Ami's SOA Today's Date in Lincoln's Life

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Saturday April 8, 1865

City Point, Va

President meets Cong. Washburne (Ill.) on shore in morning and hands him letter for Robert at front.
Marquis de Chambrun and Sen. Sumner (Mass.) go aboard River Queen, and President shows them seating arrangement of Hampton Roads Conference.
Presidential party, including Mrs. Lincoln and friends, goes by special train to Petersburg.
President inspects hospital camps and confers with generals at headquarters on far side of town.
In evening military band on transport comes alongside the River Queen and gives farewell concert to Presidential party. President requests two numbers: "Marseillaise" and "Dixie."
At 11 P.M. Presidential party leaves City Point, for return trip to Washington.
 

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Sunday April 9, 1865

Washington DC

"That whole day [steaming up Potomac] the conversation turned on literary subjects. Mr. Lincoln read aloud to us for several hours. Most of the passages he selected were from Shakespeare." ( Adolphe de Pineton, marquis de Chambrun, Impressions of Lincoln and the Civil War: A Foreigner's Account (New York: Random House, 1952), 82-86.)
President returns in excellent health. River Queen arrives at 6 P.M., bringing President, Mrs. Lincoln, Tad Lincoln, Attorney General James Speed, Assistant Secretary Otto, Senator Charles Sumner (Mass.), Senator James Harlan (Iowa), Mrs. Harlan and daughter Mary, and Marquis de Chambrun.
Presidential party arrives about sundown. Streets alive with people. Bonfires everywhere. General Robert E. Lee has surrendered.
Lincoln visits Secretary Seward, severely injured by fall from carriage.
Crowds in front of White House call for President. "He responded briefly but pleasantly."
 

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Monday April 10, 1865

Washington DC

Procession from the Navy Yard, led by the Marine Band and joined by the Lincoln Hospital Band and the Quartermaster's Band, grows to thousands and marches to the Executive Mansion in the morning. President makes brief speech at noon from second-story window and requests "Dixie," since Union forces have "fairly captured it."
Crowds serenade President throughout day. He makes extemporaneous speeches.
President has photos made by Alexander Gardner.
At 5 P.M. large crowd with bands assembles at White House. President responds to serenade and promises to prepare speech for tomorrow.
About 6 P.M. delegation of 15 men enters White House and meets President in hall. Spokesman for group makes speech and presents Lincoln with picture of himself in silver frame.
 

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Tuesday April 11, 1865

Washington DC

President consults with General Benjamin Butler on freed people problem.
Marshal Lamon and Sec. Usher call on President, who sends Lamon to Richmond on business connected with reconstruction convention.
Cabinet meets. Cotton question chief topic.
President issues proclamation closing certain ports of entry and proclamation concerning foreign port privileges.
Grand celebration at White House. President appears at window over door and Mrs. Lincoln at neighboring window. Reads speech to crowd on lawn.
In this, his last public speech, President discusses status of Confederate States and his plan for restoring them to their place in Union.
 

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Wednesday April 12, 1865

Washington DC

After breakfast O. H. Browning introduces to President William C. Bibb, influential Unionist of Montgomery, Ala., interested in reconstruction, and receives various passes and orders.
In conversation with Marquis de Chambrun, Lincoln "spoke at length of the many struggles he foresaw in the future and declared his firm resolution to stand for clemency against all opposition."
Visits Sec. Stanton in War Dept. about 5 P.M. and decides to revoke permission for convocation of Virginia Assembly.
Telegraphs Gen. Weitzel: "Is there any sign of the rebel Legislature coming together on the understanding of my letter to you? If there is any such sign, inform me what it is; if there is no such sign you may as [well] withdraw the offer."
Explains to Weitzel that former Assoc. Justice J. A. Campbell is in error if he understands Confederate Legislature of Virginia is accepted as rightful legislature of State. It is but "the gentlemen who have acted as the Legislature of Virginia in support of the rebellion." However they have de facto power "to withdraw the Virginia troops, and other support from resistance to the General Government," and for this purpose they were encouraged to meet. Since Virginia troops have been captured by Gen. Grant, do not let them assemble.
Writes Weitzel: "I do not remember hearing prayers spoken of while I was in Richmond; but I have no doubt you have acted in what appeared to you to be the spirit and temper manifested by me while there." [ Stanton had reprimanded Weitzel for not ordering prayers for President in churches.]
 

