When, on the 5th of May, 1864, the disturbing news was brought to the city of Petersburg
that a formidable army, with General Benjamin F. Butler
as its commander, had landed at City Point
and Bermuda Hundred
, within a few hours' easy march of the town, the greatest consternation prevailed.
The practically defenceless situation of the town, guarded, as it was, by a few hundred regular soldiers, and about the same number of untried and raw militia, was well calculated to excite the worst apprehensions.
The reputation and character of the Federal
general enhanced the universal feeling of alarm.