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Browsing named entities in a specific section of The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure). Search the whole document.

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How Jefferson Davis was overtaken. Major General James Harrison Wilson. On the first Sunday of April, 1865, while seated in St. Paul's Church, in Richmond, Jefferson Davis received a telegram from Lee, announcing the fall of Petersburg, the partial destruction of his army, and the immediate necessity for flight. Although he could not have been entirely unprepared for this intelligence, it appears that he did not receive it with self-possession or dignity; but with tremulous and nervous haste, like a weak man in the hour of misfortune, he left the house of worship and hurried home, where he and his personal staff and servants spent the rest of the day in packing their personal baggage. At nightfall everything was in readiness; even the gold then remaining in the Treasury, not exceeding in all forty thousand dollars, was packed among the baggage, In a recent article Mr. Reagan says: If it is meant by this statement simply that the money in the Treasury (gold and all) was tak
guide them to the path upon which the trail was again visible. Colonel Harnden reports this day to have been one of great toil to both men and horses, as they had marched forty miles through an almost unbroken forest, most of the time under a beating rain, or in the water up to their saddle girths. They bivouacked, after dark, on the borders of a dark and gloomy swamp, and sleeping on the ground, without tents, during the night, they were again drenched with rain. Before daylight of the 9th, they renewed their march, their route leading almost southwest through swamp and wilderness to Brown's ferry, where they crossed to the south side of the Ocmulgee river. The bed of the river was too treacherous and its banks too steep to permit the crossing to be made by swimming, which would have been most expeditious, so the impatient colonel had to use the ferry-boat; and, in his hurry to ferry his command over rapidly, the boat was overloaded, and a plank near the bow sprung loose, caus
lock began the pursuit, leaving the remainder of his regiment under command of Captain Hathaway, with orders to picket the river and scout the country in accordance with previous instructions. The route pursued by Colonel Pritchard led down the river southeasterly nearly twelve miles to a point. opposite Wilcox's mill, and thence southwest for a distance of eighteen miles, through an unbroken forest to Irwinsville, the county seat of Irwin county. He reached the village at one A. M. of the 10th, and after causing great excitement among the women, by representing his command as the rear guard of Davis' party, he succeeded in restoring quiet, and learned that the party he was searching for had encamped that night at dusk about a mile and a half north of the village, on the Abbeville road. Having secured a negro guide, he turned the head of his column northward, and, after moving cautiously to within a half mile of the camp, halted his main body and dismounted twenty-five men under Li
of one hundred thousand dollars for the capture of Davis. This proclamation had been received and promulgated on the 9t;h, and hence the officers in the pursuit of Davis were in no way inspired by the promise which it contained. They performed their part from a higher sense of duty, and too much praise cannot be awarded to Colonels Pritchard and Harnden, or to the officers and men of their regiments who participated in the pursuit. Colonel Pritchard arrived at Macon on the afternoon of the 13th, and reported at once, with his prisoners, at corps headquarters. When the cavalcade reached the city, the streets were thronged by crowds of rebel citizens, but not one kind greeting was extended to the deserted chieftain or his party. A good dinner was prepared and given to them by my servants, and, after three or four hours rest, they were sent, under strong escort, toward the North, by way of Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah, arrangements for which had been already made, in pursuance of o
April, while the cavalry corps was marching from Selma to Montgomery, an officer of the advance guard sent in copies of the Montgomery papers of the 6th and 7th, containing brief accounts of the operations of General Grant about Petersburg, and from which, making allowance for rebel suppressions, it was supposed the Army of the Potomac had gained a decisive victory. It was stated that Davis and the rebel government had already gone to Danville, but that their cause was not yet lost. On the 14th and 15th information was received confirmatory of Lee's defeat, and the evacuation of Richmond. It was also reported that Grant was pressing the rebel army back upon Lynchburg. From these facts, together with the many rumors from all quarters, indicative of unusual excitement among the rebels, there was little room to doubt that they had met with a great disaster in Virginia; but, as a matter of course, no definite or reliable information as to the extent of the disaster or the probable cou
