From the New York Herald, 4/13/1865
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
Along the docks the quartermaster is clearing up. Engaged
in this work alone he has employed over six hundred contrabands. These are
gathering in and 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 shovelling, more in carrying, collecting and storing, and all to a good
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 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 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. SLAGHT, 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 your for employment. It would be desirable to have a building so
arranged that one portion can be used for cooking, and a third as an eating room
and general quarters. A small building should be selected and fitted up for
hospital purposes. This 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. Your 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
pick “at the 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. The 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, 1865.
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 and 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
E.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 matter 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 then with. Already the
great good accomplished by this dispensary is being widely proclaimed, and
tonight many a weak pulse is beating faster than it did a week ago, and it
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 of Rocks Hospital and the hospital at Fortress Monroe.
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
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
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 is 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 this 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.
Today 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
clothes were faded and patched, and in more than a few instances cut after a
pattern known to oldest inhabitant. Tonight 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 stored large
quantities of tobacco and articles properly belonging to the government. These
we are gradually working in as to our mill. It is a fact that in 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
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
abut 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
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
The mechanics, who are now out of employment, are besieging
the quartermaster for work to do. Today, 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
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.
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
The feeling is strong in favor of a foreign war. Many of
the rebels would willingly enlist today in our service to go and drive
Maxmillian out of Mexico. Some very influential citizens remarked tome today,
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
remarks was made in earnest, and, judging from what is said by all classes, I am
convinced it has a solid foundation.
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 England – ‘that
England that always observes a neutrality,’ and never helps one party more than
the other, or runs a “blockade.”
THE HERALD IN
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
Circulation of the TIMES in Richmond.................. 300
Circulation of the TRIBUNE in Richmond................ 400
Circulation of the BALTIMORE AMERICAN in Richmond......700
Circulation of the Philadelphia INQUIRER in Richmond.. 700
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 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. Eli
McClellan, and several other distinguished passengers, arrived here today 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
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 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 hooks and carts. Owing to the destruction of a portion of the
city by fire, many of the streets are literally 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 can be applied to
its purpose, the gas will be turned on and supplant the homemade tallow candles
now in use.
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 Trader’s Bank containing
gold, the property of one of the foreign consuls.
A SPIRIT OF
ENTERPRISE SPRINGING UP.
The Whig is urging upon the capitalists of the city of
Richmond the propriety of at once 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 today 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
BODY OF A VICTIM
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
TOILET OF THE
It is remarkable, in moving abut 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 are in the habit of wearing artificial roses,
with broad green leaves, on the front part of their mourning jockeys and
Not the lest amusing is to observe the negro women. They
are very merry, and sing quite lustily while sauntering through the streets. On
Sunday a grinning, fat negro women 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 the tastes among the colored populations.
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 smolder.
RECRUITS FOR THE
There were over three hundred negroes 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 “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.
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 attach 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 dishes 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.
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
reopened, so as to resume communication with Staunton. The Danville Railroad
remains as it was when we entered the city.
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
SPECIAL ORDERS - NO. 97.
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
D. D. WHEELER, Assistant Adjutant General.
REMAINS OF COLONEL
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 a 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 rule
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 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
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