18 April 1865: “I feel provoked to hear the college bell sounding on as though the college was in full blast—a miserable set— not one true man among them and they desire to hand it down in History that the dear Yankees, did not interfere with the regular exercise of the college—when in truth there were not five students here when Wheeler left us.”

Item Description: Letter from Charles P. Mallet to his son Charles B. Mallet.  Written over the course of a few weeks, he describes the Confederate retreat from Chapel Hill and the Union occupation.  He describes the pillaging and foraging going on in the area and the Union Army has assigned guard to protect the personal property of civilians in Chapel Hill.18650418_01 18650418_02 18650418_03 18650418_04 18650418_05 18650418_06 18650418_07 18650418_08 18650418_09 18650418_10 18650418_11 18650418_12 18650418_13 18650418_14 18650418_15 18650418_16 18650418_17 18650418_18 18650418_19 18650418_20 18650418_21 18650418_22



Item Citation: Folder 3, in the C. B. Mallet Papers, #3165, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Chapel Hill 18th April 65

My Dear Son,

My last letter to you was sent by mail via High Point, informing you that I was about sending off Dr Closs, with a load of flour for you, saving one Blb. which I had marked for W.G. Broadfoot and one Blb. contributed by a farmer for the town, but rumour after rumour came so fast upon us that Closs would not risk his team and I was obliged to give it up. And afterwards when I found that it might either be given to Johnson’s Army or taken by the Yankees, I prepared the former and gave to 18 Division eighteen Blbs. of flour and to Wheeler forty bus. of corn and about 1000. lb fodder – I will give you a brief sketch of matters as they have fallen under my observation.

Saturday 8th your Bro. Peter came over from Greensboro bringing intelligence of the cutting of the Danville road, and also of the N.C. road and further that Gen. Johnson had notified Gov. Vance that he would be compelled to uncover the Capitol on Sunday – we learned also that Gov. Swain and Gov. Graham had gone with a flag of truce to Genl. Sherman. Sunday 9th rumours of Johnson falling back was sustained by the passing of trains of artillery wagons and all other indications of retreat. Monday 10th we have the first intimation of the surrender of Gen. Lee, which altho coming very strait we could not believe – all day, troops, wagons, &c were passing. Peter went to Greensboro. I made inquiry about Hokes Division and found they were in the rear of all the infantry and that Wheelers Cavalry brought up the rear. Tuesday 11th. about 300 mules in a drove with an interminable length of Army Wagons and Artillery. Wednesday 12th. one continuous column of infantry 8 abreast all in good condition and spirits passed along. Thursday 13th Hokes Division passed through. I saw the Genl. he was staggered by the report of Lee’s disaster but unwilling to believe it, expressing at the same time much anxiety about Johnson’s; that night John and Herbert staid with us both looking wel and in good health and spirits having left their commands encamped at New Hope, five miles back, and making twenty four miles of March for Herbert. His mother provided a warm bath for him and other comforts; which enabled him to proceed to overtake his co. on Friday morning 14th after parting with John and Herbert at the corner of that my attention was called to a cavalry company- The officers at the head of the Column beckoned me, and made enquiry about all the roads I knew anything about, and halted in my turn I asked who command it was. A Capt. in front answered. Gen. Wheeler’s staff and Escort. I asked if Gen. Wheeler was along-when a small man rough and weather beaten rode up took off his hat–Gen. Wheeler at your service sir– I took off my hat and reintroduced myself. He said you speak of a military road will you point it out on the map: dismounted and in a moment had a Map spread out, was down upon his knees in the sand and with a pencil traced out the line of the old Cornwallis road, which, did not cross New Hope at all. I asked him to take supper with me and bring his friend, which he said he would be pleased to do, as he desired further information from me. He came up with a Capt. Steele from Tennessee who proved to be an old friend of Fridges. We had a very pleasant evening. He is a mild pleasant little Gentleman about 26 year of age. but is roughly clad, and with a small faded wool hat upon his head that no man at first sight would have classed him above a private.

I urged upon him to remain all night, which he declined like a Gentleman and soldier – saying he always preferred to be in the midst of his men and to fare as they fared and this causes the enthusiastic love of the men towards him when we parted he offered me a hand, such as I had never shaken as being that of a man it was ever more delicate to the touch than that of a boy-he went out to his encampment and that night we had a most prodigious fall of rain. Saturday 15 met Genl Wheeler by appointment at his office, found him in the wet clothes of the previous night, and whilst there learned that Gov. Swain had reached home. Gen. Wheeler expressed a desire to see him, and I walked over with him, and found several gentlemen with him but in compliment to Gen. Wheeler, he began the story of his Experience in the Yankee camp he and Gov. Graham– and after talking full hour and a half the Gen. withdrew seemingly disappointed he asked me what sort of man the ex Gov. could be; for that he had not yet learned what business he had and how he succeeded, certainly said I have learned nothing of the least importance to me. 16th Easter Major McNiell of 46th a friend of Dear Richies passed through: leaving Durhams that morning and also Dr. John DeRossett who confirmed the reported capture of Gen. Lee, brought a passport from Gen. Kilpatrick to Gen. Atkins at this place; Gen. Wheeler told me early that his scouts had all come in reporting that the Yankees had disappeared from every position they held the day before. He ordered the Piney Prospect Hill barracaded and sent two Regiments down there for a parting fight. He promised to dine with me at half past 12 o’clock: was evidently uneasy: punctual to the minute he and Capt. Steel made their appearance and to the credit of my wife we had a very excellent dinner-(he neither drinks, smokes, or chews)- Whilst at dinner and before and after I urged upon not to make a resistance it would do the cause no good, and our village much harm- and without saying a word wrote a brief order and dispatched a courrier after a very few minutes he and the captain went off at half speed and by 3 o’clock there was not one of his men in or about the village, I was at Church in the afternoon. Mr. Mickle called out, and when I met him in the street, found that another paroled prisoner from Lees Army had come in, and reported the Yankees approaching in force on the town road, which of course produced great excitement. The citizens met and appointed a committee to meet them and ask a safeguard; between sun down and dark some forty or fifty under a Lieut —came dashing into the village and inquired for Wheelers men—some few separated from the others and behaved badly, took away some watches &c; but when the Lt was informed he called them off, and returned to the Head Quarters, appointing 8 oclock the next morning to meet the Army, and make our terms. I was on the committee, and if Gov Swain did nothing more on his mission, he procured favorable terms for Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Monday 17. the committee met the column on the Hill were very courteously received by Genl. Atkins who upon being assured that all of Wheelers men had gone, and that no resistance would be made, called a halt, and informed us, that his orders were positive to respect all private property; (provisions and forage excepted)—Seeing many of the men break the lines, I remarked to Genl that those men would rush in and pillage before the regular guard could be arranged; he then gave orders to a Michigan Col. to take his Regt with speed into the village and protect every house that desired it; and by the time we came back through the efforts of your Brother and some others guards were soon established and besides the watches and some bacon hams I have heard of nothing to complain of up to the present writing, and whilst I write, my safeguard is indulging in a sound snoring sleep in my large easy chair now

