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Harper's Weekly 10/29/1864


REFUGEES AT
CITY POINT.


As our military lines
draw closer each day
around the doomed cit-
ies of Richmond and Pe-
tersburg, the effect is seen not only in the number
of deserters from the rebel army, but in the quanti-
ty of refugees that come into our lines, glad of any
opportunity of escape from the horrible scenes of
desolation hitherto surrounding them.


We give on page 701 a representation of the in-
terior of the United States Sanitary Commission
Boat at City Point, Virginia, at a time when a num-
ber of these refugees from Richmond are availing

VIEW OF MOBILE AND THE FEDERAL FLEET IN THE BAY.—[Sketched by Geo. Watters.]


1. Rebel Ram—2. Battery.—3. Gun-boat “Morgan.”—4,5,6,7. Batteries.—8. Hospital Boat.—9. “Chickasaw.”—10. “Octorora.”—11. “Pinola.”—12. “Winnebago.”—13. “Metacomet.”
themselves of its hospitable shelter. In speaking
of them our artist says: “The people here repre-
sented appear to belong to two distinct classes. One
family seemed to be of what is known as the `poor
whites' in the South; the other family, if not ex-
actly belonging to the `Chivalry,' were evidently
of a different and higher class. While they were
staying on board, previous to their departure North,
and during which time they received every atten-
tion and kindly consideration not only from the of-
ficials of the United States Sanitary Commission,
but from all who came in contact with them, many
opportunities were afforded for eliciting their opin-
ions respecting the state of things between North
and South.


“The only man among them—the head of the
family, represented in the extreme back-ground—
was apparently a simple-hearted, ignorant fellow,


1. Forward Turret.

2. After Turret.

3. Pilot-house.

4. Smoke-stack.

5. Torpedo Rake.—6, 6, 6,

6. Torpedo Guards,
with barrels for floating.—7,


7. Forward Closets.

8. After Closet.

9. Opening for Boats.—10, 10,

10. Hatchways.
PLAN OF THE UNITED STATES IRON-CLAD, THE “CHICKASAW.”


who was inclined to be very communicative, and
who seemed never to have entertained any ill feel-
ing toward our section—content if people would
only allow him to cultivate his little patch of
ground in peace and safety. The women through-
out, however, and even the little children—doubt-
less well taught hitherto to look upon the Yankees
as a set of bugaboos—were surrounded, seemingly
at any rate, by an air of restraint and haughty de-
pendence, as if they were as much hurt as pleased
by the kindnesses showered upon them. When
the man was asked by a by-stander what object he
had in coming North, and if he would not have pre-
ferred staying South, one of the young women re-
plied for him, in a rather pert manner: `The only
thing I came away for was them nasty guns you
kept firing!' When asked again what notion they
had of the Yankees before they saw them, the same
young woman replied: `We thought you was com-
ing to kill us all and use us bad.' Some one said:
`How could you imagine such a thing?' to which
she replied: `How could we know any better? ev-
ery body said so!
'


“Not one in this family, confessedly, could read
or write, except the man, who said he could read
`print' a little. The women and children had all
very nice and regular features, and your artist must
not think that the pipes
I have put in the mouths
of some of the former is
a matter of fancy. All
the women smoked, and
common clay pipes were
to be seen sticking out
of lips far too pretty for
such occupation.


“Whatever these peo-
ple may have originally
thought of the North and
its inhabitants, it is evi-
dent that they are now
becoming but too glad
to exchange for a hide-
ous life in the South the
chance of pursuing their
future career among us
as independent free men
and women, even though
the insensate prejudices
of a life may still cling
to them a little longer.
Certainly such treatment
as these outcasts received
from the United States
Sanitary Commission at
City Point, and as they
will doubtless receive ev-
ery where else—could it
only be known among
their deluded people—
would be enough to open
the eyes of the most ig-
norant, and to touch the
hearts of the most vin-
dictive among them.”


As an episode to the picture there is introduced
in the fore-ground the figure of a wounded man, at-
tended by Doctors M`Donald and Swalm, of the
United States Sanitary Commission—an extraneous
and voluntary work which these gentlemen are not
unfrequently called on to perform, in addition to
their other multifarious and charitable duties.


Since Grant's last movement the number of de-
sertions from the rebel army has greatly increased.



RICHMOND REFUGEES ON BOARD THE UNITED STATES SANITARY COMMISSION BOAT, AT CITY POINT, VIRGINIA.—Sketched by J. R. Hamilton.—[See Page 700.]




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