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Robert E. Lee Portrait
GENERAL GRANT'S VICTORY.
GENERAL LEE'S attack on
right, south of the Appomattox, on Saturday the 25th of March, was the beginning
of a series of battles which have resulted in the capture of Richmond and the
abandonment by the rebel army of an intrenched line of works, the strongest,
with the single exception of the line of works opposed to them, that were ever
held by any army in any war. Though LEE made the first attack, Grant had made
the first move. The alternative was clearly forced upon General LEE either to
break GRANT'S lines or to abandon his own. And it would not be long that even
this alternative would be left him. On the midnight of Friday, the 24th, he knew
that he must make his choice immediately, or he would soon have no choice at all
that to await GRANT'S combinations against him would be to insure the capture of
his army. These combinations were now nearly perfected but not quite.
had not made his final move, but he was on the point of making it.
STEADMAN had not quite come up on his westward and southern lines of retreat but
they were swiftly coming up.
SHERIDAN had not yet, in conjunction with GRANT'S
army, gained a position on the Southside Railroad but he would directly gain
that position. LEE knew that GRANT'S army was already massed on the left for
that very move.
" At this moment," thought LEE, "
there is a single chance that I may by one move save my king from checkmate just
one move, and that must decide every thing. GRANT is comparatively weak on his
right, this side of City Point, on the Appomattox, at a point held by the Ninth
Army Corps : close up to the river is Fort M'Ilvrey, then comes Steadman, then
Haskell. This position at Hare's Hill is strong by nature so much the better for
me if by surprise and with overpowering numbers I can take it. Just beyond it
runs GRANT'S military railroad from City Point, completely commanded by the
position. Fortunately, too, this Hare's Hill is just under my very nose there
are not more than two hundred yards between it and my own lines. If then,
tonight I can mass a strong force at this point, there is so short a space to be
traversed by the assailing columns that the surprise will be quite complete.
GRANT'S different army corps are scattered along a long line from within half a
dozen miles of Richmond to Hatcher's Run, and it will be a difficult matter for
him to bring up reinforcements in time to be available. Success at the outset is
quite certain success followed up may be fatal to the enemy. And even a partial
success, maintained, may disturb GRANT'S calculations on my right."
In accordance with this plan the
attack was made. At the first blush Fort Steadman was taken but that was all.
Even so much could not be maintained. The fort was recaptured by the Ninth
Corps,, and not less than 1800 prisoners, including forty or fifty officers, and
thirteen or fourteen battle flags were captured at the same time. The attack of
the rebels, and the recapture of the fort, and the coming in of the prisoners we
have illustrated on pages 232 and 233.
LEE'S movement had utterly failed
; and instead of disturbing GRANT'S calculations on LEE'S right had given an
opportunity for the National troops to advance in that very direction.
Immediately General LEE saw that he must leave Richmond and his intrenched camp
at Petersburg. That he would now attempt to do this General GRANT knew, and
hurried up SHERIDAN, withdrew the greater portion of
ORD'S army from the north
side of the James, and prepared to move the main portion of his army against the
Southside Road. This movement found LEE in full strength and before he had
actually begun to remove his army from its intrenchments. Thus what LEE intended
should be a quiet evacuation was transformed into a disastrous retreat with
GRANT and SHERIDAN on his flank and rear. It was absolutely necessary for him to
There was no delay in GRANT'S
movements. SHERIDAN had scarcely newly shod his horses before he was off on the
29th with a large force of infantry in co-operation. Away past GRANT'S extreme
left rode General SHERIDAN to Dinwiddie Court House, with the Fifth Corps, under
General WARREN, on his right. On Friday, the 31st, the Fifth Corps, having
gained on the previous day a position on the Boydton Road, advanced against the
White Oak Road farther to the west, found the rebels in force on Gravelly Run,
and was driven back to the plank road again. Later in the day the ground lost
was recovered. The repulse, however, in the forenoon, had given SHERIDAN no
little trouble, and it was only at great sacrifice that he held the field
against the enemy. SHERIDAN'S force consisted of two corps under Generals
CUSTER, CROOK'S division of cavalry, and a cavalry brigade under General
MACKENZIE. On Saturday these, with the Fifth Corps, were placed under SHERIDAN'S
command. On that day was fought the successful battle of Big Five Forks. The
greater part of the day was consumed in driving the divisions of PICKET and BUSHROD JOHNSON into their breast works, and as soon as this had been
accomplished, the Fifth Corps came in upon the rebel left, and after a desperate
conflict six thousand of the enemy surrendered. Eight thousand muskets were
taken, and twenty-eight battle flags, with several pieces of artillery.
