End of the Civil War, April 3-10, 1865

 
Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 1

April 3rd The war department was hung with flags yesterday and the city in an excited state generally from the supposition that Gen Grant would in all probability be within the fortifications of Richmond before night. Father & Mr. Patterson, who has been with us since Saturday, went to the wharf for news a number of very badly wounded men had just arrived from Fortress Monroe. One poor fellow had lost both arms legs and one arm, all were seriously injured.
Henry Smith came to call in the evening. He was on his way to New Orleans to join his regiment. He had been recruiting his strength at home after an imprisonment 

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of six months at the South. The description of the treatment he had received could not but excite our indignation. The seemingly systematic inhuman treatment of those taken in a war is a dark spot upon the escutheon of the South.
[April] 4th. The paper this morning does not give a very definite idea of the recent battle before Richmond. It does not seem to be as important as was supposed. Mr. Patterson has just left us.
11 o'clock Richmond has fallen--no particulars yet. Prof. Baird has just given the news to Father.
1 A.M. Mr. Gill has just brought in "The Star." Petersburg is ours. Richmond is evacuated and our forces are in persuit of the enemy. The church bells are ringing and the gun firing in honor of the victory. 

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April 5th Went last evening to Mrs. Peales in order to go with her to view the illumination of the city in honor of the recent victories. We went first to the War Department. It was brillantly lighted and beautifully draped with flags. While we were admiring it a beautiful crimson light was thrown upon the entire scene by some species of fire works. The effect was beautiful in the extreme. This was followed by white light giving the effect of frost work to the th trees and afterwards by blue which was not as pretty. The President's House shown resplendent with candles. The Treasury was distinguished by an immense Treas Green Back. In front of the State Department was a transparency with these words upon it "At home union is order and order is peace. Abroad union is strength and strength is peace." The Capitol was adorned with several tiers 

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of lights encircling the dome while the white marble seemed translucent with the innumerable lights below. There was a large transparency in front which we were not near enough to read. The effect of the building at a distance was exceedingly fine. The National Observatory was lighted and was much admired. A large mass meeting was collected around the Patent Office. The word union in large letters formed of gas jets adorned the front. It was brillantly illunimated as was the Post Office opposite. We were with Mr. Seward and his daughter part of the time. Sec Stanton's House was very tastefully adorned. A Serenade under his windows closed the enjoyment of our evening.

April 6th. Our army is in persuit of the rapidly retreating forces of Lee it is earnestly to be hoped 

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that they will be overtaken and the final blow given which may terminate this sanguinary war. The mere taking of Richmond is of comparative small importance if the Southern army remains unconquered.
Mr. Seward was thrown from his carriage about 5 o'clock last evening and lay in a state of insensibility for some time. It was feared his skull was fractured. Father called there about 10 o'clock found him much better his arm is broken.
April 7th 2 P.M. Lee and his whole army are captured. Guns are firing and the bells are ringing out a merry peal. Poor fellows, how hard it must have been to yield. Our hearts are heavy for them even while we rejoice most truly on the prospects of peace.
8 P.M. The victory was not as great as supposed but still is sufficiently important to be a subject of great 

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rejoicing. Gens. Ewell, Kershaw, Butler, Corse, Custis Lee and several other Officers were taken and several thousand prisoners.
Sec. Seward's injuries were not as serious as at first supposed. He is much better to day.
April 10th. We were awakened at 5 o'clock this morning by the usual sounds of victory the firing of guns and the ringing of bells and before we were dressed Father came to our door to tell us Lee and his army had surrendered. The news came at 9 o'clock last night. The correspondence bet. Grant & Lee concerning the negociated surrender was noble and generous on both sides. Gen Lee, with his officers and men were all paroled.