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#115: Confederate Capital Falls

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

On March fourth, eighteen sixty-five, Abraham Lincoln was sworn-in as president after winning a second term. The election had taken place in the Union of northern states. The Union still followed the United States Constitution. The Confederacy of southern states had left the Union. The South had its own Constitution.

1865年3月4号,亚伯拉罕·林肯宣誓就职,开始了他的第二个总统任期。这次总统换届是在北方举行的,北方各州遵照的依旧是美国宪法,而退出联邦的南方各州则制定了自己的宪法。

On the evening of Inauguration Day, the White House was opened to the public. The party ended near midnight. Thousands of people went to see President Lincoln.

宣誓就职当天晚上,白宫对公众开放,数千民众前来看望总统,庆祝活动直到午夜时分才结束。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of President Lincoln and the American Civil War.

VOICE ONE:

Lincoln was glad the celebrations were over. Now he could get back to the urgent problems that faced him. He hoped that during his second four-year term he could end the Civil War. He hoped he could ease the bitterness and hatred the war had brought.

林肯很高兴庆祝活动终于结束了,他总算可以集中精力处理当务之急了。他希望在第二个四年任期内结束内战,缓和战争带来的怨恨和仇视。

Lincoln hoped for an easy peace. He wanted no hangings or other brutal acts against the losers. He wanted to see Confederate soldiers go back to their homes to become peaceful citizens of a united country.

林肯希望能轻松过渡到和平,不希望对失败的一方采取绞刑等残暴手段,只希望看到南方邦联士兵返回家园,成为统一国家的和平公民。林肯希望国家能重新团结在一起。

Lincoln wanted the nation to grow together again.

VOICE TWO:

General Robert E. Lee
General Robert E. Lee

The war could not last much longer. The South already was defeated. But Confederate leaders refused to accept defeat.

战争不会持续太长时间了。南方战局大势已去,但是南方邦联领袖拒绝承认失败。

General Robert E. Lee's army still held the area around Richmond, Virginia. Richmond was the Confederate capital. Lee did not believe, however, that he could hold the city much longer.

南方邦联首都里士满附近地区依旧处于罗伯特·李的控制之中,但是李将军知道,他也撑不了多久了。

His once mighty army now had less than fifty thousand men. These men were tired and hungry. And they had to defend a line almost sixty kilometers long, from Richmond to the city of Petersburg.

罗伯特·李手下原本庞大的队伍现在只剩下不到五万人了,这些人全都饥肠辘辘,疲惫不堪,还要守住从里士满到彼得斯堡一条将近60公里长的防线。

There just were not enough Confederate soldiers left to fight.

南方已经没有足够的兵力打仗了。

VOICE ONE:

Lee decided that his only hope was to give up the two cities. He would march south and join General Joe Johnston's army in North Carolina. Perhaps the two armies could defeat Union forces moving up through the state. Then they could turn to meet the army of General Ulysses Grant.

罗伯特·李决定,唯一的希望就是放弃这两座城市,挥师南下,跟北卡罗来纳约翰斯顿将军率领的部队会合,或许能联手打败那里的北方军,然后再回过头来对付格兰特将军的队伍。

This plan had little chance of success. But it would keep the Confederate armies active for a few more weeks or months.

这项计划成功的机会微乎其微,但可以让南方部队的生命延续几个星期或是几个月。

Lee soon discovered that it would not be easy to break out of the trap that Richmond and Petersburg had become. Grant's army seemed to be everywhere.

罗伯特·李很快就发现,冲出里士满和彼得斯堡的包围圈并不容易,格兰特的部队似乎无处不在。

Lee put eleven thousand of his men into position near Grant's line. They waited for the enemy to attack.

罗伯特·李在格兰特战线附近部署了一万一千人,等待敌人进攻。

At first, the Confederates received some help from the weather. Heavy rains fell for more than a day. Many roads and fields were flooded. The Union army could not move forward. When it did, the Confederates were ready. They pushed back the attackers.

最初,天气帮了南方的忙,连续一天多的暴雨,淹没了道路和农田,让北军部队无法前进。等他们终于可以行动的时候,南方部队已经做好了准备,击退了北军的进攻。

VOICE TWO:

The Battle of Petersburg
The Battle of Petersburg

The victory did not last long. There were five times more Union soldiers than Confederate soldiers. The Confederates fought hard, but could not stop them. They were forced to withdraw.

然而,胜利没有持续多久。北军的兵力是南方的五倍,南军士兵虽然拼死搏杀,还是挡不住来势凶猛的北军,只好撤退。

The Confederates moved slowly, then more quickly as Union troops chased them. They began to flee wildly. About half of them were captured.

