Diary of Orrin Brown—May 3, 1865

President Abraham Lincoln's hearse, SpringfieldDiary of Orrin Brown, Off Jersey City, New Jersey

Wednesday–May 3rd

When I first got up this morning I could not see land in any direction but we came in sight of Burgham Poart Light House at 7 AM and have been nearing the coast ever since. We passed the Barneygat Light House at 10.30 AM. We passed the Soldiers Barracks along the coast about a mile in length. We still have a head wind today, but still we are makeing very good time. We passed through the narrows about 5 PM. Ft. Hamilton is on the right and Ft. Richmond and Ft. Jersey Hights on the left as we came in. There is also another ft. on the right that I have not learned the name of. We anchored off Jersey City at 7 PM for the night. After passing through the narrows we had a splendid view of Jersey City, New York City, and Brooklin. We had a very nice time a coming up. I escaped being sea sick although a great many of the men were pretty bad. I feel pretty well with the exception that I have taken some cold. I read 2 Chapt. today.

On the 3rd of May, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln completed his long journey home.  As the Library of Congress exhibit relates:

After thirteen days the train reached Springfield, where the late president lay in state in the Illinois Hall of Representatives in the State Capitol. There, in 1858, as the Republican Party’s nominee for the United States Senate, Lincoln had given his famous “House Divided” speech. More than 75,000 viewed the remains of the slain president.

The next day, on 4 May, Lincoln was buried in a temporary receiving vault, with his son Willie, at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.  It took three years to complete the tomb we know today.  After Mary Todd Lincoln died in 1882, both bodies were reinterred in a brick vault within the memorial.

Meanwhile, Confederate President Jefferson Davis crossed in Georgia about dawn with five divisions of cavalry, all that was left of the Rebel army.  Confederate Secretary of War (and former U.S. Vice-President) John Breckinridge had promised to pay the remaining Southern troops when they reached Washington, Georgia; but sensing mutiny afoot, he stopped and started handing out silver from the remaining treasury as the army disintegrated.  Davis officially dissolved the Confederate government on the 5th of May.  Breckinridge fled to Cuba on his way to exile in Canada and France, before US President Johnson’s general amnesty on Christmas, 1868.



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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—May 3, 1865

  1. Pingback: Jefferson Davis Captured—May 10, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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