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[376] had a large force employed in destroying it by throwing it in the river.

Supplies of value to families were given away to those who applied. By midnight the boats laden with stores were placed under charge of officers and started for their destination, which they never reached. What became of them, I never knew.

About 2 o'clock in the morning General Gorgas, the Chief of Ordnance, came to the arsenal to tell me that he was about to leave with the President for Danville, and to report to him there. I never reported to him till fifteen years later, when I met him at Sewanee, Tenn., the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South.

Every possible effort was made to prevent the destruction of the arsenal.

I, as commanding officer, visited every building between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning of the 3rd of April, had the gas extinguished, and the guards instructed to shoot any man who attempted to fire the buildings.

One hour afterwards (I was then four miles from the city) the rapid and terrible explosion of shells heard in the distance proved that that part of the city occupied by the arsenal was being made desolate by the torch applied by the frantic mob. Shortly after the President left the city the gunboats were blown up.

After witnessing the explosion from the steps of the arsenal, I sent for the keeper of the magazine, and satisfying myself that life would not be endangered by its destruction, wrote an order for him to explode the magazine at 5 in the morning, the last order of the Ordnance Department, and among the last orders of the Confederate Government, given in the city of Richmond.

As I rode out of the city in the early dawn I saw a dense cloud of smoke suddenly ascend with a deafening report, that shook the city to its centre.

Thus ended the surrender of the city of Richmond.

The mob immediately took possession, looted the stores, and fired the city.

A large part of beautiful Richmond was burned to the ground.

The Federal troops marched into the burning city in splendid order, took possession, dispersed the mob, and saved, by their energy and discipline, the city from total destruction.

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