The Falling Flag: Evacuation of Richmond, Retreat and Surrender at Appomattox

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E. J. Hale, 1874 - Richmond (Va.) - 67 pages
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Page 56 - got theirs. My impression is that the Twenty-fourth Virginia lost the most or a good many of their horses. The men built fires, and all seemed to have something to eat, and to be amusing themselves eating it. The woods on the southern and eastern side swarmed with the enemy and their cavalry — a portion of it was between us and the "James River," which was about twelve miles distant.
Page 57 - We soon had everything in its righj place, and rode out from the bottom into the open field, about two hundred and fifty strong, to see the last of it. Firing was going on, artillery and small arms, beyond the town, and there was General RE Lee himself, with Longstreet, Gordon, and the rest of his paladins. When we rode into the open field we could see the enemy crowding along the edge of the woods — cavalry apparently extending their line around us. We kept on advancing towards them to get a nearer...
Page 58 - The party in the yard were taken by surprise ; they had not expected us to charge them, as they were aware that a parley was going on (of which, of course, we knew nothing), and that there was a suspension of hostilities. We drove them through the yard, taking one or two prisoners — one little fellow, who took it very goodhumoredly ; he had his head tied up, having got it , broken somewhere on the road, and was riding a mule. We followed up their retreat through the yard, down a road, through the...
Page 50 - It was dark by this time, and at every discharge the cannon was ablaze from touch hole to mouth, and there must have been six or eight pieces at work, and the small arms of some three or four hundred men packed in among the guns in a very confined space.
Page 13 - I hope never to see again— the saddest of many of the sad sights of war— a city undergoing pillage at the hands of its own mob, while the standards of an empire were being taken from its capitol, and the tramp of a victorious enemy could be heard at its gates.
Page 61 - Forks,' around Petersburg, which made the evacuation of Richmond and the retreat a stern necessity. When General Longstreet's corps, from the" north bank, joined it, the army of northern Virginia, wasted and reduced to skeleton battalions, was still an army of veteran material, powerful yet for attack or defense, all the more dangerous from its desperate condition. And General Grant so recognized and dealt with it, attacking it as before stated, in detail, letting it wear itself out by straggling...
Page 51 - ... came. It was too dark to see anything under the shadow of the trees but the long dark line. They would get within thirty or forty yards of the guns and then roll back, under the deadly fire that was poured upon them from the artillery and small arms. Amid the flashing, and the roaring, and the shouting, rose the wild yell of a railroad whistle, as a train rushed up almost among us (the enemy had possession of the road), as we were fighting around the depot, sounding on the night air as if the...
Page 65 - ... themselves in any other way. They, in the good nature of success, were more willing to give than our men, in the soreness of defeat, to receive. The effect of such conduct upon our men was of the best kind; the unexpected consideration shown by the officers and men of the United States army toward us ; the heartiness with which a Yankee soldier would come up to a Confederate officer and say, " We have been fighting one another for four years ; give me a Confederate five dollar bill to remember...
Page 52 - What battery do you belong to?" " Donaldsonville." It was the Creole company ; and they might well have added the other words of the great Francis, after the battle of Pavia,
Page 15 - ... together with the roaring and crackling of burning houses, made a scene which I hope never to see again: a city undergoing pillage at the hands of its own mob, while the tramp of a victorious enemy could be heard at its gates! As we reached the high hill on which Manchester is built, we looked down on Richmond. By this time the fire appeared to be general. Some magazine or depot was on fire about the center of the city; from it would come the roar of bursting shells and boxes of fixed ammunition,...

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