New York Herald, 4/13/1865, p. 5, c. 1
TREASON ITS OWN PUNISHMENT.
Intense Hatred of the Leader, Jeff. Davis, by His Late Followers.
LEE GENERALLY RESPECTED.
Virginia Expected to Lead Off in the Return of the Misguided States to the Union.
The Citizens of Richmond Already Moving.
Alleged Iniquities of Head Rebels in Office.
Reconstruction of Railroads Diverging from Richmond.
The Wants of the Poor and the Sick of the City Kindly Provided For by the National Government.
THE PEOPLE GETTING WORK.
Recovery of the Body of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren.
SERIOUS ILLNESS OF MRS. GEN. R. E. LEE.
Interesting Details of the Restoration of Law, Order and Civilization in the Late Rebel Capital, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Wm. H. Merriam’s Despatches.
NEW YORK HERALD ROOM,
CORNER OF TENTH AND CLAY STREETS,
RICHMOND, Va., April 10 – 10 P. M.
PEACE MEASURES OF PROMINENT VIRGINIANS.
During the recent visit of the President of the United States to this city, I may remark that the peace negotiations of which his presence at City Point was said to be the forerunner are now becoming more feasible through the influence of his late sojourn here. It is, perhaps, not generally known that, since the failure of the peace commissioners at Fortress Monroe, Virginia’s leading men have been discussing the propriety of boldly inaugurating measures of conciliation and peace on her own account. The fact is derived from a reliable source that the Virginia Legislature, in secret session, appointed a commission to call on Jeff. Davis and ascertain from him whether or not it was his purpose to evacuate Richmond.
DAVIS CHECKS THEM.
Mr. Davis, fearing some evil result from a direct affirmative answer, equivocated by saying that he would be buried beneath to ruins of the city sooner than evacuate. This silenced and soothed the public discontent which the preparatory measures for evacuation and the order for the removal of tobacco and government stores had created.
MR. HUNTER TENDERS HIS SERVICES AS PEACE COMMISSIONER.
But Mr. R. M. T. Hunter, with that shrewdness peculiar to him, instantly saw through the guise, and made a tender of his services to the Legislature to act as commissioner to President Lincoln to negotiate some terms for the readmission of Virginia into the Union. Meanwhile the panic caused by the order for the removal of the tobacco and the public stores had measurably subsided, and entire confidence in the ability of General Lee to hold Richmond revived. Hunter’s proffer was not accepted, and entailed upon him the odium of the press and the community to a degree so intense as to cause a popular supposition to become rife that his position before the Confederate people involved his political ruin, if not the added disgrace of treason to his section. The Virginia Legislature, under the assurance of Mr. Davis’ response to its commissioners that Richmond was not to be evacuated, took recess covering a period of more than two weeks, to allow the members to look after their interests in the then forthcoming elections. They reassembled on the 20th of last month, with their confidence in the safety of Richmond in no degree diminished.
PROMINENT REBELS GETTING OUT OF THE WAY.
The delusion was still kept up so far as the Legislature and the people were concerned. But those known to be most familiar with the inside operations of the rebel government suddenly disappeared from the city. Hunter, who generally loitered here for months after the adjournment of the so-called Congress, left soon after the doubtful response of Davis to the Virginia commissioners. Thomas J. Semmes, of Louisiana, Davis’ organ in the rebel States Senate, took his departure from here in less than a week after the adjournment; not for his own State, Louisiana, but for Texas, where he supposed he would get clear of the crash and the resultant ruins of the already crumbling Confederacy, and avoid the indignation of a people whose ruin he, as the chief fugleman of John Slidell, was in no small degree instrumental in bringing about. The redoubtable Wigfall, and his colleague Oldham, were travelling companions of Semmes, all fleeing Richmond with the determination to risk the hazards of a journey to the Trans-Mississippi country rather than ??? the storm of indignation which their course on ??? was sure to excite.
[paragraph detailing rumors of a scheme in the Trans-Mississippi department was not transcribed. MDG]
VIRGINIA EXPECTED TO LEAD OFF IN THE REUNION OF STATES.