This success exposed LEE'S flank
on the Appomattox, and at the same time permitted the destruction of the
Southside Road. As soon as GRANT had intelligence of SHERIDAN'S victory he
ordered an advance on his right along the whole line. This was at 9 P.M. on
Saturday. ORD and WRIGHT and PARKE had, ere an hour, passed the picket line, and
cast themselves en masse upon the enemy's lines before Petersburg. The rebel
line was carried by assault. On Sunday night the national troops rested in the
rebel intrenchments, their line extending from the Appomattox above Petersburg
to the same river below. That night Petersburg itself was abandoned. The next
morning GRANT started in pursuit toward Burkesville. The distance of Burkesville
from Richmond is 52 miles.
The news of the capture of
Petersburg had scarcely reached the War Department before it was followed by the
announcement that, at 8.15 A.M. on Monday morning, General WEITZEL had entered
Richmond with the troops left on the north side of the James. Thus, after three
days of hard fighting, the Confederacy was left without a capital, and its great
army was put to flight.
In connection with the events of
the past week, the sketch which we give on our first page of General GRANT'S
Head-Quarters at City Point has a peculiar interest.
WE continue this week our
illustrations of General SHERMAN'S march through the Carolinas. Not the least
interesting of these are those engraved on
pages 229 and 237, representing the
actions at Averysborough and Bentonsville.
SHERMAN started from Fayetteville
for Goldsborough on the 14th. The successes already gained by
had made the Neuse River immediately available as a base of operations. The
enemy in his front was now stronger than he had been at any other stage of the
march. BRAGG and HARDEE had joined JOHNSTON, to whom had been assigned the
conduct of the campaign in North Carolina on the part of the Confederates. It
was probable, therefore, that, in the march to the Neuse, SHERMAN would have to
measure his strength against JOHNSTON, and he made his arrangements with a view
to that event. The main portion of the army, with the wagon trains, were
dispatched on the road to Goldsborough. Another column, headed by KILPATRICK,
and consisting of two divisions of the Twentieth and two of the Fourteenth
corps, advanced on the road to Raleigh, the other two divisions of
command being between this column and HOWARD.
KILPATRICK met the enemy's cavalry
about five miles from Fayetteville on the evening of the 15th. His infantry
supports coming up, he attacked and drove the enemy from his advanced line,
capturing three guns and 200 prisoners. The Confederates fell back to Moore's
Cross Roads, near Averysborough, where they held a strong position, between Cape
Fear and Black rivers, with a stream in front. On the 16th there was fighting
all day, which made such an impression upon the enemy that during the night he
abandoned his line. Thus the way was uncovered for the army to advance on
Goldsborough. SHERMAN'S loss in the battle of Averysborough was estimated as
less than 800; JOHNSTON states his as 450, and extravagantly surmises SHERMAN'S
to have been 3300. 327 of the enemy's dead and wounded were left on the field.
Among the prisoners captured was Colonel RHETT, son of the prominent South
Another battle was fought near
Bentonsville, 12 miles from the Neuse. Here the enemy was found strongly
intrenched on the 19th. In an attempt to flank this position a portion of the
Twentieth Corps sustained a repulse, taking advantage of which the enemy
succeeded in pushing back the whole line. A new line was formed, behind hasty
intrenchments. The enemy made five charges against this line, and was each time
repulsed. At night he retired, just as at Averysborough. SHERMAN'S loss was less
than 2000, while JOHNSTON'S is estimated at 3000. On the 20th SHERMAN attacked
with his whole army, and the enemy that night fell back to Smithfield, and
SHERMAN the next day was at Goldsborough, which SCHOFIELD had already occupied.
