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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Friday 14th

14 April 1865

Sunday 16th

16 April 1865
15 April 1865
Saturday 15th



On stepping into my Dressing room I found two telegrams on my table. The dual number gave me a moment’s uneasiness, which an opening them was dispelled. For the intelligence was only of different dates, but of a purely political character. It announced the long desired event of the fall of Richmond and Petersburg, with the retirement of the remnant of Lee’s army, after a conflict of three days continuance, and heavy loss. This is the death blow to the rebellion. What is left will be only detail. I could scarcely feel all day as if it was a living reality. The thought of where my son could have been came in to qualify my exultation, and to give rise to anxiety about the next returns. Still there was so much to be grateful for that I was not disposed to borrow anxiety or to fail in my trust in Providence. Four years of incessant anxiety have brought us at last to a254 termination of the struggle so long foreseen and dreaded about the slave element in our system. It has been fearful, and it leaves consequences the nature of which is scarcely yet to be defined. All we can do now is to congratulate ourselves on our progress so far, with more of success than we could dare to predict. This gives us reason to trust that we may surmount future difficulties now apprehended equally well. Had visits from Sir Henry Holland, Mr Schleiden, Mr Bentson, congratulating. Wrote to Mrs Adams, and disposed of all arrears of business so fully, that I spent about an hour on numismatics. At five, drove in company with Mr Alward to the Waterloo Station, where we met Mr Sturgis, and accompanied him in the train to Walton, whence we walked to his house. The country begins to take the livery of Spring, and the air is soften than in town. We found Mrs Sturgis and the same inmates as before, excepting Mr Bidwell, and the Ricardos. Henry, the son now goes without his crutches, ad looks better in face. We had the usual sumptuous dinner, and quiet evening. Mr and Mrs Norris dined here.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA65d105