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War between the States
Union troops in Richmond


"I saw them unfurl a tiny flag and I sank on my knees and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent:,so wrote mrs. Mary Fontaine of Richmond as Federal Cavalry dashed into the city in the morning.  The first flag, a small guidon was raised by Major Atherton Stevens Jr. of Massachusetts over the State House., Capitol of the Confederacy.  As the people, many of them jubilant Negroes. swarmed into the streets, much of the city still in flames, more Federal soldiers arrived.

The Cavalry thundered at a furious gallop and the Infantry came playing "The girl I left behind me" and the Negro troops playing "Dixie".  An eyewitness wrote that the former slaves in Richmond were "completely crazed" they danced and shouted, hugging and kissing.  Looting continued.

"Oh it was too awful to remember, if it could be erased but that cannot be."  "This town is the Rebellion, it is all we have directly striven for".  Now this was suddenly changed. major General Godfrey Weitzel, with troops from the Army of the James, commanded the occupation.  At eight-fifteen in the City Hall, he received the surrender.  Union troops immediately set about to restore order and subdue the fires.  By midafternoon progress had been made as Richmond slowly quieted down.

The train from Richmond to Danville moved slowly the night of April 2-3 due to roadbed difficulties.  But by midafternoon the cars bearing President Davis, most of the Cabinet and many records arrived in Danville VA, where citizens had hurriedly prepared to receive their guests.  Headquarters for the President were established in the home of Maj. W.T. Sutherlin.  Davis declared that he was not abandoning the cause.


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