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The following letter was from Colonel W. T. Robins, a gallant and meritorious officer of the Confederate cavalry, then of Gloucester, but now a citizen of Richmond :


MY DEAR SIR,-Your favor of the 11th of February reached me in due course of mail. In reply to your inquiry as to the burning of Richmond in 1865, on the day of the evacuation, I can only give you the following statement:

My regiment crossed the river from Richmond to Manchester about 8 A. M., as well as I can remember, after the span of Mayo's bridge over the canal was fired. I remained in Manchester some time after crossing, but just how long I cannot now remember. However, I do remember seeing the fire on the Richmond side, and that quite a high wind was prevailing at the time, blowing from the river in the direction of the city. I remember having feared, in observing the fire with the effect of the high wind upon it, that the whole city would be consumed. The flames were spreading northward, fanned by the wind, up, into the heart of the city. My position on the Manchester side was on elevated ground, which enabled me to observe perfectly that part of Richmond burning at that time. I have the honor to remain

Very truly your obedient servant,

John Howard, Esq.


Here the strong element of the intervening wind in the extension of the fire, so much insisted upon by me in all the litigation as the proximate and legal cause of the insured losses, again appears, and I am reminded of a quotation I made in my argument in the Graeme insurance case in the Supreme Court of the United States, from Virgil's vivid description of the entrance of the Greeks into "burning Troy," as the Federal troops into Richmond, and the extension of the fire by the same cause:

-Irruant Danai, et tectum omne tenebant.
Illicet ignis edax summa ad fastigia vento

Volvitur; exsuperant flammae, furit aestus ad auras.

In rushed the Greeks and held the place: on high
Borne by the wind, in sheeted flakes of flame,
Rolled on the conflagration to the stars.

The last letter, to which I have above referred, was from the War Department of the United States, in response to inquiries made by me in a personal interview with the Adjutant-General :

WASHINGTON, May 22, 1879.

John Howard, Esq., Attorney at Law, Richmond, Va.:

SIR,-Referring to your inquiry of the 21st instant, I have respectfully to inform you that no record can be found in this office of any orders issued by the Government of the United States directing commanders in the field to seize tobacco belonging to adherents of the Confederacy.

It appears, however, of record that on the 4th of March, 1865, General Grant directed Colonel S. H. Roberts, commanding a brigade of the Twenty-fourth army corps, to proceed with his brigade to the vicinity of Fredericksburg, Va., for the purpose of seizing or destroying wherever found all property being used in barter for unauthorized articles of trade between the rebels and Northern cities, and to break up the contraband trade carried on between Fredericksburg and Richmond.

Under these instructions, Colonel Roberts captured and destroyed a large quantity of tobacco, including some 400 cases of that article, which were brought in and turned over to the quartermaster's department at Fort Monroe, Va.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


This communication is important, as showing that there never was, in point of fact, any necessity for the destruction of the Richmond tobacco, and it fully accords with the statement of Mr. James A. Scott, an excellent man and well-known tobacconist, above mentioned, which in effect was that no interference was made by the Federal Government at or after the capture of Richmond with the tobacco undestroyed, but that, on the contrary, it was permitted to remain in the hands of its owners, and to be disposed of by sale and shipment abroad, as before the war, and as if no war had existed.

The real and causative cause, causa causaus of the destruction of


the tobacco in the Richmond warehouses by fire, for which combustible materials had beforehand been carefully prepared, was an unwise act of the Confederate Congress requiring commanders in the field to destroy such property upon the imminent danger of its falling into the hands of the enemy. As shown in my previous communication, above referred to, it was in obedience to that act that General Lee issued orders under which the tobacco was burned, and the Confederate Congress was alone responsible for the fatal mistake. Yours truly,


In answer to a query in last week's paper, we would say that we are informed that the only person now living who had any official connection with the surrender of Richmond to the Federal authorities is Mr E. A. J. Clopton. Mr. Clopton was at one time a member of the City Council, and, we think, was present at the meeting of the Council when the surrender was arranged for.

As an interesting reminiscence of the surrender, we publish the following from a mass of legal documents bearing on the subject:

Affidavit of James A. Scott, as given in the Majority Opinion of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, in the Case of Vial, Executor, and Graeme's Executor vs. the Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia.