TERRY'S column had also come up from Wilmington. The three armies had formed a
junction on the very day appointed by SHERMAN.
In connection with our
illustrations from General SHERMAN'S army we take this opportunity to make
amends to our excellent artist, Mr. WILLIAM WAUD, for an error in our last
week's issue, in attributing to another artist three of his sketches, viz. :
"The Fifteenth Corps crossing the South Edisto ;" "Raising the Stars and Stripes
over the Capitol at Columbia ;" and " The Charge of Weaver's Brigade across the
THE CAMP OF
THE National Government has,
since last July, confined a large number of its prisoners of war in an
encampment formed at Elmira, in the State of New York, distant 277 miles from
New York City, on the Erie Railroad. We give on
page 236 a view of this
encampment, taken from the " Observatory," lately built upon the public road
outside the camp, which is daily visited by a multitude of curious persons, who
pay the proprietor of the Observatory at the rate of ten cents a head for
permission to have a peep at the formidable captives. The inclosure within which
these prisoners are confined is a space of some twenty acres of ground, with a
broad river running in the rear, and high walls on every side. Here about 10,000
of the rebel soldiers who have been made prisoners of war are kept in safe
custody, lodging in the wooden huts or in the canvas tents shown in our
engraving. Sentries are posted all round on the walls, in such a position that
they can have a clear view of every thing within the camp, while the movements
of the sentries themselves can not be watched by the prisoners. At night the
whole place is lighted up with kerosene oil lamps. A number of spies are
employed to mix with the prisoners and inform the Commandant of any plots which
they may form to escape. Notwithstanding these precautions, an attempt was made,
at the end of November, by about 300 of them, to dig a trench underground, from
one of the hospitals to the wall, intending to pass under the wall, and get out
beyond. This scheme was, however, detected, and their escape prevented, on the
night which they had fixed. The prisoners at Elmira are well fed and clothed,
and there is an efficient medical staff to attend to the sick. They amuse
themselves with reading and writing, or making toys and other small articles for
HELP THE POOR.
GOD help the poor who on this
Come forth of alleys dim and
courts obscure. God help the poor pale girl who droops forlorn,
And meekly her affliction doth
God help the outcast lamb ! she
trembling stands, All wan her lips, and frozen red her hands; Her mournful hands
are modestly down cast; Her night-black hair streams on the fitful blast; Her
bosom, passing fair, is half revealed, And oh! so cold the snow lies there
congealed; Her feet benumbed, her shoes all rent and worn. God help thee,
outcast lamb, who standst forlorn !
God help the poor!
God help the poor! another have I
found, A bow'd and venerable man is he;
His slouched hat with faded crape
is bound ;
His coat is gray, and threadbare,
too, I see; "The rude winds" seem " to mock his hoary hair," His shirtless bosom
to the blast is bare.
Anon he turns and casts a wistful
And with scant napkin wipes the
blinding spray, And looks again as if he fain would spy
Friends he hath feasted in his
Ah, some are dead, and some have
long forborne To know the poor ; and he is left forlorn,
God help the poor !
" IT WILL OUT."
THE 16th of October, 1712, a
fete-day in the little town of St. Barnabe, near Marseilles, was, moreover, a
day of reconciliation in the family of the Sieur de Salis, a retired officer of
distinction, inhabiting a handsome villa just beyond the town.
This gentleman's family consisted
of seven children, viz. : two daughters (professed nuns) and five sons : Antoine
(a lieutenant in the navy), Jean-Baptiste, Francois-Guillaume, Etienne-Gayetan
(in the army), and Louis-Cesar, a Iad of thirteen.
M. de Salis, at forty, had
married a woman twenty-two years his junior—very beautiful, but of a violent,
implacable temper. Their married life had consequently been one series of bitter
quarrels and hollow reconciliations. In all these Madame de Salis had never lost
sight of one especial object—that of weakening the bonds of duty and affection
between the children and their father, and attaching the former exclusively to
herself ; an aim in which, as will be seen, she had been but too successful.
