« PreviousContinue »
after seven o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, died of a mortal wound inflicted on him by an assassin. The armies of the United States will share with their fellow-citizens the feelings of grief and horror inspired by the most atrocious murder of their great and beloved President and Commander-in-Chief with profound sorrow, will mourn liis death as a national calamity. The head-quarters of every department, post, station, fort, and arsenal will be draped in mourning for thirty days, and appropriate funeral honors will be paid by every army, and in every lepartment, and at every military post, and at the Military Academy at West Point, to the memory of the late illustrious Chief Magistrate of the nation, and Commander-in-Chief of the armies. Lieutenant-General Grant will give the necessary instructions for cari ying this order into effect.
Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. On the day after the receipt of the order at head-quarters of every military division, department, army-post, station, fort, and arsenal, and at the Military Academy at West Point, the troops and cadets will be paraded at ten o'clock A. m., and the order read to them. After which all labor and operations for the day will cease, and be suspended, as far as practicable in a state of war. The national flag will be displayed at halfstaff. At the dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired, and afterwards at intervals of thirty minutes between the rising and the setting of the sun a single gun, and at the close of the day a national salute of thirty-six guns, The officers of the armies of the United States will wear the badge of mourning on the left arm and on their swords, and the colors of their commands and regiinents will be put in mourning for the period of six months. By command of
Lieutenant-General Grant. (Signed) W. A. Nichols, Assistant Adjutant-General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 16, 186L. Lieutenant-General Grant, U. S. Army, Commanding Armies of the
United States, Washington, D. C: GENERAL :-You will please announce by general order to the armies of the United States, that on Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865, by reason of the death of Abraham Lincoln, the office of President of the United States devolved upon Andrew Johnson, Vice-President, who, on the samo day, took the official oath prescribed for the President, and entered upon the duties of that office.
Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. WAR DEP OFFICE }
WASHINGTON, April 16, 1805. GENERAL ORDERS, No. 7.-It is hereby announced to the armies of the United States, that on Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865, by reason of the death of Abraham Lincoln, the office of the President of the United States devolved upon Andrew Johnson, Vice-President, who, on the same day, took the official oath prescribed for the President, and entered upon the duties of that office. By command of
Lieutenant-General Grant. W. A. Nichols, Assistant Adjutant-General.
ORDERS FROM SECRETARY WELLES.
NAVY DEPARTMENT WASHINGTON, April 17, 1865. SPECIAL ORDERS.–Vice-Admiral D. G. Farragut and Rear-Admiral Villiam B. Shubrick have been designated to make the necessary arrange
mnents on the part of the Navy and Marine Corps for attending, on Wed. nesday next, the funeral of the late President of the United States.
Gideon Wells, Secretary of the Navy.
NAVY DEPAETMENT, WASHINGTOX, April 17, 1865. SPECIAL ORDERS.-Officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will assemble at the Navy Department, in uniform, at 10 o'clock A. m., on Wednesday next, for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late President of the United States.
GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.
Navy DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 17, 1865. SPECIAL Order.—By order of the President of the United States, the Navy Department will be closed on Wednesday next, the day of the funeral solemnities of the late President of the United States. Labor will also be suspended on that day at each of the navy-yards and navy stations, and upon all the vessels of the United States. The flags of all vessels and at all navy-yards and stations and marine barracks will be kept at half-mast during the day, and at 12 o'clock, meridian, twentyone minute-guns will be fired by the senior officer of each squadron and the commandants of each of the navy-yards and stations.
GIDEON Welles, Secretary of the Navy. ORDER FROM SECRETARY M'Culloch.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 18, 1865. The Secretary of the Treasury, with profound sorrow, announces to the revenue marine the death of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States. He died in this city on the morning of the 15th inst., at twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock. The officers of the revenue marine will, as a manifestation of their respect for the exalted character and eminent public services of the illustrious dead, and of their sense of the calamity the country has sustained by this afflicting dispensation of Providence, wear crape on the left arm and upon the hilt of the sword for six months. It is further directed that funeral honors be paid on board all revenue vessels in commission, by firing thirty-six minuteguns, commencing at meridian on the day after the receipt of this order, and by wearing their flags at half-mast.
Hugh MOCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury.
ORDER FROM POSTMASTER-GENERAL DENNISON.
