THE TRAIN TO DANVILLE
Once more to stand and fight.
For Richmond she is dying now,
With flames that shine so bright.
We are to go this very night,
But first we burn our fleet.
It hurts my soul, so deep inside
the end, so close to meet.
For Sherman he approaches,
The enemy is everywhere,
And should I die this very
|In early April 1865. Rear Admiral Raphael
Semmes was in command of all vessels on the James River. He received orders
from Robt. E. Lee that the Confederate Government was to evacuate
Richmond overnight, and that he was to burn the fleet, and then repair
to Danville with his men. It was dawn before they finished destroying the
ships, and the last "official" train had left. He had to commandeer
a train, and remove civilians from it. On arrival in Danville he
had meetings with Jefferson Davis and Stephen Mallory, he was inducted
into the Confederate Army with the rank of Brigadier General. The only
person in the war to hold staff officer rank in both services. He was at
Danville, in the trenches for 9 days, before being ordered to Greensboro,