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[70] that the military authorities were engaged in the destruction (by burning) of tobacco and other articles within the city limits in the early hours of that day being the basis of this assurance.

A special meeting of the Common Council was convened, and, after consultation, it was determined that the best and, indeed, the only thing that could be done was to appoint a committee to be charged with the duty of waiting on General Lee, in person, and ascertaining whether or not his purpose was to evacuate the city, and a committee was accordingly appointed, charged with this duty. The committee was further deputed, in the event of the evacuation of the city, to ask the protection of our people at the hands of the Federal army. The resolution adopted by the Council was offered by Mr. D'Arcy Paul, and, as shown by the records of the Council, was as follows:

Resolved, That a committee, consisting of the Mayor and two members, be appointed to wait on General Lee and request that he inform said committee, at such time as he may deem necessary, whether he contemplates evacuating the city; and that, if an evacution is contemplated, said committee be instructed to surrender the city to the commander of the Federal army, and request protection of the citizens and their property.’

Zzzgeneral Lee reticent.

The committee, which consisted of the Mayor (Hon. W. W. Townes), James Boisseau (as well as I can remember), and myself—the records of the Council do not show who the committee were—waited on General Lee at his headquarters at the Dupuy House (now the suburban residence of John McGill, Esq., of this city), situated about a mile west of the city, on the Dupuy road, in the county of Dinwiddie. General Lee was not at his headquarters when the committee arrived, but rode up a short time thereafter, and promptly gave audience to the committee. Our mission was made known. The General was apparently calm and collected, but very reticent, only replying to the committee that he would communicate with us at the residence of Mr. Paul, in the city of Petersburg, that (Sunday) night at 10 o'clock. This place was suggested as Major Giles B. Cook, who was a member of General Lee's staff, was a kinsman or connection of Mr. Paul, and a frequent visitor at his house.

The sadness and solemnity of that Sabbath day can never be forgotten. The hours passed slowly, but night finally came. The hour


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