撤退刚开始的时候还有条不紊,但是北军紧追不舍,南军最后溃不成军,大约一半人当了俘虏。

Grant ordered an immediate attack all along Lee's line. He was sure the line was weak. He was sure he could break it.

格兰特下令,立即全线进攻罗伯特·李的部队。他确信,对方阵线不堪一击,轻而易举就能攻破。

A Union army doctor watched the battle from a distance. He said he could see the flash of light from Confederate guns along a line a kilometer long.

北方一位军医从远处观战。他说,可以看到南军士兵开枪的硝烟和火光,绵延一公里。

After a while, part of the line went dark. Then another part. And another. Flashes of gunfire became fewer. Finally, all of the line was dark. The doctor said he knew then that the Confederate line had fallen.

但是没过多久,这条阵线的一部分就没有了火光,接下来,另外一部分的火光也消失了,最后整条战线都暗淡下去,再也没有了亮光。这位军医说,他知道,南方阵线彻底崩溃了。

VOICE ONE:

General Grant had been trying to break General Lee's line for almost a year. Now he had done it.

将近一年来,格兰特一直在设法攻破罗伯特.李的防线,如今,他终于做到了。

His troops raced forward to seize the railroad. Lee no longer had a way to supply his troops in Petersburg. He no longer had a quick way to move his army south. He would have to move west first, then turn south. This meant he would have to give up Richmond.

格兰特的部队立即抢占铁路,切断了通往彼得斯堡的供给线。罗伯特·李也无法率军迅速南下,而要先向西,再往南,这就意味着他必须放弃里士满。

The government of the Confederacy would have to go with him or be captured. Confederate President Jefferson Davis gave the order to go.

南方邦联政府要么跟他一起撤,要么势必沦陷,邦联总统戴维斯下令撤退。

VOICE TWO:

The fall of Richmond
The fall of Richmond

Southern soldiers began to burn military supplies they could not take from Richmond. Huge amounts of shells and gunpowder were exploded. The fires got out of control. Many buildings burned to the ground. The streets were filled with refugees trying to escape the burning city. Mobs broke into stores looking for food.

南方士兵把带不走的军事装备全部烧毁,里士满附近的枪弹爆炸声不绝于耳,以至于火势失控,很多建筑被夷为平地。里士满的街头巷尾挤满了人,大家都想从这座火城逃走,很多暴徒闯进店铺,劫掠食物。

Union troops quickly moved into Richmond. Then they raised the United States flag over the once proud capital of the Confederacy.

北方部队迅速进驻里士满,在这个一度曾是南方邦联首都的城市上空悬挂起联邦旗帜。

VOICE ONE:

President Lincoln visited Richmond on April fourth. He visited the Confederate state house where the rebel Congress had met. He had lunch in the Confederate White House where Confederate President Jefferson Davis had lived.

林肯总统4月4号视察里士满,来到邦联议会开会的议事大厅,在邦联总统戴维斯曾经居住过的南方邦联总统府用午餐。

Richmond in ruins
Richmond in ruins

Everywhere Lincoln went, hundreds of people crowded around him. Blacks, especially, wanted to get near him. They wanted to touch the man who had made them free. At no time was any kind of hostile act made against the president.

林肯所到之处,都有数百人把他团团围住,特别是黑人,他们都想靠近他,摸一摸这个给他们自由的人,没有人对林肯采取任何带有敌意的行动。

VOICE TWO:

In the next few days, Lincoln followed carefully Grant's campaign against Lee's withdrawing army. By telegraph and messenger, he was informed of every move.

在接下来的几天里,林肯密切关注格兰特对罗伯特·李撤军的围追堵截的战局,通过电报和信使,了解战争的每一个最新动态。

Lee's men marched without food. They did not have time to search for it. They could not stop. The Union army was only a day behind them.

罗伯特·李的部下饿着肚子赶路,他们没有时间寻找食物,也不能停下脚步,因为北军部队一天就能赶上他们。

On and on they marched. Many of them -- weak from hunger and tired beyond belief -- could go no farther. They left the road to sleep. Most never got back. Others continued to March. But many threw down their guns and equipment.

他们马不停蹄地行军,很多人因为饥饿和疲惫超越极限,再也走不动了。他们跑到路边睡觉,大多数人没有再回来。其他人继续行军,但是很多人都丢掉了枪支和装备。

Union forces attacked the moving line when they could. There were battles at such places as Amelia Court House, Sayler's Creek, High Bridge and Farmville. Lee's army fought off each attack. But it was slowly bleeding and starving to death.