Secret History of the Southern Confederacy, Gathered Behind the Scenes in Richmond, by Edward A. Pollard, author of The lost cause, etc., an octavo volume bearing the imprint of the National Publishing Company, 1869: In the morning of the 2d of April, General Lee saw his line broken at three points, at each of which a whole Federal corps had attacked, and all day long the enemy was closing on the works immediately enveloping Petersburg. But the work, decisive of the war, was done in two he thousand strong, an aggregate of nearly fifteen thousand men, all splendidly mounted, armed, and equipped, and, what was better still, inspired by the belief that they were invincible. It will be remembered that after the capture of Selma, on April 2d (which took place at nightfall of the very Sunday that Davis fled from Richmond), and the passage of the victorious cavalry to the south side of the Alabama, their march was directed to the eastward by the way of Montgomery, Columbus, West Point
April 11th (search for this): chapter 42
lding of bridges, the passage of rivers in the light of burning cotton bales and gin-houses, and last, though not least, the appealing faces of the colored people, who hailed the advancing Union cavalry with transports of delight, and whose eyes were blinded with tears as the hurrying squadrons passed into the darkness, not heeding their prayer to be led out of the land of bondage, all conspire to make this one of the most exciting campaigns of the entire war. On the evening of the 11th day of April, while the cavalry corps was marching from Selma to Montgomery, an officer of the advance guard sent in copies of the Montgomery papers of the 6th and 7th, containing brief accounts of the operations of General Grant about Petersburg, and from which, making allowance for rebel suppressions, it was supposed the Army of the Potomac had gained a decisive victory. It was stated that Davis and the rebel government had already gone to Danville, but that their cause was not yet lost. On the
April 16th (search for this): chapter 42
show a mark of deference to the President, out of pity for the mortification already inflicted upon him- let the President dictate the letter. The letter, proposing a suspension of hostilities, was dictated by the President. And thus, Mr. Davis himself virtually subscribed the token of submission of the Confederate army, second in importance and numbers to that of Lee, yet unwilling to go further in the sequel and to write gracefully his entire submission to the inevitable. On the 16th of April, the President, his staff-and Cabinet left Greensboroa. It was a slow travel, in ambulances and on horseback, and the dejection of the party was visible enough. Mr. Davis was the first to rally from it. When he and his companions had left Richmond, it was in the belief of the majority that Lee could avoid surrender but a few days longer, and with the intention, as we have already said, of making their way to the Florida coast, and embarking there for a foreign land. The President had
April 20th (search for this): chapter 42
order to cover the widest possible front of operations, and to obtain such information in regard to hostile movements as might enable us to act advisedly, detachments were sent off to the right and left of the main column, scouting in all directions. At Macon, we were arrested by the armistice concluded between Generals Sherman and Johnston, though not till after the city had fallen into our possession. During my conference with Generals Cobb and G. W. Smith, on the evening of the 20th of April, I received conclusive information in regard to Lee's surrender, and the course of events in Virginia. The commanding officer of our advanced guard, moving rapidly, had taken possession of this place, and after securing his prisoners, had confined the generals in a building occupied by them as headquarters. On my arrival, late at night, at the place where the leading officers were confined, General Cobb protested in the strongest manner against his capture, claiming the protection of t
April 23rd (search for this): chapter 42
the right of the First Division to Abbeville, and as much of the Flint and Chattahoochee, to the rear, as practicable. The ostensible object of this disposition of troops was to secure prisoners and military stores, and to take possession of the important strategic points and lines of communication; but the different commanders were directed to keep a vigilant watch for Davis and other members of the rebel government. The first direct information of Davis' movements reached me on the 23d of April, from a citizen, now a prominent lawyer and politician in Georgia, who had seen him at Charlotte, North Carolina, only three or four days before, and had learned that he was on his way, with a train and an escort of cavalry, to the South, intending, as was then understood, to go to the Trans-Mississippi Department. This information was regarded as entirely trustworthy, and hence the officers in charge of the different detachments afterward sent out were directed to dispose of their comma
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