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[328] General, accompanied by a company of horse and other officials, made their appearance. After the usual salutations, General Wool, his legal adviser, and the Norfolk officials entered a small wooden house, still standing on the northern side of the avenue just beyond the bridge. The terms of surrender drawn up by the City Council, which, in brief, were a surrender of all public property, with an assurance that persons and private property should be respected and protected by the Federal officials, were now submitted to General Wool. When this was done, the legal adviser essayed to speak, when General Wool waved his hand and stopped him. He then accepted the proposed terms, and with some of his officers entered the carriages with the Norfolk deputation, and rode down to the City Hall to confer with the Council. During the passage of the city and Federal officials through the city, the hypocritical demonstration of a few low whites and the wild, unbridled exultation of the negroes were indescribable.

During the administration of General Wool, a noble old army officer and a gentleman, the terms of the surrender were respected, and persons and property were rigidly protected. Remaining but a short time, he left General Veille in command, whose department was soon placed under the supervision of General Ben. Butler. From this time onward private houses were searched, valuable private property seized, boxed up and shipped North. While now and then a considerate and unselfish officer would hold the reins of government, frequently the controlling power was in the hands of a cruel, niggardly despot, who not only annoyed, irritated and harrassed the people beyond measure, but often as many as three Federal soldiers were seen at a time suspended by their thumbs, so as barely to touch the head of the barrel on which they were presumed to stand with their toes, and being kept in this position bareheaded for hours in the greatest agony.

To submit quietly to the authority of such a man, and bear with patience the petty annoyances to which they were constantly and unreasonably subjected, was truly annoying to every Virginian freeman. But when General Butler sent over negro troops who took possession of the sidewalks and rudely thrust both ladies and gentlemen from their way, the feeling of indignation and irritation was almost unbearable. It was during the first of these parades of negro troops on the sidewalk that the following memorable scene occurred:

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