Tuesday 18th has dawned upon us after as quiet a night as I have ever known at Chapel Hill–I learn from the Captain in charge of the guards that dispatches have come in this morning announcing the death of Lincoln–having been shot in the theatre– and that Jonson has certainly capitulated. I am disposed to believe the later, as he is certainly cut off from his supplies and surrounded on all sides, and the Yankees are now sending trains without let or hindrance through from Wilmington to Hillsboro over. Wednesday morning 19th last night there was more moving in the village- our dogs kept up a continued barking, and I learn this morning, that a general stampede of negroes took place many families left without a servant. All of Mr. Water’s except her maid. All of Wm A. Wrights – The Doctors two girls, Elsey and Betty– Fridges Fred and very many others, mine are all here yet. Altho the guard I have spends his whole time in the kitchen, and I am looking for their move- they went off to Durhams there to take the train to Wilmington. W. A. Wright left here Sunday morning with a New two horse wagon with all his own and his wifes and  daughters clothes, and valuables- and about $10,000, in coin. The horses and wagon had been brought into camp and the presumption is the whole has fallen into the enemies hands. Judge Person left. here on Capt. Ashe’s poney- which is now in the camp, and the Judge not heard from- Additional and confirmatory reports of Johnson’s capitulation- And Lincoln’s Assassinations at a Theatre in Washington. And just while I write an officer states. That Peace has been declared. Articles begin by Gen. Breckenridge, and Johnson and Sherman have proceeded to Washington so that I fear the Yankees will remain here until they are heard from. 19th Afternoon I have been W.A. Wright, he is much depressed says that he is ruined loosing not only his own effects, but that of others intrusted to him; Thus far the Yankees have confined themselves to foraging on Town and County for provisions have molested no house where a guard has been staitioned, have not even looked into our smoke house or store room; they billet upon me a man and two horses, which may consume all I leave at command, on the lot– and thus far have not discovered what I have in another place– atltho they have found a very large amt of bacon; and silver, clothing and blankets could I have foreseen I would not have taken any thing off my lot. for they have passed over and around my home deposits without seeming to be on the search. I learn from the officers that quite a storm was raised by Hampton and Wheeler. who opposed the surrender or capitulation or reconstruction. I have felt thankful that the Holden party of N.C. have lost the opportunity of disgracing the State by a separate state action, I feel conquered but not subdued. Might has overcome right- my opinions and feelings are the same, and will go down with me to the grave.—– just now two very good looking fellows came to the door- I called my guard- they sat down in the porch and after a while said they were informed that a young lady here played on the piano- they were fond of music and asked if she would play for them. I told them I thought the request unreasonable and could not consent, they did not behave amiss and went off I have not heard of a fowl hog- sheep or cow being taken, horses and mules they search for; since the forgoing, I have been down to Judge Battles to make inquiry about Miss Mary Smith, her place was stripped of evry thing, she and her brother had and some of their negroes have gone off after betraying them and aiding Yankees to find what had been secreted. A guard was at last sent out but too late, I will afford Miss Mary an opportunity of sending a letter to Miss Maria by the bearer of this my negroes are still on the lot but I have no idea they will remain after so many have gone, it is my intention to send a special message and only want to see what will be the course of my man Moses; Thursday 20th April This is the fourth day of Yankee occupation- evrything as quiet and ordely as could be expected. We had taken all possible care that no whiskey should be found, and I am satisfied that things would have been wose had Wheeler given them battle- a squad rode up and insisted that Wheeler was secreted in my house, which was the last place he was at in the village. My guard would not allow them to enter for search- he said they would make it a pretext for plunder- he is taking his usual mornings knap in my large chair, his rifle and revolver on the marble stand in the corner. My only mode of getting information is by sending my guard (who is a very clean youth from Michigan and says that he has not particle of plunder of any hince) into the different camps and this afternoon he brings in a report contradicting the rumour of Lincoln’s death.

