Washington 15th April 1865

Dear Mary

Last night,
Malcolm & Cliff went to
Ford’s theatre hoping to
see Grant – three separate
notices appeared in one
paper that Mr & Mrs
Lincoln & Mr & Mrs Grant
were to be there. I told
them to go for the chance
of seeing Grant -- Jane
& I staid at home &
rolled bandages for the
soldiers until they came
home -- soon after I went
to my room & as I went
to my dressing room
window, heard something
clashing in the street
a little to the right
of us & heard some one
[Crosswise on the left:] 7 AM There is that sad tolling again

ask what was the
matter -- soon after
I heard a woman’s
voice say the “President
is shot” with a distinctness
I shall never forget --
I went into the entry
with a shake in my
knees & met the boys
they said it happened
while they were in the
theatre but they thought
they would not say
say any thing till
morning -- they said the
box in which the President
sat was elaborately
adorned with flags, Mrs
Grant was there with
Mr & Mrs Lincoln --
suddenly a man who
looked they said like a
brother of Booth’s entered
the box shot the President
in the head & leaped
down upon the stage
& vanished, with a
dagger in his hand --
It was over like a flash --
Mrs Lincoln fainted,
Mrs Grant called to
the uproarious crowd
“order gentlemen, give
me some water for
God’s sake -- Lincoln’s
groans were heard -- two
surgeons were there, who
went to him & he was
carried to an opposite
house -- Jeannie & I had heard
the most mournful
tolling of a bell we
had ever listened to &
did not know what
it meant -- Jeannie
& I sat for a long time
at my window & we
heard some one say
that the President
was dead & that
Grant had been
assassinated in the
cars.

I ha called on Mrs Grant
yesterday, she looked very
bright & happy, told me
of her invitation to go
to the theatre with Mrs
L but said she could
not tell about Gen’l
Grant, for she did not
know but he might
have to go to the front
last night -- the signal
lights were working
all night –
[Crosswise on the left:] The assassin escaped on horseback

Yesterday after calling
on Mrs Grant we
met over 400 officers
in the Avenue, captured
by Sheridan -- Ewell
is one of them -- the boys
went to the Provost
Marshal’s office & saw
them all -- they said
Ewell looked sick --

Mrs Grant spoke as if
Grant had no more
fighting to do -- She
said Sherman had large
enough an army to
take care of the Hardee he
Johnston -- Edith had
a line from Will
beyond Petersburg on
his way to his reg. no
word since then --

I expect your father
& Alice to morrow
night before last,
Jeannie & I Malcolm &
Cliff were walking
about looking at the
gorgeous lighting upon
the city & were at one
end of the War Depart-
ment & off of the
side walk when Grant
& Mrs Lincoln passed
close to us in an open
barouche-- they had come
up without knowing
there was to be such
an illumination -- Grant’s
name was in various
places among the illumin-
ations -- It was a most
joyous day, now followed!

8 A M. I have sent
out to inquire about
the truth of last night’s
horrors -- Lincoln is not
yet dead but the dr says
he cannot live --
Seward’s house was entered
& his throat was cut,
last night, before the
President was shot --
It is being surrounded by
an Inferno to be here --
You will see more by
the papers than I can
tell you -- send this
to Edith Emerson &
ask her to keep it.
I do not want to
write this story again –
With love to Harry &
a kiss to Jim

Your loving
Mother

[Postscript]

I find this A M.
that the boys also
heard about Seward
last night -- I suppose
the assassin was the
same who went
to the theatre & shot
Lincoln -- as Malcolm
was on his way home
from the theatre he
told some man he met
about Gr Lincoln &
he in turn told him
about Seward.
Having heard of & seen
soldiers badly wounded
in the head, I hope
there is a chance
for Lincoln’s getting
over it –
I have the morning’s paper
Grant is safe – but it is
horror upon horror it
[Crosswise on the left:] was Miss Harris not Mrs Grant at
the theatre -- Mrs G had gone out of
town --

I want to get away
from this place
It is too wicked a
one to stay in

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