STATE OF VIRGINIA-City of Richmond, to-wit:

This day personally appeared before the undersigned, a notary public in and for the city aforesaid, James A. Scott, and deposed as follows: That for many years prior to the late war he was engaged in the tobacco business in the city of Richmond; that during and at the close of the war he was interested in the ownership and control of a large amount of leaf tobacco, and that he had for a long while been a member of the City Council of Richmond; that when it was understood, on Sunday, the 2d of April, 1865, the city was to be evacuated by the Confederate Government, upon the approach of the United States forces, he was appointed by the Council of the city one of a committee to meet the enemy and surrender the city; that sometime after midnight on the morning of the 3d of April, 1865, he, in company with other members of the committee, and with Judge John A. Meredith and Judge William H. Lyons, who had been requested by the Council to act with the committee, and

with Joseph Mayo, Esq., mayor of the city, went out to meet the enemy and surrender the city; that having taken a position and awaited their arrival, the party after awhile were met by the enemy, when a formal surrender of the city was made; that this was about two miles from the corporation line, on the Osborne turnpike, near the James river; that the Federal commander stated on the occasion to Mr. Mayo that he would at once send a party forward to destroy all the liquor in the city before the arrival of the main body of the troop, when he was informed by Mayor Mayo that his action had been anticipated by the City Council, who had already had everything of the kind destroyed. On returning toward the city, and when about a mile and a half distant, upon an elevated point of the road, he saw that the tobacco warehouses in the city were on fire, and among them two belonging to his mother, situated on Twentyfirst street, in which a large amount of tobacco was stored.

This was about sunrise. That on taking possession of the city, the United States army did not sieze any tobacco belonging to private persons, so far as this affiant ever knew or heard; he and his brother-in-law, Mr. Maxwell T. Clarke, were fortunate enough to save some $10,000 worth of tobacco by having it stored in a house distant from the warehouse, although they gave a list of it, with their other tobacco, to the Confederate Government in due time for its destruction.

This tobacco, some two or three weeks after the capture of the city, with the full knowledge of the officers of the United States army, Mr. Clarke, and himself, was shipped at the dock in a schooner via New York for Liverpool and London, receiving astonishingly large prices therefor.

Other citizens of Richmond, owners of tobacco, sold it here and elsewhere, without molestation from the Federal Government, which, so far as this affiant ever heard, never troubled any tobacco in Richmond, except that which belonged to the Confederate Government.

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Sworn to before me this 10th day of May, 1887.

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[From the New Orleans Picayune, December 1, 1895.]


Eventful Days in New Orleans in the Year 1862.

Comprised in the Diary of a Youth at the Time, who Since Became a Well-Known Clergyman-The Arrival of Butler's Army and Farragut's Fleet.

April 25, 1862.-With heart-sickening feelings I seat myself for the purpose of inditing what I have seen and heard on this memorable day. To give one a connected idea of transpiring events, it is necessary that I should take a start a few days back. About a week since the news came of the bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. All was very cheering from our forces stationed in those forts until our city was suddenly startled by the disheartening yet too true news of the passage of some of the Yankee steamers by the forts at an early hour of yesterday morning. An extra Delta was soon issued, and, like an electric shock, the news spread all over the city. At once the stores commenced to shut up, and this gave full vent to the panic, which was soon at its full height. Before long, at about 10:30 A. M., the general alarm of twelve distinct taps was sounded by the fire-alarm telegraph all over town. As previously agreed upon by our military and civil authorities, it was understood by our citizen soldiery to be the signal for every soldier to report at his armory or headquarters immediately. I went to the armory of the Crescent Reserves and awaited orders. None were sent except to hold ourselves in readiness to answer another general alarm, should one be given in the course of the day or night. The French Legion were exerting themselves carrying on board our floating battery at the foot of Customhouse street large guns and other munitions of war. The regular steamboats, merchant-boats, got up steam at once, and, crowded with passengers, a great many of them left the city during the afternoon and ensuing night. All the draymen of the city were pressed into Government service from 2 P. M. until about 2 or 3 and later this morning, hauling cottonbales to the respective places which our patriotic authorities had chosen to be the scenes of their conflagration. Away into the "wee

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