????herance of this desire, I understand it is contemplated by her Legislature, which summarily left here for Lynchburg on Sunday week, in the darkness of the night, to call a convention, by consent of the Union authorities, if that can be obtained, with a view of repealing the ordinance of secession and negotiating terms of reunion with her former associates at the North. Should this privilege be denied, the next course contemplated is to appoint two or three commissioners to wait on the President of the United States, and confer with him in relation to the terms on which Virginia can be readmitted to the Union. Success in this effort would at once destroy whatever cohesive power may even yet remain in secession under the influence of Virginia’s action. All the other States of the late Confederacy would unanimously conclude that this would be the safest and speediest course to be pursued in order to put a period to all their woes. The adjustment of the terms upon which Virginia should be readmitted into the Union ought at least to form the subject of extreme caution, inasmuch as they will form precedents which must foreclose all argument or dissent on the part of the other Southern States, which will undoubtedly follow in Virginia’s wake. Separate State action will prove the only means of reunion that can now be regarded as available. The conquest of Virginia will be found to be the initiation of that principle of adjustment, for while any other State similarly circumstanced would scarcely venture to inaugurate such designs, Virginia, in the consciousness of her moral power and influence, would not hesitate to do so. I judge that she does not fear the public opinion of the Southern fire-eaters. She is fully prepared to act on her own responsibility, and they may follow if they choose. It is well known here, and generally admitted, that the States long for a movement in this direction on the part of Virginia, by way of a pretext for a similar movement. In referring to the other Southern States I exclude those on the other side of the Mississippi, for the reasons already referred to an indicated in this despatch. But, as regards trade on this side, it may be comprehensively stated that the course of Virginia will finally determine theirs. Never was there such a revolution in the public sentiment of the South as this war alone has created. The peculiar protégés of the South have become the most obnoxious of all earthly beings to the classes whose influence heretofore gave them position and power. The same great change will mark the social relations of the South. The wealthy farmers and the F. F. V.’s – in verity this statement may be regarded as applicable to this whole section of country – have been suddenly reduced from a condition of ease and opulence to one of labor and poverty. This, even if the Southern cause had succeeded, would involve great peril to social order in the South. Bona fide wealth must seek supremacy, as it does everywhere. Hereditary or lineal power will never again successfully vindicate itself against “the vile encroachment of our cherished rights” so that in the order of relative social standing in the matter of inherited and acquired wealth, an interminable and undying feud was engendered, which nothing but the fortuitous intervention of our influence had been allayed. To suppose that the conquest of the South by our arms is a source of future discontent, is to imagine human nature capable of acquiescence in the transfer of social and political supremacy from the once superior to the inferior class. The great and recent conflagration in Richmond illustrates this view forcibly. It so happened, as if by a peculiar degree of Providence, that the area covered by the fire embraced the opulent part of the city. It occurred in its wealthy and business portion, namely, Carey, Main, Franklin and Canal streets. I have yet to ascertain a single instance in which the house of an inferior family was consumed, and I am equally ignorant of the manifestation of a single instance of discontent or expression of sympathy for the sufferers. On the contrary, the masses rejoice at the happy dispensation which so suddenly deprived “the villainous speculators of the fruits of the ill-gotten gains.”
SELFISHNESS OF THE RICH.
The great majority openly and loudly aver that “on Saturday evening we could not get a barrel of flour for our starving families, because, forsooth, the speculators had it not.” The fire discovered thousands of barrels of this prime necessity in every cellar and garret. For instance, in three houses on Main street there were stored more than ten thousand barrels, while the day before the proprietors of these establishments protested they had not a barrel. This has found to be true likewise of all the other necessaries of life. One man here, named Gaddin, of a heavy firm of wealthy real estate auctioneers, who have been known here for years past, had several thousand barrels of flour stowed away, all of which, as I understand, was destroyed by the fire; and not only this, but the banking house of that firm and Samuel J. Harrison combined, with all its contents of rebel bonds, Treasury notes and specie, involving in all a loss of several hundred thousand dollars.
THE PEOPLE REJOICE AT THE DOWNFALL OF THE RICH.
The populace exult over the dispensation, and only regret that the private residences of this class of men, which were beyond the range of the conflagration, were not involved in the same ruin. Harrison, the member of this banking firm, is the cousin of Burton N. Harrison, private secretary to Jefferson DAVIS.
ALLEGED MALPRACTICE IN OFFICE.
It is said that Harrison, from private information derived from his cousin, the Secretary, as to operations in the rebel Treasury, has accumulated millions. Of course the secretary of Davis, and it is intimated Davis himself, were participators in the enormous gains realized from these wicked sources. And so with regard to the firm of John Enders, Jr., another whose gains by the misfortunes of this stricken community count by the millions. The Maurys, cousins of the celebrated traitor, M. F. Maury, are peculiarly in the same category. They acted as agents for the late rebel government in the negotiation of loans, the paying out of new for discounted Treasury notes, and the exchange of four per cent bonus for their legal equivalent in depreciated money. In other words, they were the government agents for the perpetration of every swindle upon the community which the desperate straits of rebel finances made it necessary for the so-called Confederate Congress to resort to. It is alleged that the national authorities could do nothing better calculated to conciliate popular favor here than to deal with these fellows on the principle va victis. Their agency in this business secured for them exemption from conscription, while the poor man, with a large and helpless family, had no alternative but to go into service. If I could trace to its legitimate source these iniquitous practices they would be found to lay at the fountain head of the late unfortunate difficulties. From Jeff. Davis down to the lowest official all was corruption – all deceit. Members of the rebel Congress were notoriously engaged in all manner of speculations, corruption, and gambling. A Kentucky Senator named Simms was universally known to have said to brokers in the city, at a price too extravagant to be named, the secrets which his position enabled him to obtain regarding the progress and ultimate fate of an important financial bill which was pending in the body of which he was a member. He himself is known to have been engaged largely in the purchase of the small class of Treasury notes which did not come in the category of legal depreciation before a period long subsequent to that allowed to the larger class of notes. General Read, a member of the lower House, scarcely made any concealment of his iniquity in this and other equally disgraceful particulars. If he did, it was too transparent, in view of his well known complicity, to admit of doubt. He not only gambled at faro and subserved the advantages of his position as a member of a secret conclave, but subsidized railroad and express agents to give precedence in the matter of transportation to wealthy speculators in this city. These are but samples of the corrupt element of which the late rebel Congress was made up, and it needs but a proper exposure of their actions to open the eyes of the Southern people as to the character of the individuals to whose trust they committed their lives and fortunes in a mad and hopeless struggle. The confederacy is now known to be gone up beyond hope of successful resuscitation. Everybody now concedes this, and I am assured that the originators of the war will forever be accursed by this people. The Union rule is welcomed here as a harbinger of peace and prosperity hereto one unknown during the past four years, except to the favored few. This may well be regarded as a true corollary of the facts which I have presented in this dispatch. The quiet, orderly and peaceful demeanor of our soldiery since the Union advent here has taken all by surprise, and has tended more to reconcile the Richmondites to General Weitzel’s sway than even the infamous excesses of those who usurped the legitimate power of our free and happy government.