Friday morning 21st—fifth day of occupation—I feel provoked to hear the college bell sounding on as though the college was in full blast—a miserable set— not one true man among them and they desire to hand it down in History that the dear Yankees, did not interfere with the regular exercise of the college—when in truth there were not five students here when Wheeler left us. Gov. Swain has over five hundred bus of corn, and I learn that he has lost nothing. Mr Wright is the greatest sufferer I have heard of Mr Mickles deposites have been rifled loosing his coin—silver—watches &c; of his own, and some entrusted to him by others. up to a late hour yesterday no tidings had been received from or of Judge Person. Genl. Atkins who is in command is a Gentleman and a Lawyer, and he told Judge Battle yesterday—that he should return home without the slightest evidence of his ever having been south, but his commission that he had not the value of one cent of spoil, and certainly he has used great effort to suppress pillage and wrong, by allowing a guard to the most humble applicant and even to the Doctors woman Judy. I am now feeling anxious about our bacon which has been under ground ten days, could I have foreseen it—I would have left it in the smoke house—where no one has offered to look: Just now a report is in that Prest Davis is at Durham. Gov Atkins went down there yesterday: I saw Mr Wright on the street, his top in coin was by no means so made as reported, and Mr Michke says they gave to an old negro all of his silver crockery &c: reserving to them silver, only the coin and watches- he has recovered evry thing else.
Saturday 22d April- Sixth day of occupation a quiet night nothing of moment has occurred, the Yankees are putting up tents and shantees as tho they intend to spend the summer with us- I took my usual walk to visit Anna and Mary; Anna says that her bacon was secreted underground and a Yankee tent is now over it. Mary fears that her man Sitter has betrayed her and gone off. I saw a man just from Durhams he says there are thousands of negroes there waiting transportation and I have no doubt but there are as many at other points. Mine are all here for the present and going on with their work better than they have ever done. I called in at Dr Jones: a Col has taken up his quarters there, has allocated one half the house to his own care, has erected tents and shantees all over the yard and ordered the house and were raising a flag staff in the front yard while I was there. The news my guard brings me this morning is that they are to remain here until they hear from Washington which they expect on 25th- I must say that so far as I can learn they have behaved very well. They are from New York, Michigan and Illinois, very few foreigners- they have plundered no homes in the village but look upon evrything outside as spoils whether in a house or concealed- and very many hidden deposits have been found and plundered by them- I have seen none drunk. The Doctor and myself went to a position this morning a spy-glass and we could not perceive any thing amiss about our deposits though I now being to fear we may lose our bacon. Moses knows I have buried it but has no idea where, but speaks experimentally that there is no danger but it will keep. Whilst we were making our observations more a doz rode over the ground. I have not be able to hear further of Miss Marry- but feel easy as I know that Judge Battle is in communication with her.
Sunday, 23d—Seventh day of occupation The College Bell rang for prayers as usual. I know there is but one in the Senior andone in the junior classes, and I am credibly informed there is but one other student in college. We will see, (maybe) what the Faculty will publish on the subject. every thing quiet and I hear of nothing wrong in the village. Young Ladies are getting over their fright—and becoming quite sociable—I learn that Misses Fetters are walking the streets with them, and Miss Ella Swain sent to Carrie to borrow her side saddle to write ride out with some officer—Several other Ladies—or I would rather call them women—have been riding out with them. A rumour was current yesterday, that articles had been signed—restoring the Union &c; &c.; of course we cannot know yet— Lincoln’s death is not believed— Mary’s man Sitter has been seen at Durhams.
Monday. 24th eighth day of occupation
The College bell ringing up three students to prayer yesterday a Yankee Chaplain of Presbyterian order rode around the town giving notice that Prof. Chas Philips would preach before the —– Regt— at 3 oclock PM. I have not heard how it went off. I have spent some hours in private with Gov. Swain who has read over to me his correspondence with Gov. Graham– once their doings, and upon the whole – I been there out in their efforts to stop the War after Genl Lee’s surrender. It would have been madness to strive longer- and Genl Lee Judge Campell Hon. R.J. Hunter- and other men of high standing thought so too– Genl Atkins informed Gov. Swain last night that peace was declared and as soon as he could be officially informed he would remove from this place- altho we have been spared having a safe guard in the house. I hear very deplorable accounts from the country. Altho we will not believe and Genl Wheeler did not believe in the surrender of Genl. yet Govr. Swain saw a telegram from Prest Davis to Gov. Vance- in which he said these words, “I have had no communication from Genl Lee since the 6th but am informed by reliable scouts that his disaster is extreme” Afraid “I no longer look upon Gen. Lee’s Army as an organized body” — so soon as I could believe this I considered that we were conquered and now wait for the yoke. Ding dong the college bell for three boys to come in for morning prayer, Chas. Phillips distinguished himself yesterday and to day– he was heard today to exclaim hurrah for Gov. Holden. Lincoln’s death is announced again to day. haveing been killed on the night of the 14th (the man not taken) once that the authorities at Washington refuse all terms. nothing but an unconditional surrender. I hear today of a great quantity of secreted articles being discovered. A Yankee rode over my Bbl of flour; all safe thus far.
Tuesday morning, 25th April, 9th day of occupation What can be more ridiculous than the continued ding dong of the College bell for prayers and all the usual recitation hours, when there are now but one Senior and one junior in College—and besides in my usual walks to visit Anna and Mary I pass through the campus and between the college buildings, and I can always hear the Yankees at nine pins or some other such game on the several floors and passages—and stories, as well of the College buildings as of the Chapel itself. I asked Joe Mickle yesterday to go out and see Miss Mary Smith, which he did and reports things in a better condition, although she has been pillaged of of every thing, all her bed and table linen and to wells not one left. having a guard she is in better spirits and more composed and has had supplies sent to her. Frank staid at home but Sidney took the woods; and with a long beard and mean apparel. passed himself off as the Uncle of some poor family in the neighborhood and Joe says that the more effectually to carry out the deception that he made a rent in his garments about six inches below the small of his back out which protruded the insignia of “Dicky Dout” My guard has just come in—says the camp rumours confirm the death of Lincoln on 14th and that the man escaped, that Andy Johnson refused to accept the terms of capitulation &c; &c;—says that Kilpatrick is to be here to day, for review—and they hope to leave tomorrow. I would much prefer they were here, than 10 miles off, when we should be subject to continued raids. My guard also informs me, (and he believes it) that his captain is to be married before they leave to Miss Fetter —certainly those girls with Beck Ryan and Ella Swain have lain themselves open to much scandel—I have just seen John Patterson, who is immediately from Durhams, where he saw the Philadelphia enquirer of the 17, in which is a full account of the killing of Lincoln which was done by a son of Booth, the Tragedian—the same paper also announces the death of Sewards son, and that Seward is not expected to recover from his wounds. Johnsons terms of capitulation were not accepted, and a flag of truce went up the road yesterday to meet him—I have seen a young man, who went off with the Doctors wagon; he says they were safe yesterday morning about twenty five miles from here—and that Wheeler and Johnson are disbanding their men—that the whole country is covered with parties returning home the best way they can—are selling good mules and horses at $15. to $20. each.
Tuesday 25th April- 9th day of occupation, the streets are filled with rumours today. It is said that Prest Davis has setout with a picked escort of 1000 men and a large amount of gold to get cross the Miss- Neither Hampton or Wheeler will surrender: Johnson Infantry I learned have stacked their army, and are being disband I hear nothing of John or Herbert there are strong indications today of the Yankees leaving- and we have some manifestations of a disposition on the part of our servants to go with them- I am not surprised at it, they have no ties up here and their only difficulty has been in the condition of Elvia and her children, they can get not transportation. I shall not be surprised indeed I expect them to go by afternoon. Afternoon 5 oclock-  Yankees still here: our meat having lain so long underground that we began to fear it would be spoiled, and we applied to the Capt of our guard for protection until we could remove it, he smiled and said it was discovered- and unless you take it up at once you will lose it- I could not bileve it- but as soon as we got to my look out, we saw three men hard at work by the time and by the time we came to them they had exhumed a box of bacon, my silver and gold; gold watches bonds and other papers they all not found; our guards soon took possession and we lost nothing- but sad to relate the boxes were all wet, having had tremendous rains, and evrything being fifteen days underground. I fear the watches are ruined everyone being wet- and in fact if the boxes had been immersed in the Mill pond, they could not have been more perfectly saturated. We look the precaution to use melted wax about them; then put them into my black bag- and buried them in as dry a place as could be found; and the ground was ploughed over and laid our for corn- I am satisfied four the Capts remarks that they would come clue to it- altho no negros were with us yet two negroes helped to load the wagon after 12 oclock at night, one or both may have followed at a distance and made the communication our several guards all said that no man would have found them without some clue. I think we shall save the meat, it does not appear to be injured.
Wednesday Morning 26 April, 10th day- I have been all morning endeavoring to put the watches in such condition that they will not receive further injury by rust. Have opened each one and packed them in a jar and then filled jar with pea nut oil- All the other trinkets have had attention and are in order. We do not consider the mean spoiled- Thursday, 27th, 11th day. I have just returned from my usual walk to Mary and Annas- all well- official information to day of the surrender of Johnson’s Army, the fall of Mobile, capture of Forrest, of Salisbury- with all the stores and munitions- so that the death of the Confederacy is inevitable and we are now a subjected people. Better far better so than to have been Legislated back by the Holden clique- Yes, I acknowledge myself conquered- but my opinions, my heart and soul are unchanged and will always be. There country for ten miles around is stripped of evrything, and I cannot see how the corn crop can be made or the wheat harvested- They have abstained I learn from killing any stock- and my hogs as well as others are gitting fat in their camps, one of which 92d Illinois- is in the grove around me, where is exhibited the greatest waste immaginable. No news to day from John and Herbert or from any one in whom we feel deep interest.
Friday 28th April- 12th day
We have had a quiet day and no official news from any quarter. A rumour prevails that Holden will be appointed Military Gov. of N.C. and a part of S.C. and that the state lines of S.C. are to be obliterated, the whole Confederacy under Martial Law. Gen. Atkins told Mrs Ashe that no Secessionist, or any one who had given voluntary aid to the rebellion could have any redress of grievences- and that he had seen Ladies who carried their heads as hers, who had to walk forty miles to draw rations from the Commissary.
Saturday 29th April, 13th Day
There has been a grand review to day, evry thing quiet- no official news of any kid. I had a message sent me last night, that the Yankees had commenced pillaging our goods at old Atwaters, 8 up miles from town- I took a wagon and a guard and rode myself on horse back, but was too late. They had carried away every piece we had at that point- but that was one out of five and the rest is all safe yet, altho some of it- in very much more exposed situations. On my return I was amused with my guard- when finding a fellow dead drunk and asleep by the road side he calmly took his horse- viz one he had stolen- and rode him off with acknowledged intention of keeping him as he was by odds a better horse than the one he rode. I have not heard recently from Miss Mary Smith. She has a guard and is in communication with Judge Battle. I hear nothing of John and Herbert, altho I am told there are soldiers returned from Johnsons Army- Rumour says that Hampton and Wheeler would not surrender. I have seen Mary and Anna to day; doing full as well as could be expected. Nothing further from Peter. My love to all.
Affectionately yours
C. P. Mallet