On the day above-mentioned, M. de
Salle had been induced to forgive his second son, Jean-Baptiste, a grave
dereliction of duty, in having married, without consent, the pretty penniless
daughter of M. Senelon, curate of the parish.
The reconciliation was, however,
complete ; and the old gentleman had insisted upon his son's remaining to
dinner, though engaged to partake of that meal with his father-in-law.
The dinner had passed off with
unwonted good humor and cordiality, and Madame de Salle had withdrawn to her own
apartment, when, Francois-Guillaume, intending to go to the fete, applied to his
father for some money for the purpose. Now it was one of the mother's plans for
maintaining her ascendency with the children, to be herself their purse-bearer.
Her husband, therefore, unprepared for his son's request, and having, indeed,
but little to spare, tendered him a coin of such modest value that the latter
conceived himself insulted.
This may seem a trifling cause
for anger. In point of fact, it was but the breaking forth of that hidden fire
which had never ceased to smoulder in the hearts of all the sons against their
The latter becoming irritated in
his turn, words rose higher and higher ; others (especially the newly-pardoned
Jean-Baptiste) joined in the quarrel; and finally, Madame de Saris, rushing in,
and taking the part of her sons, increased their fury ten-fold. At length
Francois-Guillaume, not content with vituperating his father, in his maniacal
rage drew his sword.
At this last outrage M. de Salis
started from his seat, and summoning a Turkish servant—one Hassan-Ali—bade him
saddle a horse, loudly declaring his intention to proceed straight to Marseilles
and lodge a formal complaint against his unnatural children.
Not reflecting that the parent
who threatens most loudly is often the slowest to execute, and completely
blinded by passion, Madame de Salle exhorted her sons to oppose their father's
exit, assuring them that, should he do as he had threatened, their ruin was
The old gentleman persisting, a
desperate struggle commenced, the maddened woman actually dragging him back by
the hair of his head, while the sons secured his arms and legs. Thus
over-powered, he was flung to the ground, and, in falling, received on the
forehead a wound so severe as almost to render him unconscious. Rallying a
little, the unhappy father appealed in touching terms to his cowardly assailants
"What have I done to you, boys,
that you treat me as though I were your deadly enemy? If you have ceased to obey
and honor me as a father, at least remember that we are still united in a common
humanity. Look at these gray hairs ! Will my own children be my murderers ?"
Finding his remonstrances produce
no effect, M. de Sails now uttered a loud, lamentable cry ; and it was probably
in attempting to stifle this that Jean-Baptiste grasped him so tightly by the
throat as to reduce him to complete insensibility. In fact, whether or not he
died at this instant was never fully known. What is certain is, that the guilty
band felt they had now gone too far to recede ; and, with clutching, convulsive
hands, and—it was said —the sword of Francois-Guillaume, made their horrible
During the frightful scene the
younger son, Louis-Cesar, had crouched weeping in a corner, longing, but not
daring, to succor his father. For a similar reason the Turkish servant had
inactive. The only other
domestic, Susanne Borelli, was absent at the fete.
No sooner was the parricide
consummated than dismay succeeded. The actors in this tragedy, disordered,
breathless, flecked with blood, stood gaping in each other's white faces, as
though they wist not what next to do. The bright autumn sun streamed in full
upon the recumbent figure of their victim. They almost recoiled before the mute
inquisitor; but as yet there was no voice of vengeance. " Patient, because
eternal," says Tertullian.
The instinct of self-preservation
soon aroused them to action ; and she whose influence had brought about the deed
was the first to regain sufficient self-command to take measures for averting
its consequences. Aware that the chief danger lay in the chance of some one of
the party, in the first horror of what had passed, involuntarily betraying
him-self and the rest, she assumed a calmness she was far from feeling, and
affected to treat the matter in the light of a mere misadventure.
She had the firmness to search
her husband's pockets, and take his keys and money. Of the latter she gave a
portion to Francois-Guillaume, de-siring him to go, as he had proposed, to the
fete; but to return early, and help in " putting things to rights."
