Historic Fort Norfolk Logo
 Surrender of Norfolk




An orderly is at once dispatched to know the meaning of it.  He returns to the commanding general with word that the Mayor, and a committee of Councils, are present in the house, and are anxious to sign terms for the unconditional surrender of the city to the national forces.  The head of the line is moved up to the house.  Here we observe two or three miserable hacks, with lean and groomed horses, standing in front of the door.  General Wool and staff, with Secretary Chase, dismount.  They are so covered with dust, that their best friends would fail to recognize them.  Gen. Wool wears his well-known polished leather cap – the one which he has worn through so many victorious battles.  He is conducted into the house, a company of soldiers enter, the Mayor and committee of Councils rise and bow.  The bow is returned, and a general introduction takes place.

The Mayor simply remarked to the General that he had come by direction of the City Councils of Norfolk, and also by the advice of Major General Huger, to offer a free and unconditional surrender to the national troops, provided, simply, that the commanding general of the Federal troops would guaranty the said citizens in their rights, privileges, and immunities, among which would be the protection of life, property, and personal liberty.  He presented a short paper from Major General Huger, stating that the city had been evacuated by the Confederate forces, and that no opposition whatever would be offered to the entrance and possession of the city by the United States troops.  He then handed to General Wool the keys of the custom house, post office, and city jail, as directed by the Councils.

Agreements were signed between General Wool and the Mayor, that every one should be protected, as had been stipulated.

General Wool said that it was no part of the design of the General Government, in crushing out this unhappy rebellion, to injure either the lives or property of any of its erring children; but simply to restore the United States property to its legitimate owners, and to restore peace and harmony throughout the land, and to assure protection to every citizen who should return to his allegiance.  This was very satisfactory, and the Mayor declared the city surrendered to the United States Government.

Next Page

Surrender of Nofolk Continued

Back, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8, page 9, page 10, page 11, Next


Source of Information

The Press, Philadelphia, PA Newspaper, Tuesday, May 13, 1862.

Image from Harper's Weekly May 24, 1862.