The experience of a rule inaugurated under the auspices of such men as Jeff. Davis, Toombs, Wigfall, et id omne g???, will be worth its cost in the conservative effects which it is certain to produce in the popular mind of the South. The cost in life and treasure is great, it is true; but the equivalent in future submission to constitutional rule will be greater in proportion. The people of the South are surfeited of war, and the incentive will be great indeed that forces them to accept any alternative.
NEW YORK HERALD ROOMS,
RICHMOND, Va., April 11 – 8 A. M.
MEETING OF THE CITIZENS OF RICHMOND.
It is understood that a mass meeting of the citizens of Richmond will be held here to-day, having for its object unconditional submission to the United States authorities, and to make, more especially, a public and formal attestation of their wise purpose. It is said that they are unanimous in favor of this important movement.
COLONEL F. L. MANNING RELIEVED.
Colonel Frederick Lewis Manning, of the gallant One Hundred and Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, and Provost Marshal General of the Army of the James, but more recently Provost Marshal of the city of Richmond, has been relieved from the latter position and ordered to report by General Ord to him in the field. Colonel Manning’s services while holding his important position in Richmond have been of the most useful and acceptable character in the opinion of Major General Weitzel. His talent and his industry in his office were everywhere remarked and acknowledged by both the army and the citizens, and, though occupying the office but a short time, all had begun to feel that he was the right officer in the right place, and that he was indispensable. General Ord’s order, however, was imperative.
THE LARGE FLAG RAISED IN RICHMOND.
The storm flag of the Twelfth Main Volunteers, which waved over the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, under the military governorship of General Shepley, was the first storm or large flag that floated over Richmond, Va. It was raised by Lieutenant J. L. DePeyster, aid-de-camp to General Shepley. The General was the old colonel of the Twelfth Maine infantry, and some years since made a wager that this identical symbol should wave one day over the rebel capital. This flag, as before stated, was put on the Capitol building by Lieutenant DePeyster, who brought it to Richmond on his saddle, and with it replaced the two guidons (not gridirons, as the HERALD of the 6th inst. has it), previously raised by Major Atherton H. Stevens, of the Fourth Massachusetts cavalry, and Major E. E. Graves, of General Weitzel’s staff. Lieutenant DePeyster also found in the Capitol two United States flags that had been captured, one of which bore the inscription, “Thirty-seventh regiment Zouaves.” The Lieutenant likewise discovered and took possession of three rebel battle flags.
SEVERAL MEN FROM THE ATLANTA RAM BLOWN UP BY TORPEDOES.
Two days since several of the men belonging to the ram Atlanta, lying in the James river, were investigating matters and things at the Howlett House battery, above Dutch Gap, when one of them commenced, out of idle curiosity, to hammer a torpedo. The missile exploded and killed several of them. I have no further particulars.
It has been asserted that the rebel Mosby is still hovering around Richmond.
Captain J. J. Elder, of the Fortieth Massachusetts cavalry, has been promoted by Governor Andrew to be major of that command, since our entrance into Richmond. Major Elder has served with distinction since April, 1861, being originally a private in the three months service.
AN IMPORTANT INTERVIEW WITH GENERAL WEITZEL.
Judge Campbell, General Duff Green and several others had an interview with General Weitzel yesterday morning, with reference to the interests of the people in the country immediately surrounding Richmond. The General gave them a favorable audience.
General B. C. Ludlow, who was lately relieved at Williamsburg and assigned to duty in Richmond, has taken up his command under General Weitzel.
The navy in the James river are still engaged in removing the obstructions. The enemy, it is understood, will not now molest it in this patriotic work. A number of torpedoes have already been removed, and the river may now be said to be nearly practically clean up to Rockett’s, the outskirts of Richmond.