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Saturday April 13, 1861

Washington DC

At 9:00 AM, President again meets with commissioners appointed by Convention of State of Virginia on April 8, 1861, and replies in writing: "In case it proves true, that Fort-Sumpter has been assaulted, as is reported, I shall perhaps, cause the United [States] mails to be withdrawn from all the States which claim to have seceded— . . . I consider the Military posts and property situated within the states, which claim to have seceded, as yet belonging to the Government. . . . I shall not attempt to collect the duties, and imposts, by any armed invasion of any part of the country—not meaning by this, however, that I may not land a force, deemed necessary, to relieve a fort upon a border of the country."
Lincoln grants William O. Stoddard of Illinois, White House assistant secretary, permission to join National Rifles, but active service is superseded by civilian duties.
Receives no information on Charleston except through press.
Secretary of War Simon Cameron, Robert J. Walker, former secretary of treasury and senator from Mississippi, James R. Gilmore of Cincinnati, editor and author of "Among the Pines," and Lincoln converse for two hours about conditions in South.
Attends for few minutes reception in Mrs. Lincoln's drawing room.

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Friday April 14, 1865

Washington DC

Capt. Robert Lincoln arrives in Washington from scene of Gen. R. E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Va., in time for 8 A.M. breakfast with President.
Lincoln interviews former Sen. Hale (N.H.), newly appointed minister to Spain, and goes for short drive with Gen. Grant, in town for cabinet meeting. Receives many members of Congress who call to congratulate him on successful conclusion of war.
Writes Gen. Van Alen: "I thank you for the assurance you give me that I shall be supported by conservative men like yourself, in the efforts I may make to restore the Union, so as to make it, to use your language, a Union of hearts and hands as well as of States."
Visits cipher room of War Dept., tells Gen. Thomas T. Eckert of plans to attend theater, and invites him to come along.
At 11 A.M. cabinet meets.
Grant reports to cabinet on surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox, and Sec. Stanton presents draft of plan for reestablishing authority in Confederate States.
President tells several cabinet members about his recurring dream of ship "moving with great rapidity toward a dark and indefinite shore," that presages Union victories.
Cabinet meeting lasts from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. Informal discussion relative to what should be done about President Davis and other leaders of Confederacy.
Between 2 and 3 P.M. President lunches with Mrs. Lincoln in private parlor.
Lincoln interviews Vice President Johnson at 3 P.M. Mrs. Nancy Bushrod, Negro woman, pushes by guards and sees President regarding husband's pay.
Asst. Sec. Dana reports to President at 4:30 P.M. that Jacob Thompson, Confederate agent in Canada, is now in U.S. making ready to sail for Europe. Should he be allowed to leave country? President is willing for him to leave.
In late afternoon President and Mrs. Lincoln go for drive. They stop at Navy Yard to view three monitors, damaged in Fort Fisher, N.C., engagement. President talks of time when they can return to Illinois and live quietly.
At approximately 8:30 P.M. President and Mrs. Lincoln, accompanied by Clara Harris and Major Henry R. Rathbone, enter Ford's Theatre for performance of Our American Cousin featuring Laura Keene.
Exact time of assassination is not agreed upon. After extensive research Otto Eisenschiml wrote:] "It is therefore safe to say that Booth fired his shot at or close to 13 minutes past 10 P.M."
Shortly afterward President, completely insensible, is moved across street to house of William Petersen, 453 10th St. NW., and placed upon bed in small room at rear of hall on ground floor. Mrs. Lincoln stays near her husband. Robert Lincoln and John Hay come from White House. Dr. Stone tells Robert there is no hope. Family and others whose official or private relations to President give them right to be present begin their long night wait for death to overtake him.

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