every grade and hue set fire to the workshops and made their escape, and donning garments wherever they could steal them, in exchange for their prison livery, roamed over the streets without let or hindrance.
all night was ruled by the mob. The fumes of the whiskey in the gutters filled and impregnated the air. The crowd surged from street to street and store to store, breaking open and robbing houses and shops, and sometimes setting them on fire.
No one opposed, for every one believed that the city would be sacked in the morning.
The last train left for Danville
after dark, and there was then no further egress.
Some of the soldiers had left the ranks when Ewell
withdrew, and these now added to the confusion, and the shouts of the plunderers, the yells of the drunken, the cries of the timid, were heard on every side.
The patrols could not be found; the militia had slipped by their officers; and the mean-visaged crowds that in time of great public misfortune emerge from their dens were all abroad.
The smoke and glare of the fire filled the streets; the flames reached to whole blocks of buildings, and before daylight one-third of Richmond
The engine hose was cut.
At intervals came the terrible shocks caused by the explosion of the rams and gun-boats on the James
, which were destroyed by order of Semmes
, and the arsenal and laboratory, full of shells, were also fired.
The portion of the respectable population unable to get away remained in such of their houses as were not afire, collecting and secreting valuables, burying money and plate, or parting with those