Governor Andrew Curtin, of Pennsylvania; Hon. Green Clay Smith, of Kentucky; I. N. Arnold, Esq., of Chicago, Illinois; Captains J. M. B. Critz, Captain Beaumont, Commander Renshaw, of the United States naval fleet in the James, General Thomas, commanding Unites States forces in Manchester, near the city; Captain W. I. Goodrich, Acting Assistant Adjutant General; Colonel W. V. Hutchings, Captain D. L. Neggle, of the Fourth Wisconsin horse batter; Major Nelson Plato, one of the leading quartermasters of the department; Dr. T. E. Hamilton, Assistant Surgeon of the Eighth Connecticut Volunteers; Lieutenant H. S. Merrell, Staff Quartermaster to General Weitzel; Colonel Conover, Acting Medical Director department, were in Richmond yesterday, and among the promenaders in the Capitol grounds, where bands of music were stationed, playing national and operatic airs. Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, and Chevalier Wyckoff are also in the city, engaged, probably, upon diplomatic missions.
GENERAL CASEY’S BOARD,
For the enlistment of colored recruits, it is expected will again convene to-morrow. Four hundred negroes were lying about the city to-day waiting to enlist.
APRIL 11, 4:30 A. M.
ARRIVAL OF GENERAL R. E. LEE IN RICHMOND.
It is rumored that General Robert E. Lee, late commanding the rebel forces in and around Richmond, arrived in the city at a late hour last night on parole. His arrival was a most quiet one, scarcely any one being aware of it, and was marked by no demonstration whatever. He is said to look old and enfeebled. He proceeded at once to his private residence in Richmond, where his wife lies very ill.
Mr. Theodore C. Wilson’s Despatches.
CITY OF RICHMOND, Va., April 10, 1865.
Passing over the gladdening intelligence that Lee has surrendered, the firing of salutes and the joyous manifestations and gatherings on the part of the military, and no mean portion of the civilians too, your correspondent will proceed to give some details of the more important transactions going on within its limits at present date.
CLEARING UP REBEL RUBBISH.
Along the docks the quartermaster is clearing up. Engaged in this work alone he has employed over six hundred contrabands. These are gathering in an storing all kinds of abandoned naval and ordnance stores, together with machinery and every other article of value to the government. In all, there are employed along the docks about one thousand negroes. Some are engaged in loading and unloading government vessels, others in carting, hoeing and shoveling, more in carrying, collecting and storing, and all to a good purpose.
On arriving here Captain and Assistant Quartermaster James C. Slaght was directed to establish a depot at this place for the receipt and issue of quartermasters’ stores required by the Army of the James. Captain Comstock was ordered to turn over to him the captured vessels then in his possession. He had to see that competent pilots were placed on the steamers, and that the vessels were kept in good running order. Captain Delaney, who had charge of a large amount of captured property, turned the same over to Captain Slaght, who saw it safely stored and properly guarded. He afterwards, by order, sent out agents to ascertain the location of the various flour and grain warehouses, tobacco warehouses, machine shops, foundries, carpenter shops, lumber, coal, unfinished vessels, deserted dwellings, &c., in and around the city. All these he took possession of, and, where needed established a guard. He also noted the location of stores of service to the government, and made a report on their contents and the names of parties claiming to own said property. So far the amount of captured property collected has been enormous, and we have not yet got at or near the whole of it.
THE NAVY YARD.
In the navy yard there is a heavy amount of lumber, and of the kind needed in shipbuilding. On the ways there is a seven hundred and fifty ton ship, two-thirds finished. Work was commenced on it in 1860. There is also a canal lighter, nearly finished, and four canal boats in course of construction.
The captured steamer Allison, as is known, is now in the Quartermaster’s employ. Also three captured tugs.
THE IRON WORKS.
The Tredegar Iron Works not being materially injured, and the mechanics hitherto employed in them having remained behind, we can commence to run the works as soon as we feel so disposed.
The Stockoe [Shockoe] works are in complete order. These works we have had in operation since Saturday last.
AN ORDER IN RELATION TO CONTRABANDS.
OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
RICHMOND, April 10, 1865.
Captain J. C. SLAGEY, Acting Quartermaster: -
CAPTAIN – You are directed to immediately take possession of one of the large empty buildings in the vicinity of the steamboat wharf, and have it fitted up as quarters for colored men who may be sent to you for employment. It would be desirable to have a building so arranged that one portion can be used exclusively for sleeping quarters; another for cooking, and a third as an eating room and general quarters. A small building should be selected and fitted up for hospital purposes. The building should be kept well policed, and rules established for the maintenance of order and cleanliness in the building aforesaid. It is important that regular hours be designated for work and meals. All the able-bodied men must be daily placed at work, and a correct record kept of the names of such men. You will, however, make no payments to them, but simply provide them with food and shelter. The subject of pay will be a matter for future consideration. A weekly report must be forwarded to this office, giving the number of colored men in your contraband force, with a brief statement of the amount of labor which they have performed. You are directed to employ all colored men who make application, or are sent to you, providing them with food and shelter. Very respectfully, &c, &c.
JOHN B. HOWARD,
Colonel and Chief Quartermaster, Army of the James.