北方部队不断寻找机会进攻正在后撤的南军,双方多次发生战斗。罗伯特·李的手下每次都击退了北军的进攻,但伤亡和饥饿使南军逐渐丧失了战斗力。

VOICE ONE:

Lee asked one of his officers to report on the situation. "There is no situation," the officer said. "Nothing remains, General Lee, but to put your poor soldiers on their poor horses and send them home in time to plant the spring crops."

罗伯特·李让手下一名军官汇报战况。这位军官说:"没什么战况好汇报的。没剩下什么了,李将军,还是让你那些可怜的士兵骑上他们可怜的马回家去吧,还能赶上春播。"

Lee answered: "What would the country think of me, if I did that."

罗伯特·李回答说,"如果我这样做,国家会怎么看待我呢?"

"Country." the officer cried. "There is no country. You are the country to these men. They have fought for you. Without pay or food. There are still thousands of us who will die for you."

那位军官大喊道:"国家。哪有什么国家!对这些人来说,你就是国家。他们为你而战,不要军饷或口粮。即使这样,还是有数以千计像我们这样的人愿意为你去死。"

VOICE TWO:

General Lee is defeated at Appomattox Station
General Lee is defeated at Appomattox Station

On April seventh, General Grant sent a message to General Lee. He said it was hopeless to continue the struggle. He asked for the surrender of Lee's army.

4月17号,格兰特将军传信给罗伯特·李,信中说,继续挣扎下去已毫无希望,不如投降。

Lee did not agree that the situation was hopeless. He believed there was still one small chance to escape. He wanted to reach a place called Appomattox Station. There his men could get food. Then they could march to Lynchburg where a railroad would carry them south to safety.

罗伯特·李并不认为大势已去。他相信还有一线机会可以逃脱,他希望带部队到一个叫阿普马托克斯站的地方,到那儿就能有食物。然后他们再向林奇伯格前进,那里有铁路,可以把他们带到南方安全的地方。

But the Union Army reached Appomattox Station first. Lee and his officers decided to make a final effort to break out of the circle of Union forces. If their plan failed, Lee would have no other choice. He would have to surrender.

然而,北军捷足先登,赶在南军前面抵达阿普马托克斯站,罗伯特·李和他手下的军官决定做最后努力,设法冲出北军的重重包围。如果计划失败,罗伯特·李就只好投降了。

VOICE ONE:

Lee rose early on the appointed day. He put on a new gray coat and a bright red sash. He looked as if he were going to a parade. His officers wondered. Then Lee explained: "I probably will be General Grant's prisoner. I thought I should look my best."

行动当天,罗伯特·李早早起身,穿上一件新的灰色大衣,戴上一条鲜红的腰带,看上去象是要去参加游行。他的部下大惑不解。罗伯特·李解释说:"我很可能成为格兰特的战俘,所以我觉得,应该把自己打扮得最像样子。"

At sunrise, Lee arrived on a hill outside the town of Appomattox Court House. He looked down on what was to be his final battlefield.

日出时分,罗伯特·李来到阿普马托克斯站城外的一个山坡上,俯视他的最后一片战场。

His men fought hard and well. But they could not break through the Union line. Finally, Lee said: "There is nothing left me but to go see General Grant. And I would rather die a thousand deaths."

他的手下奋勇作战,但还是无法冲破北军防线。罗伯特·李最后说:"除了去见格兰特,我无法选择,可我宁可死一千次也不愿意投降。"

Lee was sure Grant would not demand unconditional surrender. He said: "Grant will give us good terms -- as good as we have the right to demand. I can surrender this army on the condition that its members will never fight again."

罗伯特·李坚信,格兰特不会要求南军无条件投降。他说:"格兰特一定会给我们优惠的条件,我们有权提出要求,我可以同意投降,答应他们,所有士兵都不再参加战斗。"

Lee turned his horse toward the enemy lines behind his army. He sent a message to General Grant. It said: "I now request to meet with you at such time and place as you may name to discuss the terms of the surrender of this army."

罗伯特·李扭转马头,对着敌人的防线。他传信给格兰特将军说,"我现在要求在你指定的时间和地点跟你见面,讨论这支部队投降的条件。"

VOICE TWO:

The place would be a home in a town called Appomattox Court House. That will be our story next week.

谈判定在一个叫阿普马托克斯法院的小镇里的一座房子里举行。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs along with historical images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #115 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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