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Bygones of Monroe:

The Reported Capture Of Richmond:  How the News was received in Monroe

The report of the capture of Richmond was first received in the City on Sunday morning last, during the hours of morning worship at the Churches.  The news was rapidly circulated and the various Church congregations were apprised of it immediately upon being dismissed.  Soon thereafter, the dispatch upon which the supposition of the capture was based, being received, the Church bells began to peal, numerous flags were flung to the breeze, the people assembled in crowds in the streets, all wearing a smile of satisfaction, and feeling that it was not inappropriate to rejoice over such glorious news, even upon the Sabbath day.  Very soon a large concourse of people were assembled on Washington Street, and Colonel Ira R. Grosvenor, through the invitation of Mayor Sterling to act as marshal of the day in a little impromptu celebration, mounted a horse and read to the people the following

PROCLAMATION BY THE MAYOR

Whereas—News has just been received of the taking of Richmond by Federal forces under Gen Keys, via Yorktown, and that Gen Booker has re-crossed the Rappahannock and is again confronting the rebel army of Gen. Lee, it is meet that we should rejoice with exceeding joy, in as much as the intelligence augurs the speedy closing up of this most wicked and infamous rebellion—an event long hoped for and long prayed for
.
Therefore, as good citizens, let us send up thanks and praise to the Divine giver of all good, for this most inestimable blessing, and let us be glad with a degree of gladness hitherto unknown in all our lives.  Many, very many of our kindred, our friends, and our neighbors, have fallen upon bloody fields of battle, and many others have returned to us maimed and crippled.  Southern battle fields have been crimsoned with the blood of our brave brothers in arms, but now that the goal is almost won, let us be content that through the Nation’s sacrifices our beloved country will be saved intact, and let us rejoice that our sons and brothers have not suffered and died in vain.

I therefore as Mayor of the City of Monroe call upon all good and true citizens to unite in celebrating this joyous event, by the ringing of bells, firing of cannon, by bonfires, and in such other method as may seem meet and appropriate.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Monroe to be attached, this 10th day of May, A.D. 1863.
JOSEPH M. STERLING Mayor.
Attent, John G. Rother City Clerk.

The proclamation was received with cheers.  Hon. David A. Noble was called upon to address the crowd, which he did in a brief speech, after which Judge Franklin Johnson, and Messrs S.G. Clarke, Willits, Redfield, Morton, Rauch and others, also made brief congratulatory speeches.  By this time the Firemen were out in uniform, a company of boys from one of the German schools, arrayed in the old cast off uniform of the ancient City Guard, were parading the street, and soon afterward the old six pounder was drawn up on the upper bridge, and was adding its quota to the general rejoicing.  The boys were set to work to procure boxes and barrels for a bonfire, which were pulled in ample numbers on the public square.  Soon after dark the bonfire was lighted, and for a considerable time lit up the square most brilliantly.  The crowd continued about the streets until about 9 o’clock, when they dispersed to their homes.

We presume the oldest residents of Monroe have never witnessed so spontaneous and general an uprising of the people to rejoice over any cheering event, and so general good feeling as was exhibited.

(Monroe Commercial, May 14, 1863, Page 3, Column 1)



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