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17 April 1865: “we were aroused by the report that General Johnson had surrendered his army to Sherman and you can have no idea of the excitement that reigned around the city at the announcement as it is surrounded by our army.”

Item Description: Letter from George Washington Baker to his mother from Raleigh, NC. He writes about General Johnston’s (who he refers to as Johnson) surrender to General Sherman. He talks about the feeling amongst the Union soldiers and in the city. He wishes that he was up north to witness the peace and mentions his hatred for Copperheads. He also mentions the reaction to Lincoln’s death.  George Washington Baker served as a Lieutenant with Company K, 123rd New York Volunteers in the Civil War.





Item Citation: Folder 6, in the George Washington Baker Papers, #4909, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp 123rd N.Y.V.

Raleigh N.C. April 17th 1865

My Dear Mother

Events of great importance are constantly passing before us and our fighting days are probably ended, for last night about 12 am, we were aroused by the report that General Johnson had surrendered his army to Sherman and you can have no idea of the excitement that reigned around the city at the announcement as it is surrounded by our army. Cheer upon cheer was heard Guns fired contiens loaded with powder were fired and every Band & drum corps were doing their best to swell the din and we were about as happy as could be.

I have been all over the City and find a strong Union feeling here and it is rather laughable to see the Guards on the houses smoking with the citizens and holding the children, all seem to be at home and enjoying themselves and the soldiers anxiously wishing for the order sending them to their homes. Rebellion has gone down very sudden and I think they are satisfied with what they have gone through with at least I am and an it seems wonderful that I have been spared through so many dangers for I have not spared myself any since my return to the army.

I would like to be North and see what an excitement there will be there over peace and see the Copperheads who no doubt will say how we conquered them as for me I can take a Rebel that has fought me three years by the hand with a good stomach but I wish every Copperhead was hung.

I hardly know what they will do with us I supposed part of the army will be kept in the field to support the laws and get thing in running order but it does not seem as if they would want to keep us all at such an expense. We are to move somwhere for camp untill some cours of action is formed but we may have to go to Georgia again to settle things there unless they act sensible and drop all ?.