Quite a number of the contrabands in the Quartermaster’s employ are women. These are now engaged as cooks and laundresses. The contrabands get all they want to eat, and appear to be as happy as they possibly can be. They are all of them well clothed. It is remarkable how the negro women have kept up their fat, while the white women of Richmond, taken collectively, are lean and hungry looking. The only solution to the mystery of how the women kept fat is that they were generally employed as cooks, and of course got the “first pick” at the “good things of this life” which emanated from the kitchen.
THE REBEL WOUNDED AT THE REBEL HOSPITALS.
There were thirteen hospitals, capable of accommodating between twelve and fourteen thousand patients, in Richmond when our troops took possession of the city. The hospitals were beautifully located in the suburbs of the city, remarkable for their cleanliness, and well ventilated. The hospitals were all left intact, surgeons, attendants, nurses, &c., remaining with them. In some of the hospitals a portion of the more valuable property was packed up and in readiness to be sent away; but, as we entered the city sooner than it was expected the property aforesaid was not gotten off. The rebel hospitals were arranged by divisions. A surgeon was assigned to each. The two largest hospitals were the “Jackson” and the “Chimborazo,” located on Navy Hill. There were about four thousand patients in the hospitals when we got here. Of this number eighty-seven were medical officers and assistants. Among the patients were two hundred officers. None of the latter were above the rank of colonel.
We found very few sick or wounded of our army in the hospitals here. They few we did find were promptly removed to the hospitals of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth army corps.
AN ORDER RELATING TO LATE REBEL HOSPITALS.
The following order is of interest: -
Special Order – No. 95.
HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
RICHMOND, Va., April 8, 1864.
In compliance with orders received from the Surgeon General of the army, Surgeon Wm. A. Conover, Acting Medical Director of the Department of Virginia, is hereby ordered to break up all general hospitals in an around the city of Richmond, leaving sufficient accommodation for the garrison of the city, and to turn over to the medical purveyor at Fort Monroe all property captured belonging to the Medical Department not required for immediate use. Such property will be stored in some convenient warehouse until transportation can be secured for it.
By command of Major General WEITZEL.
R. W. SMITH, Assistant Adjutant General.
In accordance with the above, all patients have been removed from where we found them, and placed in one hospital, the Jackson Hospital. They will remain in this hospital until further orders, or until action is taken in the means of their final disposition.
The Stewart Hospital has been taken as a post hospital for our men, and placed under charge of Acting Staff Surgeon Palmer, who was formerly in North Carolina.
AIDING THE SICK.
A United States dispensary has been opened here, to aid such of the citizens as are in need of medicines and who are unable to procure them by purchase. This will indeed prove a great blessing to the sick of Richmond. Medicines are scarce here, and but a very limited supply can be secured by even those who have the money to purchase them with. Already the great good accomplished by this dispensary is being widely proclaimed, and to-night many a weak pulse is beating faster than it did a week ago, and its possessor thanking God that the Yankees, the proper medicine and deliverance have come at last.
All the flying hospitals of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth corps will remain intact.
It is the intention to send all the sick belonging to our army to Point of Rocks Hospital and the hospital at Fortress Monroe.
THE SANITARY CONDITION OF RICHMOND.
The sanitary condition of Richmond is good. Still we have already commenced to introduce many needed improvements in this respect.
Surgeon Conover, who is Lieutenant Colonel and Acting Medical Director of the department, will in a few days establish a board of health, to inspect the city and take such measures as will insure its future healthy condition.
THE SICK AND WOUNDED IN PETERSBURG.
Two days ago there were two thousand sick and wounded men in Petersburg. Some belonged to our army and the rest to the rebels. They are being transferred as fast as possible to City Point, to the hospitals there. Surgeon Prince is chief medical officer at Petersburg, and is working night and day to have the wounded properly and promptly attended to. This, no doubt, will prove gratifying information to all those who have friends in the army, as many of the wounded in Petersburg are from Sheridan’s cavalry and the Army of the Potomac.
THE FREDERICKSBURG RAILROAD.
The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad is not yet in working order. The line is only in repair for twenty miles out from Richmond. There it strikes the South Anna river. The railroad bridge over the South Anna was destroyed by Sheridan. Further on, and not very far apart, are three other important bridges that were destroyed by the same officer. It is expected that the government railroad construction corps will arrive here in a day or two, and then the line will be immediately repaired to Aquia creek. The rolling stock of the road is in the very best order. It is now even better than it was before the war. There are here eleven locomotives, twenty-one passenger cars and a very large number of freight cars belonging to this road..
THE BODY OF COLONEL ULRIC DAHLGREN SECURED.
Yesterday a train went out on this road as far as Hungary station. On it went a surgeon who had come from Washington to secure the body of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, who was killed during the famous Kilpatrick raid against Richmond. Colonel Dahlgren’s body was found buried near Hungary station. It was originally buried on the outskirts of the city, but was taken up and reburied where we found it, in order to hide it away from the Yankees. So says report.
FEEDING THE POOR.
