Diary of Orrin Brown—April 22, 1865

Proclamation by the mayor of the city of libertyDiary of Orrin Brown, New Bern, North Carolina

Saturday–Apr. 22nd

The day has been very warm. There was about 100 men left here for the front today among them was my messmate a Corporal of Co. F of our regt. he is a fine man and a good companion. He was down town this AM and he said that all business was to be suspended this PM holding it sacred for the nations great loss of their President. I read 7 Chapt. today. We drew soft bread again tonight. I read another paper from the U. S. C. C. this evening. I feel better than yesterday. Those men that started for the front came back about sundown because they could not get transportation.

The assassin John Wilkes Booth had fled southeast from Washington, D.C., into the Maryland countryside, hiding in the woods near the Potomac River.  As Lincoln’s funeral train departed Washington on the 21st, Booth’s accomplices provided a boat to cross the river into Virgnia.  They couldn’t even do that right, finding themselves upriver still in Maryland the morning of the 22nd.  Meanwhile, the train continued on through Pennsylvania.  From the Library of Congress exhibit:

The train that carried the slain president was called the “Lincoln Special.” In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 40,000 people filed by Lincoln’s body in the state House of Representatives. Tens of thousands of people turned out to view the train as it traveled through small towns from Harrisburg to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia businesses were closed to observe a day of mourning. “We saw strong men deeply affected, gentle women weep, and children look awe-stricken,” wrote one reporter. In the crush of the crowd, a woman had her arm broken and a young child was killed.

An estimated 300,000 people in Philadelphia waited up to 5 hours in a line three miles long the next day.



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