She ordered Jean-Baptiste and
Hassan-Ali to convey the body to a chamber on the top floor, and bring the key
Her next step was a bold one. She
sent Louis-Cesar to the curate, M. Senelon, requesting his attendance; and, on
his arrival, quietly informed him that his son-in-law Jean-Baptiste and
Francois-Guillaume had killed their father.
Madame de Salle had judged M.
Senelon aright. Horror-stricken as he was, he could not bring him-self to
denounce the husband of his child. Compelled, therefore, to aid the concealment
of that atrocious crime, he suggested that the body should be placed in bed, and
that it should be given out that M. de Salis had died of apoplexy.
On learning, however, that the
marks of violence were too apparent for this explanation, the curate proposed
that the body should be let fall from an upper window into the garden, dressed
as it was, and with the finger still retaining the ring of a bird-cage which
usually hung outside, and in striving to reach which it might be surmised that
M. de Salis had overbalanced himself and fallen. Having, as it were, forced
himself to give this advice, the en-rate turned to withdraw ; but passing on the
thresh-old, spoke a parting word :
" Though I have consented—against
my con-science and my duty—to aid in the present concealment of this unnatural
and horrible deed, be sure that no human craft or caution will secure your
permanent safety. Prepare yourselves, by your future lives, for the inevitable
judgment, even of man. Preserve your secret with what fidelity you may, mark my
warning—it will out!"
Now was seen a curious feature of
humanity. Jean-Baptiste, who had been foremost in the murderous assault,
trembled from head to foot at the very thought of the fresh indignity he was
called on to inflict upon the senseless corpse. He at first positively refused
to lay a finger on the body ; and it required all his mother's influence to
overcome his repugnance. As it was, he was seized with a deadly sickness in the
act ; and the dishonored frame that fell prone among the crushed flowers was
hardly more livid and corpse-like than he who dropped it there. As for Madame de
Salis, who had by this time regained all her natural self-possession, she
neglected nothing that might further the deceit. She threw her husband's hat
into the garden; and then going down to her hen-house, killed some fowls, and
sprinkled the blood about the prostrate body.
In a few minutes shrieks and
cries warned the neighbors that something had happened at the house of De Salle
; and these, rushing in, found the family in the act of lifting up the body from
the earth. It was placed upon the nearest couch, amidst tears and plaints; and
every means for restoring animation resorted to with well-acted assiduity. These
exhausted, Madame de Salle gave herself up to the wildest grief, tearing her
hair, and exhibiting every token of despair; the rest, each according to his
several gift, imitating as best they might.
A magistrate now arrived, and,
attended by two surgeons, examined the body. Not the slightest suspicion of foul
play visited their minds. The medical men reported that M. de Salis had died
from injuries received in an accidental fall; and the bereaved family were
quickly left to the free indulgence of their sorrow.
This satisfactory proceeding
removed a great source of anxiety. The whole party, excepting the young
Louis-Cesar, assembled at supper with renewed courage, the mother assuring them
that,were they but true to themselves, their future life would be far happier
and more peaceful than hitherto.
Matters did go on for some months
with a tranquillity hitherto foreign enough to that unhappy home, when a little
cloud made its appearance above their horizon. M. de Salis had possessed but
slender means beyond the provision he received from government. The family soon
began to feel the pressure of poverty ; and, finding their resources all but
exhausted, the sons--with the exception of Antoine, already provided for—wrote a
joint letter to their uncle, the Count de Salis, describing in touching terms
their destitute position, and entreating his influence to ameliorate it. In
answer to their application, the count conferred on the family a pension of six
hundred livres a year.
In this interval, certain
suspicions having arisen in the minds of the two absent sons, Antoine the sailor
and Etienne-Gayetan the soldier, these two arranged a joint visit to their home;
and, taking their youngest brother apart, subjected the lad to so close and
searching an examination, that he ended by divulging the horrible secret, and
describing minutely the tragedy of which he had been a witness.. Them followed a
family consultation, in which fresh pledges for the concealment of the secret
were exchanged; and these would probably have been observed had not the
allowance granted by the count proved a source of fatal division. Ma-