To-day the streets were full of women and boys begging for money and food. Notwithstanding it rained hard, the sidewalks were all day crowded in front of the offices and the stores where permits for rations were issued. The members of the Christian Commission are doing a great deal of good for the poor. They help them in every way they can. They deserve the highest praise for the present benefits they are bestowing on the really needy.
Passing before a place designated as one of the agencies for the issue of ration orders to the poor, I paused to observe the crowd collected in front of the door. It was, indeed, a sorry looking spectacle. The gaunt figures, sharp features and general attenuated appearance of the applicants, showed plainly enough how truly they must have suffered. Their cloths were faded and patched, and in more than a few instances cut after a pattern known to “the oldest inhabitant.” To-night there are fully five thousand actually suffering people in this city. These will all be attended to at once, for the government agents are acting liberally to all who apply. The applications for food amount to twelve thousand.
In a great many houses in this city are stores large quantities of tobacco and articles properly belonging to the government. These we are gradually working in as “grist to our mill.”
It is a fact that in a very many houses is found hid a vast amount of property that was sent by loving Union friends at the North to their relatives and friends held here as prisoners of war. Such goods are secreted in houses occupied by the relatives of rebel officers. Our detectives know places where there are shoes, blankets, jellies, socks and a variety of articles thus hid away.
LIBBY PRISON AND CASTLE THUNDER.
We have one thousand rebel prisoners in Castle Thunder, and two thousand one hundred more in Libby prison. These are awaiting parole. Aside from the above, there are several hundred officers and privates who were roving about the city. The officers are under parole. The enlisted men have taken the oath of allegiance, and they did it very cheerfully, too.
REBEL OFFICERS IN DISGUISE.
In the city are many rebel officers, dressed and disguised in citizens’ clothes. In the houses are many of the same class, hid away. Their sin will, of course, be sure to find them out. When they see General Lee in Richmond they will, no doubt, all come forward and be paroled or take the oath of allegiance.
The mechanics, who are now out of employment, are besieging the quartermaster for work to do. To-day, at the office of Captain J. C. Slaght, over four hundred applications were made for work. Some wanted employment as machinists and iron workers, and others as carpenters and clerks, and all manifested the greatest anxiety to secure something to do. It was remarked at Captain Slaght’s office that some of the applicants looked as though they were not strong enough to lift a pen. Among those who applied were quite a number who had just taken the oath of allegiance and who were dressed in full rebel uniform.
FEELING AGAINST JEFF. DAVIS.
The feeling here against Jeff. Davis is very great, and increasing. If Davis was here tonight he would be lynched. On Broad street this evening a party of boys and young men, evidently natives, moved along singing, “We’ll hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree.”
RESPECT FOR GEN. LEE.
The feeling in regard to Lee is one of respect, mixed with a mild sort of veneration. He is even now generally well spoken of. The citizens say that Lee did the best he could, but that Davis is both a scoundrel and a coward. It is reported that when Davis went away he took with him three hundred thousand dollars in gold, and that this amount is not near all the gold he has.
THE FOREIGN WAR FEVER.
The feeling is strong in favor of a foreign war. Many of the rebels would willingly enlist to-day in our service to go and drive Maximillian out of Mexico. Some very influential citizens remarked to me to-day, that if our government would receive General Lee into its service, that Lee could raise a great army in the South, and that both him and Grant could march forward and square accounts in Mexico, and then give Canada a blow. The above remark was made in earnest, and, judging from what is said by all classes, I am convinced it has a solid foundation.
THE EFFECT OF THE BURNING OF RICHMOND.
The burning of Richmond by Ewell’s South Carolinians has done more than all else beside to make the people of this city welcome us to its limits. There is a very bitter feeling prevailing here against the South Carolina troops.
How comes it that what little there is in the stores here evidently came from England? The shoes the people wear are of English make. The paper one purchases to write on has a crown on it. In fact, it is surprising how many articles and how much property there is here that come from “merrie England” – that England that always observes a “strict neutrality,” and never helps one part more than the other, or runs a “belligerent’s” blockade.
THE HERALD IN RICHMOND.
The day that Richmond was captured a newsboy arrived here with an immense bundle of HERALDS, and he sold them so fast he could not move about, after landing, for more than a few yards at a time.
From Mr. C. Bohn, news agent of the Army of the James, your correspondent gets the following information.
Circulation of the HERALD in Richmond
Circulation of the Times in Richmond
Circulation of the Tribune in Richmond
Circulation of the Baltimore American in Richmond
Circulation of the Philadelphia Inquirer in Richmond
The present daily circulation of the Richmond Whig is ten thousand.
Mr. Bohn has established an agency here for the sale and distribution of New York and all other papers.
THE SPOTTSWOOD HOUSE.
The rush for accommodation at this hotel is very great. Major Wm. L. James, Chief Quartermaster, Fortress Monroe, and lady; Major Nelson Plato, Quartermaster; Captain D. B. Horn, Assistant Harbor Master; Dr. Ed McClellan, and several other distinguished passengers, arrived here to-day from Fortress Monroe, in the steamer Silas O. Pierce, Captain Tom Briggs, and are stopping at the Spottswood House.
RICHMOND, Va., April 11 – 5 A. M.