April 18th We just heard of the death of Lincoln and it seems to cast a gloom over everything it seems as if it was the great calamity that could have befel us and it felt by all even his Enemies still it may all be for the best as the South may be more willing to come in to the Union under some other man and what is one mans life to the good of the country.

I am one of the kind that think one great calamity come upon us unless for some great good still I feel as if we had lost some dear friend. Things seem to be undecided here as yet and we do not hear what success Sherman and Johnson have in negotiations but think everything will be well the trouble is Sherman claims the Cavalry and Johnson wants to save the horses to distribute among the inhabitants where we have passed through or makes it a pretext but if Johnson does not give up I pity him for we shall exterminate them in a short time.

We have received no male as yet but expect one to day or tomorrow and and then I hope to receive a Diary and some postage stamps or I shall have to quit waiting. Col Johnson is within a short distance of us but I have not been over lately to see him. We have not laid out any camp yet as we do not know what we shall do it depends on what Johnson does.

Love to all from your affectionate son


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16 April 1865: “…we got the news of Lee’s capture you had aught to have seen the excitement…”

Item Description: Letter dated 16 April 1865 from I. Shoger to his wife. A Union soldier stationed in Raleigh, North Carolina, Shoger writes to his wife about the excitement surrounding Lee’s surrender.


Item Citation: Folder 49, Federal Soldiers Letters, #3185, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Raleigh April 16th N.C./65

Dear wife

When I wrote you last I told you we were agoing some where we mached the next morning for Raleigh 50 miles it took us these days we went through Smithfield wich is a very fine city at this place we got the news of Lees capture you had aught to have seen the excitement. the dispatch was sedd by Genl Sherman in front of the Court house. our band was at the head of the collume we played all the National ? the soldiers threu up thare hats and chreed with all thair might. they got a negro on a blanket and threu  him ten feet. we then marched for Raleigh. this also a very fine city. all the force we have to contend with now is Johnson comand wich left the city as we entered it beiyn surrenderd by the mayor and counsil. negotions are now going on while I am writing for the surrender of his command (Johnson). this will close up the whole concern: what we shall do next I do not know but until then I remain yours as ever form the beginning to the end

yours I. Shoger


we expect to have a mail to day

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15 April 1865: “Yesterday so beautiful & the air so dry & clear with a Happy President and a happy people- Today a Dead President murdered by a citizen of the United States”

Item Description: April 15th, 1865 diary entry in Henry Clay Warmoth’s Civil War diary.  Warmoth was stationed in Washington D.C. and describes the somber mood in the city after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  Henry Clay Warmoth was a lieutenant colonel of the 32nd Missouri Volunteers, assigned to the staff of General John A. McClernand.  He served as Governor of Louisiana from 1868-1872.


Item Citation: Folder 125, in the Henry Clay Warmoth Papers, #752, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Saturday Ap 15th 1865

I did not know the above facts until this morning- the city which but a few hours before was most brillianly illuminated, is now drape draped in the saddest sadest moning, over the murder of our President. The Elements seem to mourn the calamity for today it rains- & the Heavens are thick with clouds- Yesterday so beautiful & the air so dry & clear with a Happy President and a happy people- Today a Dead President murdered by a citizen of the United States- A moning people- & the city- the Country & the Heavens moning & weeping at her lost- I was at a meeting called by Senator Yates, Gov Oglesby & others at Senator Yates Room, to take such action & might be proper for Illinois to take- It was well attended- Yates, Oglesby, Haynie, Faresworth, Arnold, Genl Hunter, Speaker Colfax of Ind. & many others were there- Resolutions were adopted- & ? appointed to make arrangements for his funeral, & a resolution was passed requesting Mr. Lincoln & famly to have his bones internd at Springfield Ills- the capitul of his State and his home- the meeting assumed to meet on Monday at 3 oclock- The business Houses are all closed- Mr Lincoln died at a little Home oposite Fords Theatre, at 20 minutes past seven oclock this morning- God save the country. The streets are crowded with tearful eyes & solem faces- little knots of a dozen men can be seen all over town- It is believed that J Wilkes Booth the Tragedian is the murderer of Mr Lincoln. There seems to be one opinion about it- There was a member in the ?- He was heard to say two days ago “That when he left the American stage the world would know it” I have often seen him play Richard III & admired him very much in that character- The murder may justice reach him & may God have mercy on his soul- Mr Lincoln remains were removed at 9 oclock to the White House- where they will remain until his funeral takes place

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14 April 1865: “Mayo’s bridge was fired by incendiaries long before orders were given. none of this is to be published”

Item Description: Two letters dated 14 April 1865.  The first is a letter from Mary C. Gantt to Lizinka Campbell Ewell.  She discusses Hariett “Hattie” Ewell’s adjustment to living with the Gantts in St. Louis.  She also implores Lizinka to leave Nashville.  The second letter is a report about the burning of Richmond from Campbell Brown.  While he reports that the Tredegar Iron Works were saved, there is infrastructure being burned without orders.



Item Citation: Folder 12, Polk, Brown, and Ewell Family Papers, #605, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

St. Louis_ Missouri

April 14th 1865

Dear Lizinka,

It occurred to me that there might be some satisfaction to you in learning something about Hattie_ I mean the impression she makes on other people– in addition to the daily bulletins you receive from herself. I wish I had written before, for you must have felt very anxious to know how the ? the news of the fall of Richmond, and other circumstances which were necessarily very trying and painful to her, and doubly in your absence. We all thought she showed a very remarkable degree of fortitude + strength of character, though all the grief + suspense that she she was obliged to endure. We felt very sorry for her- knowing, too, that we could not prevent her from feeling herself a stranger in a strange land, notwithstanding our wishes and efforts to be kind to her, and make her feel at home.

Since hearing of Gen. Lee’s surrender, + the favorable terms, etc., she has been more cheerful, + brightened up a great deal. Maj. Turner has been a great comfort to her, and has really been as kind and devoted to her as possible_ which of course she has told you constantly.

