Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/190

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184 Southern Historical Society Papers.

could not be buried in Hollywood to have it taken to Culpeper, and in the latter event, if it were possible, to meet the General's wife and children Monday morning at the refugee home of my father in Ches- terfield county, on the James river just below the old Bellona Arsenel, and they would accompany it to Culpeper.

The excitement and confusion in Richmond incident to the evacua- tion of the city by the Confederate as well as State authorities, ren- dered it impracticable for me to bury the General's remains in Holly- wood, even if the necessary arrangements had been perfected, and I abandoned that purpose and determined if possible to carry out the second request of the family namely, to take the body to Culpeper. Owing to the crowded condition of the road from Petersburg to Richmond and the long delay at the Manchester end of Mayo's brige caused by the flight of people from the doomed city, the ambulance bearing the General's body did not reach Richmond until after one o'clock Sunday night. The driver had been directed by Henry Hill, Jr., to take the body to his father's (Colonel Henry Hill's) office, at that time located in the basement of the old Court of Appeals building that stood on the southeast corner of the Capi- tol Square at the intersection of Franklin and Twelfth streets. I was assistant paymaster under Colonel Hill and had charge of the office, and by direction of the Governor (Smith) I had packed up all the books and papers belonging to the Paymaster-General's office, and placed them on the canal- boat that conveyed the Governor and cadets out of the city. I did not know until the General's remains reached Richmond that a coffin had not been provided. My cousin (Henry Hill, Jr.) had failed to mention this fact, and I naturally sup- posed that the body had been prepared for burial before it left Peters- burg.

Time was pressing us closely, as we were expecting the entrance of the Federal troops into the city at any moment. The stores on Twelfth, Thirteenth, Main, and Gary streets had been broken into, and in many instances sacked and fired. Belvin's furniture store had been opened at both ends (the rear being then on Twelfth street), and my cousin and myself entered the rear door, hoping to find a representative to whom we could apply for a coffin. After making repeated calls and receiving no answer, we secured a coffin and took it to a vacant office (which had been occupied by General P. T. Moore, about where the St. James' Hotel now stands). We removed the body from the ambulance into the office, where we washed his face and removed his gauntlets, and examined his body to discover