Post-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 17. To Deputy PosTMASTERS :
Business in all the post-offices of the United States will be suspended, and the offices closed, from 11 a. M. to 3 P. M. on Wednesday, the 19tli instant, during the funeral solemnities of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States.
W. DENNISON, Postmaster-General.
PROCLAMATION BY PRESIDENT JOHNSON OF A DAY OF HUMILIATION
Whereas, By my direction the acting Secretary of State, in a notice to the public, on the 17th of April, requested the various religious denominations to assemble on the 19th of April, on the occasion of the obsequies of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States, and to observe the same with appropriate ceremonies; and
Whereas, Our country has become one great house of mourning, where the head of the family has been taken away, and believing that a special period should be assigned for again humbling ourselves before Almighty God, in order that the bereavement may be sanctified to the nation:
Now, therefore, in order to mitigate that grief on earth which can only be assuaged by communion with the Father in Heaven, and in compliance with the wishes of Senators and Representatives in Congress, communicated to me by a resolution adopted at the national capital, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby appoint Thursday, the 25th day of May next, to be observed, wherever in the United States the flag of the country may be respected, as a day of humiliation and mourning, and recommend my fellow-citizens then to assemble in their respective places of worship, there to unite in solemn service to Almighty God in memory of the good man who has been removed, so that all shall be occupied at the same time in contemplation of his virtues and sorrow for his sudden and violent end.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, the twenty-fifth day of April, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, (L. 6.) and of the independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.
ANDREW Johnsox. By the President:
W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary of State.
SECRETARY STANTON TO MINISTER ADAMS.
The following is the official report of the death of Mr. Lincoln, Addressed to the Legation in London :
WASHINGTUX, April 15 Sie:-It has become my distressing duty to announce to you that last night his Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, was assassinated, about the hour of half-past ten o'clock, in his private box at Ford's Theatre, in this city. The President, about eight o'clock, accompanied Mrs. Lincoln to the theatre. Another lady and gentleman were with them in the box. About half-past ten, during a pause in the performance, the assassin entered the box, the door of whicb was nn. Guarded, hastily approached the President from behind, and discharged a j:istol at his head. The bullet entered the back of his head, and penetrated nearly through. The assassin then leaped from the box upon the Stige, brandishing a large knife or dagger, and exclaiming, " Sic semper tyrannis !" and escaped in the rear of the theatre. Immediately upon the discharge, the President fell to the floor insensible, and continued in that state until twenty minutes past seven o'clock this morning, when he breathed his last. About the same time the murder was being committed at the theatre, another assassin presented himself at the door of Mr. Seward's residence, gained admission by representing be had a prescription from Mr. Seward's physician, which he was directed to see administered, and hurried up to the third-story chamber, where Mr. Sew. ard was lying. He here discovered Mr. Frederick Seward, struck him over the head, inflicting several wounds, and fracturing his skull in two places, inflicting, it is feared, mortal wounds. Ile then rushed into the room where Mr. Seward was in bed, attended by a young daughter and a male nurse. The male attendant was stabbed through the lungs, and it is believed will die. The assassin then struck Mr. Seward with a knife or dagger twice in the throat and twice in the face, inflicting terrible wounds. By this time Major Seward, eldest son of the Secretary, and another attendant reached the room, and rushed to the rescue of the Secretary : they were also wounded in the conflict, and the assassin escaped. No artery or important blood-vessel was severed by any of the wounds inflicted upcu him, but he was for a long time insensible from the loss of blood. Some hope of his possible recovery is entertained. Immediately upon the death of the President, notice was given to Vice-President Johnson, who happened to be in the city, and upon whom the office of President now devolves. He will take the office and assume the functions of President to-day. The murderer of the President has been discovered, and evidence obtained that these horrible crimes were committed in execution of a conspiracy deliberately planned and set on foot by rebels, under pretence of avenging the South and aiding the rebel cause; but it is hoped that the immediate perpetrators will be caught. The feeling occasioned by these outrageous crimes is so great, sudden, and overwhelming, that I cannot at present do more than communicate them to you. At the earliest moment yesterday the President called a Cabinet meeting, at which General Grant was present. He was more cheerful and happy than I had ever seen him, rejoiced at the near prospect of firm and durable peace at home and abroad, manifested in a marked degree the kindness and humanity of his disposition, and the tender and forgiving spirit that so eminently distinguislied lim. Public notice had been given that he and General Grant would be present at the theatre, and the opportunity of adding the Lientenant-General to the number of victims to be murdered was no doubt seized for the fitting occasion of executing the plans that appear to have been in preparation for some weeks, but General Grant was compelled to be absent, and thus escaped the designs upon him. It is needless for me to say any thing in regard of the influence which this atrocious murder of the President may exercise upon the affairs of this country; but I will only add that, horrible as are the atrocities that have been resorted to by the enemies of the country, they aro not likely in any degree to impair the public spirit or postpone the complete final overthrow of the rebellion. In profound grief for the events which it is my duty to communicate to you, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON. To CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, London,
IMPORTANT LETTER FROM J. WILKES BOOTH.