Hattie disliked the idea of going to Nashville, much as she wishes to see you, + feels the separation from you. Truly the state of society you describe there- the changes amongst your friends + constant discussion of melancholy subjects by those who are left could not have a good effect on the mind of a sensitive young person? I hope you will be able to make your arrangements to leave Nashville after some weeks or months, and that you will consent in the mean time to leave Hattie with us. I say, this without consultation with her- I only know she is disappointed at the idea of your remaining in Nashville, or being obliged to go there herself. I think she is as well contented here as she would be anywhere, separated from you + other near relations_ and we are all fond of her and glad to have her with us. ? wrote to you yesterday, expecting his news on the subject of your residence in Nashville, so I take it for granted that she has exhausted all the arguments against it, and will not attempt to add to them- but surely say that Annie sends her love to you, + that I am

Very sincerely yours

Mary C. Gantt

Washington, 14 Apl./65

The morning Richmond was evacuated, as Gen. Ewell sat with his staff above Manchester watching the progress of the fire, he said to me upon seeing a mill catch fire, ” I begged recommended the Secr of War not to have the city tobacco in the city fired- If I could have had my way it would never have been done.”

The same day or the next, he mentioned that he had prevailed so far as to keep the Tredegar works form being burned

Campbell Brown

Major & A.A.G.


The arsenal was fired by a mob & contrary to orders from it, most of the fires spread. The first fire the Danville Depot was raised by the mob, who had possession of & were sacking the town_ Mayo’s bridge was fired by incendiaries long before orders were given. none of this is to be published_

C. Brown

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April 13 1865: “it would be simply lunacy for Dick Ewell to go to Nashville. Whatever you may think of it I donot believe he would be safe from mob violence.”

Item Description: Letter from Thomas T. Gantt  to his cousin Lizinka Campbell Ewell. He advise her not to bring Richard Ewell or Campbell Brown to Nashville once they were paroled. Richard Ewell and Campbell Brown were captured by Federal troops on 6 April 1865 at the Battle of Saylor’s Creek.


Item Citation: Folder 12, in the Polk, Brown, and Ewell Family Papers, #605, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

St. Louis Ms. April 13, 1865

Mrs Lisunka C. Ewell

Care of F.b. Fogg Esq Nashville. Tennessee

My dear Lyzinka,

I have justrec’d yours of the 9th postmarked 11th inst. You are shamfully wrong in supposeing that one can go by rail from St. Louis to Nashville in 20 hours. Some year ago it took 15 hour to get to Louisville then a dely of ten hours there- then a journey of some ten hours more. It is simple madness to put the nohow of such a jonney into your daughter’s head. The Boat is infinitely better; but according to my judgment. Harriot had for better stay where she is and it would be simply lunacy for Dick Ewell to go to Nashville. Whatever you may think of it I donot believe he would be safe from mob violence. I have taken every step which I can in Dick’s behalf. But It will not be expedient forhimeven tovisit St. Louis. And Nashville is plainly far worse than this place. New York City is the only place in the U.S. where you can safely meet Dick- Hshould advise you going to Canada forthe present if he is released from confinement for which strong exceptions are being made. You scheme of remaining in Nashville I cannot approve, for one day longer than is absolutely necessary forthesecurity of your property and I do not think your personal presence is necessary for that end: but I do presume toadvise on this socre. Iwon to say however let Hallie remain where she is and do not attempt to call either Dick or Campbell to Nashville at present. Ihanded your check to Major Turner. He wants your signature, write it on a piece of paper, enclosed in your next letter, so small that if it falls into wrong hands it cannot beused for any wrong end. Write your name on a piece then trim with a pair scissors trim away the paper so that only the signature & a very small margin will remain- I am very busy and wantowrite more, but I cannot repair from saying how pleased Iam that Hattie perceives that we mean to be kind to her. Yours very sincerely, ThT. Gantt

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12 April 1865: “Owing to events in his own country Genl Alexander desires to exercise his talents in some other”

Item Description: Letter dated 12 April 1865 from William Nelson Pendleton to the Emperor of Brazil. He writes regarding Edward Porter Alexander’s abilities and recommending him for the service in the Brazilian army following the defeat of the Confederate Army.


Item Citation: Folder 22b, Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Hd. Qr. Arty. Corps. Ar. N. Va

Confed. States of America

April 12th 1865

To His Highness

The Emperor of Brazil


Permit me to introduce to you and commend to your confidence Brig. Genl. E.P. Alexander for the last four years an active & efficient officer in the armies of the Confederate States.

Owing to events in his own country Genl Alexander desires to exercise his talents in some other, and he selects your as presenting important advantages.

I can confidently recommend the General as an officer of very superior ability and merit. You will find him full of intelligence, scientific culture, & practical skill. He has here commanded with eminent success a large force of artillery, and is capable of directing in the most distinguished manner that branch of service. He is also sagacious and trained engineer, and qualified for great usefulness in that capacity. Indeed, both as a soldier, a man of genius & service worthy of honorable employment + entitled to your fullest confidence.

I have the honor to be

very respectfully yr. Obd. Servt.

W. N. Pendleton

Brig. Genl. & Chief of Artillery.

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11 April 1865: “your favor to its defenseless inhabitants generally”

Item Description: Letter dated 11 April 1865 from Zebulon B. Vance to General William T. Sherman authorizing the surrender of Raleigh. He requests protection for many vulnerable entities of the city.


Item Citation: Folder 2, Cornelia Phillips Spencer Papers, #683, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

State of North Carolina,
Executive Department,
Raleigh, April 11th, 1865

Genl Wm T. Sherman
Commanding U.S. Tenn


His Honor, Mayor Wm Harrison, is authorized to surrender to you the city of Raleigh. I have the honor to request the extension of your favor to its defenseless inhabitants generally; and especially to ask your protection for the charitable Institutions of the State located here, filled as they are with unfortunate inmates, most of whose natural protectors would be unable to take care of them, in the event of their destruction.
The Capitol of the State with its Libraries, Museum and most of the public records, is also left in your power. I can but entertain the hope that they may escape mutilation or destruction in as much as such evidences of learning and taste could advantage neither party in the prosecution of the war whether destroyed or preserved.

I am General
Very Respectfully

Z. B. Vance

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11 April 1865: “Should the future offer no chance of service in our cause, I trust you will take to some other country that zeal, intelligence, energy, and courage which have so illustrated the brief history of this.”

