[623] This morning General Grant reports Petersburg evacuated, and he is confident Richmond also is. He is pushing forward to cut off, if possible, the retreating army. A. Lincoln. Later.—It appears by the despatch of General Weitzell, just received by the Department, that our forces under his command are in Richmond, having taken it at 8.35 this morning.

Immediately upon the receipt of this important and gratifying information, the Governor telegraphed to Mr. Stanton:—

I give you joy on these triumphant victories. Our people, by a common impulse, abandoned business to-day, for thanksgiving and rejoicing. The colored man received last got in first, and thus is the Scripture fulfilled.

The last sentence in the Governor's telegram refers to the colored division in Weitzel's corps, which was said to be the first infantry to enter Richmond.

The information of the fall of Richmond, the advance of the Union army, and the retreat of Lee, was everywhere received with the wildest demonstrations of delight, but nowhere more than in the city of Boston. State Street and the Merchants' Exchange were thronged with excited people. The newspaper offices were crowded, and the bulletin boards on which was written ‘Richmond occupied by the Union forces,’ were looked at and read a hundred times by the same person. After the excitement in a degree had subsided, a meeting was organized in the Merchants' Exchange; and Rev. Mr. Hepworth, who happened to be present, was called upon to offer a prayer. The crowd reverently bowed their heads, and listened to the outpourings of gratitude and thanksgiving for the signal victory that had crowned our arms. At the conclusion of the prayer all joined in singing ‘America.’ At noon, Gilmore's Band was stationed in front of the Exchange building, and played a number of popular airs. The crowd was immense, and swayed to and fro like the waters of the ocean; and the cheers given were like its roar. Never have we seen a sight like that; business, private and public griefs, all were forgotten, and absorbed in the general rejoicing. Shortly after one o'clock, all the bells in the city were rung, and a salute was fired, by order of the Governor, on the Common. In the afternoon, the occupants of Faneuil Hall

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Edwin M. Stanton (2)
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