Yesterday, as on Sunday, the city was resonant with the roar of cannon – salutes fired in honor of the victories we have gained. Sunday, midnight, a salute of one hundred guns was fired by the fleet in the river, near Drewry’s Bluff. At sunrise yesterday another salute of about the same number of guns was fired by the war vessels in the harbor. At ten o’clock A. M. a grand salute of one hundred guns was fired from the square, the guns being stationed at the base of the Capitol.
SERIOUS ILLNESS OF MRS. GENERAL LEE.
Mrs. General Robert E. Lee is seriously indisposed at her residence in this city. The reverses attending the rebel arms have unnerved the lady completely. Since the occupation of Richmond the government authorities have acted with the most scrupulous regard for the feelings of Mrs. Lee. At first a colored guard was placed in front of the house she is occupying on Franklin street; but upon it being represented that “the color of the guard was perhaps an insult to Mrs. Lee,” they were withdrawn, and a white one substituted. There are some who do not think the change ought to have been made. If colored men are fit to fight down treason and restore the authority of the government of the United States, they are certainly good enough to patrol in front of the residence of the wife of a general who has used his influence and talents to cost this nation thousands of lives and millions of treasure, the matter of feeling to the contrary notwithstanding. Last evening the condition of Mrs. Lee was somewhat improved; but it is said that the shock to her constitution has been very severe, and that there is not much hope of her recovering.
Many of the merchants of this city, who closed up their stores, are opening them again and doing a brisk business. No doubt they are induced to do so when they see how fast the few traders who are here are making money, and also when they listen to the “great expectations” from the speculators’ own mouths. Many Richmond merchants are thinking of visiting New York and other Northern cities, with a view to securing a stock of goods for the spring and summer trade. The Whig thinks that, with the unrestricted introduction of goods, business here would take a start, the like of which has not been witnessed in the course of four years past.
The city is just as full as it can be of speculators, who are trying to make money in every conceivable way. Already a restaurant has been opened, and more will soon be in readiness for business.
One enterprising gentleman, a Baltimorean, has gone into the business of gathering up the old paper in the streets of Richmond. For this purpose he has employed a number of men to act as gatherers, who are even now working hard, with ???? and carts. Owing to the destruction of a portion of the city by fire, many of the streets are ??? covered with old papers and legal documents of various kinds. Many a lawyer’s musty records are scattered broadcast to the winds.
The military authorities have despatched a vessel to Norfolk for one thousand barrels of lime, to be used in the purification of the city gas at the gas works. As soon as the lime arrives, and it can be applied to its purpose, the gas will be turned on and supplant the home-made tallow candles now in use.
THE DESTROYED BANKS.
The military authorities have posted a guard around the sites of the several banks destroyed, in the expectation of recovering some of the bullion that is said to be buried among the ruins. It is reported that a soldier dug out a strong box from the debris of the Traders’ Bank containing gold, the property of one of the foreign consuls.
A SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE SPRINGING UP.
The Whig is arguing upon the capitalists of the city Richmond the propriety of thence moving in the work of establishing a city railroad. The Whig says on this subject: - “The only railroad ever owned by the city was taken up in 1863, by order of the so-called Confederate government, to aid in plating gunboats, which were finished only to be blown up. Above all things, Richmond needs a street railroad, for the walks are steep and the ascent tedious. If the road is not established by domestic enterprise, it will be established by Northern capital, and as a final result we think home enterprise ought to reap the benefit.
There is a telegraph office here in full operation. The military has charge of it. The old sign now holds good: - “Despatches can be sent from here to all points East and West.” The office has not yet been opened for the benefit of the public.
Hon. I. J. Arnold, Member of Congress from the Chicago district of Illinois, left here to-day for City Point.
Hon. L. H. Chandler, formerly of Norfolk, is stopping at the Spottswood House.
The band of the Eighth Connecticut, on Sunday night, serenaded several general officers at their headquarters.
THE WATER WORKS.
The water works are again in thorough repair. A guard is stationed at the works, night and day, to protect them from injury.
Adams’ Express Company is an institution. Its agent here has established an office on the corner of Main and Ninth streets, and put out a sign large enough for a business of half a million a year. Yesterday the agent opened the office, and did some business, more as a matter of accommodation than profit.
BODY OF A VICTIM FOUND.
A body, supposed to be that of a white man, but so much charred and burned as to defy recognition, was found among the ruins on the basin yesterday morning. This is the only body, so far, recovered from the ruins.
TOILET OF THE LADIES.
It is remarkable, in moving about the city, to notice the number of women who are dressed in mourning. The toilet of some of the ladies here is odd in one respect. They in the habit of wearing artificial roses, with broad green leaves, on the front part of their mourning jockeys and bonnets.
Not the least amusing is to observe the negro women. They are very merry, and sing quite lustily while sauntering through the streets. On Sunday a grinning, ??? negro woman promenaded the principal streets, wearing a red pink muslin dress, with a rich and elegantly trimmed velvet cloak over it. Of course there is no accounting for tastes among the colored population.