Item Description: Letter dated 11 April 1865 from General James Longstreet to General Edward Porter Alexander from Gen. Longstreet. Longstreet writes to commend Alexander on his service throughout the war.


Item Citation: Folder 22b, Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Head Qurs.  1st Army Corps.

April 11 1865


The sad events of the past few days have made necessary the severance of our military connection; I cannot allow us to separate though, without expressing my high sense of your most distinguished services in the cause, and the obligations I am under to you for ? ? always so cheerfully and ably rendered me.

As an engineer in the field, I regard you as without a superior in our service; As an Artillery officer, and as my Chief of Artillery, your name stands conspicuous amongst those who have most distinguished themselves on the battle field.

In another way also have you made your Country your debtor, I mean in the practical purposes to which you have applied your high scientific acquirements.

Hardly a branch of the Confederate Military service which has not benefitted by your efforts.

Should the future offer no chance of service in our cause, I trust you will take to some other country that zeal, intelligence, energy, and courage which have so illustrated the brief history of this.

I am General

Very truly yr. friend

J Longstreet


Brig Genl E.P. Alexander

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10 April 1865: “the conviction had become established in the minds of a large majority of our best officers, + men that the army in its extremely reduced state could not be extricated from its perilous condition”

Item description: Three items from the day after the surrender at Appomattox Court House. The first is a paroled prisoner’s pass. Upon surrender, Confederate soldiers received paroles allowing them to return home without fear of arrest as long as they did not take up arms against the United States. The second is a note from General Lee reporting on E. P. Alexander’s character and skill during his service for the confederate army. This item he planned to take with him to Brazil. The last item is a report of operations of artillery under his command from April 1st to April 10th 1865. It details many of the events in Virginia that affected the artillery and eventually led to surrender.

18650410_01 18650410_02

Item citation: From Folder 2, in the William D. Alexander Diary, #2478-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Appatomattox Court House, Va.,
April 10, 1865

THE BEARER W. D. Alexander Pres of Co. “C” 31 Regt. of N. C. Troop, a Paroled Prisoner of the Army of Norther Virginia, has permission to go to his home, and remain undisturbed.

JN Bist Maj. Comdg Regt.

[On Reverse]

28 Apr Coffee + Tobacco
C.H Eleus Cpl + aces



18650410_03 18650410_04

Item Citation: From Folder 22a, in the Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Hd. Qrs. Armies of the Confederate States
Appomattox Co. Ho. Va.
10th April 1865

Brig. Genl. E. P. Alexander has served for the last few years with the Army of Northern Virginia, and has proved himself a skilful artillerist and brave and energetic officer. Being an educated military engineer, he has performed duties in that branch of the service as usefully as in that of the artillery. In morals, character and deportment he is unexceptionable. as in zeal, intelligence and attention to duty he is distinguished.

R. E. Lee

[On Reverse]

From Genl Lee
Given me to take to Brazil


18650410_05 18650410_06 18650410_07 18650410_08 18650410_09 18650410_10

Item Citation:  From Folder 44, in the William Nelson Pendleton Papers, #1466, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Hd Qrs Arty. Corps. A. W. Va. Apl. 10th 1865,
day after surrender


I have the honour to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery under my command from the 1st day of April to the present time. Much to my regret it has to be made without possible accep. as will be seen from the circumstances of the case to special report from those superior offices of this important arm, A. L. Long, Chief of arty. 2nd Corps., Genl. E.P. Alexander. During the demonstrations of the enemy on the right of our lines near Petersburg on the morning of the 1st Apl. I ordered seven guns of Rogues’ Battalion, which had been held in reserve near Howletts to march to Petersburg, & on the night of the 1st by direction of the Comndg General, I ordered the remainder of the Battalion down; at the same time ordered the guns which had arrived during the day to proceed on the road towards the right, so as to be out of sight of the tower by dawn. Those guns were used with good effect – near Mr Farnbulls house (Genl Lee Hd Qrs) – on the morning of the 2nd when the enemy had unexpectedly massed a heavy force agains the opposite portion of our line – While these guns were well contesting the ground + holding the enemy in check. Lt. Col. Progue arrived with the remainder of his guns, + rendered admirable services in retarding the heavy advance of the enemy until such troops as remained could be withdrawn into the interior line. Three pieces with Maj. Brander were placed on the north side of the Appomattox so as to annoy the left flank of the enemy + prevent him from escaping. On the line, + to the right of the Cox road, were placed four pieces of the Horse Arty. under Str. Col. Chew + Maj. Breatted. The enemy had by this time, 12 o clock, fully established his line from Fort Gregg to the Appomattox river. In the fighting attendant upon these operation, various batteries of the 3rd Corps were caputred. The conduct of Officers + men were mostly of all praise; And that of the River, + supernumeraries of the artillery had been by Genl. Walker armed with muskets, deserves special mention. Those in Fort Gregg fought until literally crushed by numbers, + scarcely a man survived.

In the meantime the firing on Col. Jones’ front, east of the city, had been severe. During the night of the 1st the fire from mortars + guns was incessant, + the men were very much exposed throughout the 2nd. I saw Col. Jones on the line about 3 o clock, + found his pieces so disposed as effectively to prevent any attempt of the enemy to improve the advantage already gained at the River Salient.

I was at battery 45, during the day, + directed its guns against columns of the enemy moving down the valley towards the Weldon R. Road. The officers in charge of this part of the line deeming an attack imminent, I ordered two pieces of artillery to strengthen the position.

In obedience to orders from the Commdg Genl. I ordered the withdrawal of all the guns at 8 o clock PM. This was accomplished with great sccess. And although the difficulties in Col Jones’ lines were very great he succeeded in withdrawing all but about ten, which for the most part were not provided with horses + not intended to be removed. Several mortary were also brought off. Every piece that was abandoned was first debated. After making all necessary arrangements with regard to this movement, + seeing all the guns safely across the river, about 2 AM on the 3rd I moved on by the Hickory Road, marching all night.

