Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Saturday April. 15. 1865.

Busy all the morning packing two boxes of canned fruit &c. for Kate to take home with her.  She leaves here today, and will go to Wheeling on the Wild Wagoner Monday.  Mr. Cutler and Sarah and Maggie Voris intend to go as far as that city with her.  Kate’s health is not good and I fear she will not live long.  Nancy went home to see her sister.

Saturday April 15 1865 — continued —  William returned from town on the 11 o’clock train.  As soon as I saw him I thought from his countenance that there was bad news — and asked at once “What news from Sherman?” as we were daily expecting to hear of a battle between Sherman & Johnston — He replied “No news from Sherman, but there is shocking news from Washington, President Lincoln was assassinated last night at a theater, and an attempt made to murder Secretary Seward and his son who are supposed to be fatally wounded” —I said “It is a copperhead lie, to mar the rejoicing over the late victories” —”No” he said, “it is a too true, it comes from Secretary Stanton” — —He says that the feeling in town is intense they say now “no compromises with treason, let justice be done to the traitors.”  Lincoln had a strong hold on the hearts of the people, his right principles, his honesty of purpose, & his kindliness have won their love —and now his base and cruel murder, coming at a time of jubilant rejoicing produces the most painful revulsion of feeling and profound sorrow —Our joy is turned into mourning, our Season of hope & promise into the blackness of darkness.  People sit down and weep as if bereaved of a dear friend —William says “nothing since our defeat at Manasus has produced such a shock (if indeed that can be compared with this) men’s hearts failing them for fear of the things that are coming on the earth — —This afternoon William received a dispatch saying Lincoln died this morning at half past seven.  The murderer is Booth an actor, who has not been arrested —Seward is also reported dead —

Everybody almost seems horror struck with this terrible crime.  The idea of the murder of the Secretary of State, who since the fall from his carriage, some time ago has been lying helpless with a broken jaw and arm —seems too horrible for belief —Savages could not be more brutal —but a people who can commit the atrocities suffered by our captive soldiers in Southern prisons are bad enough to instigate and carry out any act however infamous and revolting —

Peggy's note:
Read an account published in Harper's Weekly.

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