Letter from Apr. 17, 1865

Edwin Stanton to William Tecumseh Sherman

  • Full Title

    Edwin Stanton to William Tecumseh Sherman

  • Description

    A letter from Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, to General William Tecumseh Sherman detailing the assassination of Lincoln and the attack on Seward.

  • Transcription


    The following dispatch was received by Gen’l Sherman from Sec’y Sherman. [[?]] is furnished for the information of Brig’d Gen’l E.W. Rice.

    “President Lincoln was murdered at 10-o’clock last night in the private box at Ford’s Theatre in this city by an assassin who shot him through the head with a pistol ball. About the same time the Seward’s house was entered by another assassin, who stabbed the secretary ^[[in]] several places, but it is thought he may possibly recover; but his son Fred will probably die of wounds received from the assassin. The assassin of the President, leapt from the box, brandishing a dagger, exclaiming “Sic semper tyrannis” and that “Virginia was revenged”. Mr. Lincoln fell senseless from his seat and continued in that state until 22 after 1’ o clock, at which time he breathed his last. Gen’l Grant was published to be at the theatre, but he did not go. Vice President Johnson now becomes President and will take the oath of office and assume the duties today. I have no time to add more except to say that I find evidence that an assassin is also on your track and I beseech you to be more heedful than Mr. Lincoln was of such knowledge.


    (Sgd.) Edwin Stanton
    Sec'y of War

    Washington April 17 - 17 D.C.

    By order of Brevet Major General Jas. M. Corse
    L.H. Everts
    Asst. Adjt. Genl.

    [transcription by Alli Hartley-Kong]

  • Source

    Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

  • Rights

    This item is in the public domain and may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

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  • Cite this Item

    Edwin Stanton. "Edwin Stanton to William Tecumseh Sherman". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed February 25, 2024. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/1182