The march on the 3rd was fatiguing + very slow, on account of the immense number cassions with the army. At night I ? on the road side about 9 miles from Goodes bridge. I reached Amelia C.H. on the morning of the 4th + immediately proceeded to make arrangement for reducing the arty with the troops to a proportionate quantity. + properly to dispose of the surplus. These arrangements were at last affected. For the 5th Genl. Walker moved to the right, + west of the line of march of the Army, having in charge all the artillery not needed with the troops. Ninety five caissons, mostly loaded, which had saved in the winter been sent to the rear from Petersburg, were destroyed.

Moving on past Amelia Springs by 10 o clock the next morning, 6th, we reached Rices’ Station on the S.S.R.R. Our troops here went into line, + I chose positions for guns commanding the Banksville road + sweeping the ground to its left. On this line there was heavy skirmishing during the evening, but no attack by the enemy.

The enemy’s cavalry meanwhile having attacked our wagon train about two miles back on the road, I ahappening to be with the Commdg Genl when he received information to prevent any farther loss in that quarter. On the way I met a few wearied men of Harris’ brigade, + taking from them some twenty volunteers proceeded with them to the road where the train had been attacked. While attempting to reduce some of the property most valuable I discovered a line of the enemy in a thick pine road, + supposing it to be but a small brg, I arranged for an attack upon them and of Genl Cooke’s regiment which had just reported to me in consequences of a message previously sent to the commdg Genl. This regiment was unable to hold its ground. + fell back some half a mile on the same road until reinforced by two regiments of cavalry. They then again moved forward, but after regaing the original advanced position, the infantry was recalled by Genl. cooke, + the cavalry, by my direction fell backwith some few prisoners they had secured. The enemy meantime had fired on trains to prevent us from saving anything. The enemy now seemed disposed to quiet, and nothing apparently remaining to be accomplished by the small force with me, I directed it slowly to withdraw towards our main body near the station, + returned myself in that direction. Not long after the enemy made a sudden rush, + succeeded for a time in running down our small cavalry force + threatening the unprotected rear of our lines. OUr cavalry regiment, however, speedily rallied, charged in turn, + inflated merited punishment upon their greatly outnumbered assailants.

Shortly after night closed our guns were withdrawn, + we moved on the Farmville road, reaching Farmville early on the morning of the 7th.

As we were leaving Farmville, by the bridges there crossing the Appomattox, the enemy pressed up close after our rear guard, and guns were placed in position, and used to good purpose, on the heights north of the river. Guns were again used with effect a mile or two farther on, when Genl Gordon (then Commdg 2nd Corps, with the justly honored Genl A. L. Long by Ch. of arty.), pressed back the enemy line from near the road along which all our wagons were passing, so as to allow these to get well on their way. This position was held all day. And it was not until midnight that the column worked on the road toward Buckingham C. H. IN spite of the terrible roads quite a long march was affected, + the enemies of the 8th saw the head of our column near Appomattox C.H.- I pushed on in person to communicate with Genl Walker, + found him with his command parked about two miles beyond the C.H. on the road to Appomattox Station. S.S.R.R. – while I was with him an attack wholly unexpected was made by the enemy on his defenceless camp. To avery immediate disaster from this attack demanded the exercise of all our enemies. it was, however, atonce effectivally repelled byt he aid especially of the two gallant Arty Companies of Captain Walker + Dickerson under command of the former, which being at the time unequipped as artillisty were armed with muskets as a guard. They met the enemy’s sharp shooters in a brushwood near, + enabled a number of Genl Walker’s pieces to play with effect while the remainder of his train was withdrawn. After a sharp skirmish this attack seemed remedied, and I started back, having received by courier a not requesting my presence with the Commdg Genl. when I had reached a point a few hundred yards from the C.H. the enemy’s cavalry, which had under cover of dusk gained the road, came rushing along firing upon all in the road, + I only escaped being shot or captured by leaping my horse over the fence + skirting for some distance along the left of that road towards our column these advancing, + until I reached a point beyond where the enemy’s charge was checked.

While these operations were in progress there was several noises of aping upon the S.S. R.R. Twas this circumstances, and from the enemy’s using artillery in the attack above described, I became satisfied that the attacking brg, while had at first seemed to me small, was a large + accumulating force. An dthe inferences became inevitable that Genl. Walker + his gusn must be if they had not already been caputred. These fact + inferences were reported to the Commdg Genl. on my reaching his Hd. Qrs. About 1 AM of the 9th.

Movements at day light confirmed all that had been thus inferred. The enemy was found in heavy force on our front, and dispositions were promptly made for a fierce encounter. The artillery participated with alacrity with calvary + infantry in a spirited attack upon the enemy’s advancing columns + promptly succeeded in arresting their advance. Two guns were captured from the enemy, + a number of prisoners taken. But in spite of this, the conviction had become established in the minds of a large majority of our best officers, + men that the army in its extremely reduced state could not be extricated from its perilous condition, surrounded by the immense force of the enemy, + without subsistence for men or animals, unless with frightful bloodshed, + scarcely any possible purpose; as its remnant, if they resewed must be too much suffered(?) for efficient services. In view, of these convictions, known of in part by him, + of all the facts before his own mind, the Cmmdg Genl before the battle has ? extensively made arrangements for arresting hostilities. By the respective Commander in Chief made possible our surrender we then agreed upon. And as soon thereafter as practicable, articles in detail were adjusted by a commissioner of offices, of surrender having been agreed upon to the respective commanding in Chief, the artillery was withdrawn in common with the other Gordon Chief of 2nd Corps, + the Genl Chief of artillery. In accordance with stipulation, they adjusted troops and has all been signed in due form turned over to the the artillery was withdrawn as the other troops; and it was as soon as practicable enemy

I have the honor to be
Respy yr Obdt. Servt.
W.N. Pendleton
Brig. Genl + Ch of Arty.

Lt. Col. W. H. Tayler
A. A. G.

of 250 field pieces belong to the army on the lines near Richmond + Petersbur only 61 remaine d+ 13 Caissons


[on reverse]

Hd. Qrs.
Artillery corps.
Army of N. Va.
Apl. 10, 1865

Brg. – Genl.
W.N. Pendleton

Report of operations of artillery under his command from Arl 1st to Apl 10th 1865.  

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