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[74] of stopping the conflagration and suppressing the mob of Confederate stragglers, released criminals and negroes, who had far advanced in pillaging the city at our arrival.

He had no suggestions to make, no orders to give, except to strain every nerve to save the city, crowded as it was with women and children, and the sick and wounded of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The recent fire in Baltimore will help to give an idea of the formidable task thus given my brigade.

After requesting Major-General Weitzel to have all the other troops marched out of the city and placed in the inner lines of works, and that no permissions should be granted to enter the city, I took the Hon. Joseph Mayo, then mayor of Richmond, with me to the City Hall, where I established my headquarters. With the help of the city officials I distributed my regiments quickly in various sections, and sent some of my staff to inspect the fire department and report upon the help we could expect from it. They reported little aid to be expected here, not, as you say, from lack of men, but because most of the hose had been destroyed or rendered useless. The danger to the troops engaged in this terrific fire-fighting, compared to such a fire as that in Baltimore, was infinitely enhanced by the vast quantities of powder and shells stowed in the section burning. It was like a contest of innumerable artillery, like that which preceded Pickett's memorable assault at Gettysburg, and was awe-inspiring, punctuated by the heavier explosions of the ironclads in the river. Into this sea of fire with no less courage and self-devotion as though fighting for their own firesides and families, stripped and plunged the brave men of the First brigade, with what success the citizens of Richmond have but to look about them to recognize.

Meanwhile, detachments scoured the city, warning every one from the streets to their houses, arresting Confederate stragglers, of whom we had thousands shut up before night, Libby and Castle Thunder being soon crowded with them.

All persons carrying plunder were arrested and the plunderer carried to the City Hall, where the available space was filled with it, an officer taking a careful description of it.

The ladies of Richmond, whose imaginations had for years been highly inflamed by the rather too lurid descripttons of the Richmond press of the barbaric hordes composing the Union armies, expecting a scene of mediaevel rapine, thronged my headquarters,

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