Ellen Call Long diary, fragments, 1864-1865 (Page 6 of 10)

Series: (M92-1) Box 12, Folder 1, Item 1

Lincoln Letters

Lincoln Letters

Ellen Call Long diary, fragments, 1864-1865

April 26th [1865] We had the most astounding and startling news last night—coming through the lines at Jacksonville—which is, that Lincoln has been assassinated while at the theatre in Washington City after his visit to Richmond and that Seward was mortally wounded the same evening in his own home. The assassin shot Lincoln and then jumping on the stage raised his hat exclaiming, “sic simper Tyrannis,” the motto of the State of Virginia. I am sorry. This man most probably has been murdered while considering the best act of his life, for every thing indicates he had a conciliatory course on his part towards the South, while his death puts a much worse man in his place (Andy Johnson) whose opinion may be very much opposed to our interest. I am glad it did not occur in Richmond as it must have reflected upon the South very greatly and might have aroused a state of feeling at the North we could ill afford to brook at this time, and it may now delay or affect the negotiations for peace—it certainly will do us no good. A great many express themselves as “glad of it.” I met a handsome and amiable lady yesterday rejoicing over the event, only wished a woman could have done it. She wished he could have been suspended from a tree and every woman in the South could have had a shot at him. The girls giggle and the boys call the murder “Bully.” I have never felt any of this individual hatred to Lincoln. I have looked upon him as the puppet of a party, and it is not impossible that we have lost in him, at this juncture of our affairs, a friend. It had been announced in the morning papers that Lincoln and General Grant would attend the theatre the following night. Grant afterward determined to visit his family in New Jersey. Lincoln, however, did attend accompanied by his wife. It was during the 3rd act that a stranger made his appearance in the private box of Lincoln, shot him, leaped on the stage exclaiming as before said. Mrs. Lincoln fainted. The gas was instantly extinguished and every thing was in confusion. The assassin had a horse in waiting, which was found some hours afterwards covered with foam and exhausted, but his rider has not yet been discovered. Lincoln was shot through the head but did not die until next morning. The same evening a man went to Seward’s house (who was confined in his bed from illness), told the servant at the door that he had