The rains of yesterday did not wholly extinguish the fire in the destroyed portion of the city. In many places the ruins of the buildings still smoke and smoulder.
RECRUITS FOR THE ARMY.
There were over three hundred negroes “hanging around” the Capitol yesterday, trying to find out the officers who are to enlist them. The negroes here see the enviable condition of our colored troops, and they want to “go in” at once, especially for the rations.
THE MARKET HOUSE.
There was but a meagre display in the Market House yesterday. Beef and veal averaged twenty-five cents per pound. The whole market was made up of beef, veal, sausages, tripe, parsley, onions and potatoes. There was not enough in the whole lot to supply the necessities for one day of a good sized town. The country people are not yet bringing much into market. Perhaps they are afraid that if they come into town they will have to take the oath.
Many who have been residents here are going to Norfolk. Some go to see their friends, others for a change of residence.
A COLORED CORRESPONDENT.
The colored correspondent of the Philadelphia Press is here, and, as a curiosity to these people, is attracting some attention.
EDITORS IN LIMBO.
There are two or three editors of newspapers in limbo in Libby. One was an attaché of the Richmond Examiner. They button-hole all the visitors, and tell their grievances with long faces and smooth tongues.
The hotels here are in a wretched condition. At the Spottswood, the elegant and fashionable hotel of the city, the proprietor can barely get dinner enough for the use of his guests. The guest pays four dollars per day, is furnished with a bed in the attic, stirs his coffee with a table spoon, and if cups happen to be short he gets a bowl or a shaving cup in lieu thereof. The coffee is miserable, and the tea worse. The waiters are speculative, and will not bring one enough to eat unless specially feed with a treasury note representing either twenty-five cents or half a dollar. There are but few carpets in the house. The ladies’ parlor, nevertheless, is well furnished, and contains among its furniture a new piano in good tune. There are both Northern and Southern ladies stopping at the house. They converse with each other but very little.
There is a strong hope that Jeff. Davis will be caught before he leaves the country. If he is caught he can be hung in Richmond with as little opposition from the citizens as in any city of the Northern States. It is perfectly astonishing how bitter the feeling is against the would-be President of the Confederate States of America.
THE RAILROAD BETWEEN PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND.
There is a direct railroad communication from Manchester to Petersburg. Special trains are constantly running on the line.
It is reported that the Virginia Central Railroad will be re-opened, so as to resume communication with Staunton. The Danville Railroad remains as it was when we entered the city.
COLONEL DAHLGREN’S BODY SENT NORTH.
The remains of Colonel U. Dahlgren were taken from here this morning, to be conveyed to Washington, D. C. They were encased in a metallic coffin, and accompanied by a military escort, as will be seen by the following order: -
SPECIAL ORDERS – NO. 97.
HEADQUARTER, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
RICHMOND, Va., April 10, 1865.
12. Lieutenant U. Walker, Eleventh Connecticut Volunteers, with one sergeant and six privates from the same regiment, is hereby ordered to proceed to the city of Washington, D. C., with the body of the late Colonel Dahlgren, and return as soon as possible.
The Quartermaster’s Department will furnish Lieutenant Walker all the assistance in its power. Also free transportation. By command of
Maj. Gen. WEITZEL.
D. D. WHEELER, Assistant Adjutant General.
REMAINS OF COLONEL H. H. JANEWAY.
On the same boat was sent the body of Colonel H. H. Janeway, late commander of the First New Jersey cavalry. The deceased was shot through the head in one of the cavalry engagements near Burkesville, and died almost instantly. Colonel Janeway being killed, Lieutenant Colonel Beaumont wounded, and Major Hart also killed, the command of the First New Jersey cavalry devolved upon Major Robbins, who is now with the regiment in the field. The body of Colonel Janeway will be taken to Jersey City, the home of his wife and friends. The body is in charge of Captain Bowen.
While writing of the cavalry I may in this connection mention that Major Doran, of the Twenty-fourth New York cavalry, who was dragged from the field, supposed to be dead, is now in hospital at City Point. He is wounded in three places, and although able to converse, is very weak. It is not thought that he will recover.
REVERSES IN “LATE FASHIONABLE AND WEALTHY CIRCLES.”
The people of the North can scarcely form an adequate idea of the misery and positive suffering into which families that were but a few days ago well off, and who helped to make up the fashion and gayety of Richmond, are now thrown by the fire, the change of currency and the reverses that have befallen the participators in the rebellion. Even when Jeff. Davis had his ??? here, and the so-called rebel paper was of sufficient value to secure something to eat, the people had but little; now they have almost nothing at all, and are in reality thrown upon the kindness of strangers and those whom they have been affecting to despise and look upon as enemies for means of subsistence. Many well dressed persons, both men and women, walked the streets of this city yesterday who were hungry, but were ashamed to own it. The poor “white trash” come out boldly and ask for what they want, and they get it too; but those who made up the comfortably situated and aristocrats try to conceal their sufferings, and suffer more for doing so.
Prominent citizens are doing all in their power to properly restore law and order in Virginia and revive the civil authority throughout the State.