NORFOLK, May 10 – 6 P. M.
Gen. Wool has just entered the city in company with Mayor W. N. Lamb and a committee of the city government. The last of the rebel troops left this morning and the city was left in the care of the Mayor as the representative of the civil power. On the approach of our troops the Mayor went with a flag of truce to the city limits, and an arrangement was soon made between the Mayor and Gen. Wool that the city should be given up on the promise of Gen. Wool that private property should be respected during the march on Norfolk.
Three regimental cavalry camps were found deserted apparently a day or two since. Gen. Weber’s regiment, the New York 20th, was advanced on landing to reconnoiter. Some six miles from the beach, the Half Way House, so called, they found a place which had been prepared for a battle field. Trees and bushes had been felled and rifled-pits built, and early in the morning, as was ascertained, several guns were placed in position. At this point some of the recruits of the 41st Virginia regiment were captured. They report Sewall’s Point abandoned on the preceding night by four companies, which had garrisoned the place for some weeks past. A negro was also captured at this place who stated that it was the intention of the enemy to destroy the bridge over Tanner’s Creek and then evacuate Norfolk.
Part of Max Weber’s regiment was pushed forward on the road to the bridge, and the enemy was found posted on the opposite side of Tanner’s Creek with three guns. The bridge had been set on fire and was still burning at the time. Some six or eight shots, however, were fired without effect, and our men, being beyond musket range, did not reply. The creek being about a quarter of a mile wide, our forces were withdrawn, and started on another road considerably longer, and reported to be defended by a strong battery. Not the slightest opposition was made, however, to our advance, and fortifications, which were a mile and a half from Norfolk, were found to have been evacuated after spiking the guns. They were extensive works and finely constructed.
They arrived at Norfolk, after a tiresome march, at 5 o’clock, without firing a gun and found the whole rebel force gone, the last leaving this morning.
Mayor Lamb, with a committee of the city government authorized for the purpose, met Gen. Wool with a flag of truce at the city limits, and after a brief consultation the city was surrendered to the United States forces. Gen. Wool then proceeded to the City Hall with the Mayor, followed by a large crowd, where he issued the following proclamation:
HEADQUARTERS DEPT. OF VIRGINIA,
NORFOLK, May 10, 1862.
The city of Norfolk having been surrendered to the Government of the United States, military possession of the same is taken, in behalf of the National Government by Major General John E. Wool. – Brigadier General Viele is appointed Military Governor for the time being. He will see that all citizens are carefully protected in their rights and civil privileges, taking the utmost care to preserve order, to see that no soldiers be permitted to enter the city except by his order or by the written permission of the commanding officer of his brigade or regiment; or he will punish summarily any American soldiers who shall trespass upon the rights of any of the inhabitants.
JOHN E. WOOL,
Gen. Viele immediately appointed Mr. F. D. Davis his Military Secretary. The very first parties who entered the city were newspaper correspondents. Gen. Wool returns to camp outside the city, and probably to Fortress Monroe to-night.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Wednesday Morning, May 14, 1862, p. 1