HIS ORIGINAL PURPOSE WAS TO TAKE MR. LINCOLN A PRISONER. HIS
REASONS FOR HIS ACTION.
[From the Philadelphia Press, April 19.] We have just received the following letter, written by John Wilkes Booth, and placed by him in the hands of his brother-in-law, J. S. Clarke. It was written by him in November last, and left with J. S. Clarke in a sealed envelope, and addressed to himself, in his own handwriting. In the same envelope were some United States bonds and oil stocks. This letter was opened by Mr. Clarke for the first time on Monday last, and immediately handed by him to Marshall Milward, who has kindly placed it in our hands. Most ministakably it proves that he just for many
months have contemplated seizing the person of the late President. It is, however, doubtful whether he imagined the black deed which has plunged the nation into the deepest gloom, and at the same time awakened it to a just and righteous indignation :
1864. My Dear Sir :-You may use this as you think best. But as some may wish to know when, who, and why, and as I do not know how to direct it, I give it (in the words of your master) :" To whom it may concern."
Right or wrong, God judge me, not man. For be my motive good or bad, of one thing I am sure, the lasting condemnation of the North.
I love peace more than life. Have loved the Union beyond expression. For four years have I waited, hoped, and prayed for the dark clouds to break, and for a restoration of our former sunshine. To wait longer would be a crime All hope for peace is dead. My prayers have proved as idle as my hopes. God's will be done. I go to see and share the bitter end.
I have ever held that the South were right. The very nomination of Abraham Lincoln, four years ago, spoke plainly war-war upon Southern rights and institutions. His election proved it. “ Await an cvert act." Yes; till you are bound and plundered. What folly! The South were wise. Who thinks of argument or patience when the finger of his enemy presses on the trigger? In a foreign war, I, too, could say,
Country, right or wrong.' But in a struggle such as ours (where the brother tries to pierce the brother's heart), for God's sake choose the right. When a country like this spurns justice from her side, she forfeits the allegiance of every honest freeman, and should leave him, untrammelled by any fealty soever, to act as his conscience may approve.
People of the North, to hate tyranny, to love liberty and justice, to strike at wrong and oppression, was the teaching of our fathers. The study of our early history will not let me forget it, and may it never.
This country was formed for the white, not for the black man. And, looking upon African slavery froin the saine stand-point held by the noble framers of our Constitution, I, for one, have ever considered it one of the greatest blessings (both for themselves and us) that God ever bestowed upon a favored nation. Witness heretofore our wealth and power; witness their elevation and enlightenment above their race elsewhere. I have lived among it most of my life, and have seen less harsh treatment from master to man than I have beheld in the North from father to son. Yet, Heaven knows, no one would be more willing to do more for the negro race than I, could I but see a way to still better their condition.
But Lincoln's policy is only preparing the way for their total annihilation. The Soutli are not, nor hare they been, fighting for the continuance of slavery. The first battle of Bull Run did away with that idea. Their causes since for war have been as noble and greater far than those that urget our futhers on. Even should we allow they were wrong at the beginning of this contest, cruelty and injustice have made the wrong become the right, and they stand now (before the wonder and admiration of the world) as a noble band of patriotic heroes. Hereafter, reading of their deeds, Thermopylw will be forgotten.
When I aided in the capture and execution of John Brown (who was a murderer on our western border, and who was fairly tried and convicted, before an impartial judge and jury, of treason, and who, by-the-way, has since been made a god), I was proud of my little share in the transactivil, for I deemed it my duty, and that I was helping our common country to