"Editorial," Louisville Daily Journal, April 4, 1865, p. 2.
John Osborne, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
A great event has come to pass. A result looked for and longed for and prayed for during the last four years, but sometimes almost despaired of, has taken place. The keystone has been knocked from the rebel arch. Richmond has fallen. The centre, the heart, the stronghold, the capital of the Southern Confederacy is in Federal hands. The houses of the rebel President and Vice-President, the Congressional halls, the hotels, the Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, Belle Isle, and the Tredegar Works are Union barracks. The old flag streams over them like a hundred meteors. The streets are as blue as the sea or sky with Federal uniforms. The notes of Yankee Doodle and the Star Spangled Banner resound there, thrilling every heart, throughout the day and night. Glad shouts of loyalty are heard where the howls of treason have loaded the breeze. Blessings are invoked upon the Union where curses have been rained upon it like a poison-dew. "On to Richmond" need no longer be the cry of our armies. Let the nation thank God and rejoice. Let the thunder of artillery echo the glad news and huige bonfires flash it over the country.
This is indeed a grand event. It is the great event of the war. It is an event of tremendous moment. It cannot fail to be accepted by hundreds of thousands even of the bitterest and most determined rebels in the South as involving the end of the rebellion. We presume that Richmond was evacuated by the rebels, and it is stated that Petersburg has been evacuated too, Gen. Lee finding it imposssible to hold either place. What his plans now are, if he has any, a very brief time will develop. Grant and Sheridan, it seems, are pressing him back everywhere, capturing guns by scores and prisoners by thousands and shattering his strength as if it were glass. If he awaits reinforcements from Johnston, he will probably be demolished before Johnston can arrive, and, if he attempt to retreat to Johnston or to make his way into Lynchburg, it is not likely, that, with Sheridan's powerful cavalry pressing upon him like the genius of destruction and with all the railroads blocked against him, he can escape with even one-half of his troops.
We seem to ourselves to see a white-winged Angel in the air, and her name is Peace. She sheda a tear for the past, but her holy and beautiful countenance glows with joy for the future.