War recollections. Story of the evacuation of Petersburg, by an eye-witness. A sad and solemn Sabbath. [from the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, June 12, 1894.]With a flag of Truce—a shout of Victory—Swarming with Troops— Safeguards and protection.
The following interesting article has been furnished to the Dispatch by the gentleman to whom it is addressed:
Petersburg by the Confederate and its occupation by the Federal forces in the early days of April, 1865, for publication in your second volume of ‘War Talks of Confederate Veterans.’ On Saturday, the 1st of April, 1865, rumors were in general circulation throughout the city of Petersburg that General Lee would soon evacuate the city. On Sunday, the 2d, these rumors crystalized into full assurance that the evacuation was imminent; the fact  that the military authorities were engaged in the destruction (by burning) of tobacco and other articles within the city limits in the early hours of that day being the basis of this assurance. A special meeting of the Common Council was convened, and, after consultation, it was determined that the best and, indeed, the only thing that could be done was to appoint a committee to be charged with the duty of waiting on General Lee, in person, and ascertaining whether or not his purpose was to evacuate the city, and a committee was accordingly appointed, charged with this duty. The committee was further deputed, in the event of the evacuation of the city, to ask the protection of our people at the hands of the Federal army. The resolution adopted by the Council was offered by Mr. D'Arcy Paul, and, as shown by the records of the Council, was as follows: ‘Resolved, That a committee, consisting of the Mayor and two members, be appointed to wait on General Lee and request that he inform said committee, at such time as he may deem necessary, whether he contemplates evacuating the city; and that, if an evacution is contemplated, said committee be instructed to surrender the city to the commander of the Federal army, and request protection of the citizens and their property.’