The advance of the enemy upon Fredericksburg.
[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Fredericksburg, April 21, 1862.
A statement appears in the Richmond Dispatch, of the 21st inst., purporting to give an account of the facts attending the advance of the Federal
troops upon Fredericksburg
, which bour in grave errors, some of which de a speedy and authentic correction.
I have therefore determined to place the facts disposed, and leave my name as for this narrative.
The article in the affirms, first, that the ‘"civil authorities"’ of Fredericksburg
were unwilling that Confederate troops should make resistance the advance of the Yankees
Secondly, the said authorities prepared terms of surrender" and sent them under a flag of by a committee, of whom ‘"Pelag Clark
, Northern man by birth, was chairman."’
Now, each of these statements iserroneouns, will appear from the following narrative.
The report of the advance of the Federal
Thursday afternoon; as late as midnight Thursday night, Field, who was in command of the Confederate
troops, assured citizens that the not believe, from the reports brought in his pickets, that the Yankee
force was sufficient to threaten an attack which involved occupation of the town.
The citizens and the civil authorities" reated, therefore, hope on the relief that General Field
a troops and save the town from Yankee
This hope was sadly cursed, for on Friday morning it was discovered by the citizens that the bridges across the river were in names, and that the Confederate
troop were first acting from Falmouth
and making their way through Fredericksburg
into the country back of it. I have no to criticizes our General or his troops, it is due to the citizens and ‘"civil authorities"’ to say, that they were solely distressed when they found that the Yankees
were not and beaten back was this lessened when they found that the Yankee
force consisted of a single brigaded.
For it was not until 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon that an accession of force was added to the brigade, before which our troops retired.
may appear that our officers did not know that the Yankee
force was so small, or that they were erroneously informed as to its strength.
By nine o'clock on Friday morning the Yankees
had planted their cannon so as to command the town, and a regiment of their cavalry appeared near the river, which was Torrance
at several points, not much over knee deep Gen. Field
's entire force had evacuated the town, and Fredericksburg
lay at the feet of the Yankees
The common Council was convened by the Mayor
, and assembled in the presence of a few citizens who were invited to and their deliberations.
This body determined, first, to send no message to the Yankee General
until a communication was received from him; secondly, that so soon as the Yankee
officer sent a communication, that a response should be made, which response I now copy and send you for publication.
Whether this response is worthy of the fair fame and patriotic spirit of the ‘"Old Burg,"’ I leave to Southern criticism to determine.
A committee, consisting of the Mayor
, two Councilmen, and three citizens, all to the manor born, good men and true, were delegated to deliver this response.
About 4 o'clock Friday afternoon a white flag was waved from the Yankee
lines across the river, and the signal was answered.
A Federal officer came across the river, and handed to the committee (who had repaired to the river to await his arrival) a written request from Brigadier General Auger
that he might have an interview with the civil authorities of Fredericksburg
An arrangement was made by which the committee were invited to see General Auger
at his headquarters, near Falmouth
, on Saturday morning. The committee went Saturday morning and had an interview with this General, and delivered the response.
, after stating that he was but a brigade commander, and that General McDowell
would arrive ‘"in a day or two,"’ with whom definite arrangements must be made, still assured the committee that whenever the Federal
forces occupied the town all measure to secure protection to persons and property, as demanded by the usages of civilized welfare, should be observed.
I deem at proper to add, for the information of your readers, that Gen. Auger
gave no satisfaction to the committee as to whether the Yankee
army would pay for army supplies taken from and also admitted that slaves coming into the Yankee
lines would be sheltered and against reclamation.
Justice to the people and authorities of Fredericksburg
requires that this much should be published, in order to correct the and baseless gossip circulating as to the mode of our occupation by the Yankees
No trust or more loyal population can be found in the Confederate States
than that of Fredericksburg
, now subjected to the inexpressible humiliation and distress of Yankee dominion.
The high character of the writer, coupled with a desire to do justice to every one, induces us to give place to the foregoing communication, notwithstanding an authentic narrative of the facts has already appeared in this paper.
We may add that the account to which exception is taken was complied from statements made to the editors by citizens of Fredericksburg
The following is a copy of the proceedings of the Town
Fredericksburg, April 18th, 1862.
The Council having been called, in order to to what action in proper to be taken by them in the present position of the town; it was unanimously ordered that a committee, consisting of the Mayor
and Messrs William A. Little
, J. Gordon Wallace
, Thomas B. Banton
, Wm. F. Broadus
, and John L. Marye, Jr.
, be appointed whose duty it shall be to confer with the Military Commander
of the forces of the United States
now threatening the occupation of the town; and that this conference be held whenever said Commandant shall ask a communication from these authorities.
That the said committee shall inform the commander, that ins as the forces of the confederate States
have evacuated the town, no resistance can or will be made to its occupation by the United States forces; but that these Municipal authorities expect and claim that adequate steps will be taken by the commander to insure protection to persons and property during such occupation, according to the recognized rules of civilized warfare.
And that the said commander be further informed that the population of this town have been in the past, and are now,
in conviction and sentiment, loyal to the existing Government of the State of Virginia
, and of the Confederate States of America
From the Record.
A copy Teste:
G. F. Chew
, C. C.