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reported that he had taken twelve thousand prisoners, and fifty pieces of artillery. In the smoke of this great day of battle, the rebellion was overthrown. Lee, with his shattered army reduced to half of its original numbers, by the three days of fighting, evacuated Richmond. The rebel rams and wooden fleet were blown up during the night, with terrife explosions. On the north side of the James, lay General Weitzel's corps, waiting to occupy Richmond, whenever the signs should indicate the safety of an advance. On Monday morning, April third, Weitzel pushed out the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry to reconnoiter; and they reported that no enemy was to be found. At eleven in the morning, he announced by telegraph that he entered Richmond at a quarter past eight; that the enemy had left in great haste; that he had many guns; that the city was on fire; and that the people received him with enthusiastic expressions of joy. His dispatch closed with the statement that Grant had started to cut off Lee's retrcat, and that President Lincoln had gone to the front.
The day on which Richmond fell will long be remembered by the people of America, in both sections of the country. When the news was made public on Monday, the whole Worth was thrown into a frenzy of joyous excitement. Every bell on every public building, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was rung for hours. Cannon answered to cannon, from mountain to mountain, and from valley to valley. Men grasped one another's hands in the streets, and wept, or embraced each other in the stress of their joyous enthusiasm. Public meetings were called, at which the deeds of the gallant heroes who had won the decisive victories were praised and cheered, and the public erultation found expression in speech and music. Nothing like it was ever seen upon the continent. The war was over. Richmond, that had so long defied the national authority and resisted the national arms, was ours.
The rebel President and his associates were fugitives. Lee's army was running away, and Grant was pursuing them. The sun of peace had fairly risen. The incubus of war that had pressed upon the nation's heart for four long, weary years, was lifted; and the nation
sprang to its feet, with all possible demonstrations of joyous exultation
The pursuit of Lee was relentlessly prosecuted by our victorious forces; and, after two or three battles, the rebel Ger eral was obliged to surrender his whole army, which had been reduced by his losses to less than twenty thousand men. Within a period of less than two weeks, the city of Richmond was taken, and the proud army of Virginia passed out of existence. The capture of Lee was made the occasion of another day of popular rejoicing; and the scenes and sounds that followed the capture of Richmond were repeated.
Of the feelings of Mr. Lincoln, as he sat in his tent at City Point, receiving the dispatches which informed him of the momentous movements in progress at the front, no imaginar tion can form an exaggerated estimate. But he could not sustain the excitement of those days without relief; and he found it in a way which none but he would have adopted. Just before he arrived at City Point, a pet cat, belonging to General Grant, had presented the General with a little family of kittens. On their owner's departure, the President took them into his care; and, during all those days of battle, in the intervals while he waited for dispatches, he relieved the pressure upon his heart and brain by playing with these kittens. When Richmond had fallen, and he was about to start for the front, he took up one of the kittens, and said: “Little kitten, I must perform a last act of kindness for you, before I go. I must open your eyes.” He then manipulated the closed lids as tenderly as a mother would handle her child, until he had accomplished his purpose. Then he put her down, and, as he stood enjoying her surprise at being able to sec, he said sadly: “Oh that I could open the eyes of my blinded fellowcountrymen, as easily as I have those of that little creature!” The eyes of his blinded fellow-countrymen were soon opened, but alas! it involved the closing of his own!
Mr. Lincoln belied his own estimate of his physical courage, by going directly into the fallen capital, so lately swarming with armed enemies, and so crowded still with sullen rebels.
He did this apparently without a thought of danger, although the whole loyal North trembled with apprehension. He went up in a man-of-war, on the afternoon of Monday, landed at the Rocketts below the city, and with his boy “Tad” rode up the remaining mile in a boat. He entered the city in no triamphal car. No brilliant cavalcade accompanied him; but on foot, with no guard except the sailors who had rowed him up the James, he entered and passed through the streets of the fallen capital. But his presence soon became known to the grateful blacks, who pressed upon him with their thankful ejaculations and tearful blessings on every side. Better and more expressive were the hats and handkerchiefs, tossed in the air by these happy and humble people, than flags and streamers, floating from masts and house-tops. “Glory to God! Glory! Glory!” shouted the black multitude of liberated slaves. “I thank you dear Jesus, that I behold President Linkum,” exclaimed a woman standing in her humble doorway, weeping in the fullness of her joy. Another, wild with delight, could do nothing but jump, and strike her hands, and shout with wild reiteration: “Bless de Lord! Bless de Lord! Lless de Lord!” At last, the streets became choked with the multitude, and soldiers were called to clear the way. A writer in the Atlantic Monthly, to whom the author is indebted for the most of these particulars, says that one old negro exclaimed: “May de good Lord bless you, President
, Linkum!” while he removed his hat, and the tears of joy rolled down his cheeks. “The President," the account pro
" ceeds, "removed his own hat, and bowed in silence; but it was a bow which upset the forms, laws, customs, and ceremonics of centuries. It was a death-shock to chivalry, and a mortal wound to caste."
After a visit to General Weitzel's headquarters, and a drive around the city, he returned to City Point. On Thursday, he visited the city again, accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and the Vice-president, with others. While he was in Riclimond on this occasion, he held important interviews with leading citizens, prominent among whom was Judge Campbell, one
of the parties in the Hampton Roads conference. The Judge
if not anger.
The order produced an unpleasant effect upon the public mind, and its revocation was received with gratification all over the North. The revocation did not come early enough, however, to save serious difficulty in other quarters; for Sherman, negotiating with Johnston, patterned his policy upon that of the President, anıl brought down upon himself the reprobation of the loyal press of the country-reprobation which, in extreme instances, assumed the form of direct charges of disloyalty against this gallant and most loyal soldier. But Johnston surrendered; and soon there was not an army of the rebellion that had not given itself up to our forces, or been disbanded and scattered.
A” NI 28; for
The great rebellion was ended. General Grant reached Washington on the thirteenth of April, and held an interview with the President and Mr. Stanton, the result of which was the issue of an order from the War Department on the same day, or, rather, of a statement that orders would immediately be issued, to stop drafting and recruiting, to curtail purchases for arms, ammunition and supplies, to reduce the number of general and staff officers to the necessities of the service, and to remove military restrictions on trade and commerce.
The American people were floating on the high tide of jov. All were glad and happy; and, as they returned their thanks to the Giver of all good for victory and peace, they did not forget the instrument he had used in the execution of his plans. Mr. Lincoln's name was on every tongue. The patient man who had suffered the pain of a thousand deaths during the war—who had been misconstrued, maligned, and condemned by personal and party enemies, and questioned and criticised by captious friends,—was the man above all others who stood in the full sunshine of the popular affection. His motives were vindicated, his policy had been sanctioned by success, and his power had been proved. He was the acknowledged savior of his country, and the liberator of a race. He had solved the great problem of popular government; he had settled the great question of African slavery on the continent. He had won a glorious place in history; and his name had been committed to the affectionate safe-keeping of man kind.
On the evening of the eleventh of April, the White House was brilliantly illuminated; and to the immense crowd gathered around it, to express their joyous congratulations, Mr. Lincoln delivered his last public address. He said little about victory, further than briefly to express his acknowledgments to the soldiers who had fought, and the God who had prospered their arms; but, turning his eyes from the past, he regarded the future, and the new duties and perplexities which it was certain to bring. “Reconstruction" was the burden of his speech; and he explained, at length, his connection with