O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/3 [S# 97]
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIA, FROM MARCH 16, 1865, TO JUNE 30, 1865.(*)--#23
RICHMOND, VA., April 5, 1865---4 p.m.
(Received 8.25 p.m.)
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
General Weitzel learned at 3 a.m. on Monday that Richmond was being evacuated, and at daylight moved forward, first taking care to give his men breakfast, in the expectation they might have to fight. He met no opposition, and on entering the city was greeted with hearty welcome from the mass of the people. The mayor went out to meet him to surrender the city, but missed him in the road. General Weitzel finds much suffering and poverty among the population. The rich as well as the poor are destitute of food. He is about to issue supplies to all who take the oath. The inhabitants now number about 20,000, half of them of African descent. It is not true that Jeff. Davis sold his furniture before leaving. It is all in his house, where I am now writing. He left at 7 p.m. Sunday by the Danville railroad. All the members of Congress escaped. Hunter has gone home. Governor Smith went with the army. Judge Campbell remains here. Weitzel took here 1,000 prisoners, besides wounded. These number 5,000 in nine hospitals; captured cannon, number at least 500 pieces; 5,000 muskets have been found in one lot; 30 locomotives and 300 cars are found here. The Petersburg railroad bridge is totally destroyed; that of Danville road partially, so that connection with Petersburg can easily be made in that way. All rebel vessels are destroyed except an unfinished <ar97_575> ram, which has her machinery in her perfect. Tredegar works are unharmed and machinery is running there to-day under Weitzel's orders. Libby Prison and Castle Thunder have also escaped the fire and are filled with rebel prisoners of war. Most editors have fled, especially John Mitchell. Whig appeared yesterday as Union paper, with name of its former proprietor at head. Theater opens here to-night. Weitzel describes the reception of the President yesterday as enthusiastic in the extreme.
C. A. DANA.