Newspaper from Apr. 15, 1965

The Rebel Fiends at Work

  • Full Title

    The Rebel Fiends at Work

  • Description

    The Nashville Daily Union was one of the few newspapers that was established during and that survived the Civil War. This article prints a dispatch from Secretary of War Edward Stanton to Major General Dix recounting the details of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The article falsely states that Edward Stanton was also killed. It concludes by declaring that a scheduled procession and illuminations in Nashville will not occur as a consequence of these events.

  • Transcription

    NASHVILLE UNION
    Extra.
    Saturday Morning, April 15th, 1865.
    THE REBEL FIENDS AT WORK.
    President Lincoln Shot.
    Secretary Seward Stabbed.
    The President and Mr. Seward both Dead.
    Grief of Mrs. Lincoln.
    Seward’s Son and At-tendants Attacked.
    Young Seward’s Skull Fractured.
    Wilkes Booth the Pre-sident’s Assassin.
    Seward’s Assassin Es-caped.
    Nc Celebration in Nash-ville.
    Washington, April 15th, 12:30 AM – The President was shot in the Theatre tonight; he is perhaps mortally wounded.
    2nd DISPATCH – The President is not expected to live through the night. He was shot at the Theatre. Secretary Seward was also assassinated. No arteries were cut.
    Washington, April 15.- President Lincoln and wife with their friends this evening visited Ford’s theatre for the purpose of witnessing the performance of American Cousin. It was announced in the papers that Gen. Grant would also be present, but he left by the late train of cars for New Jersey. The Theatre was densely crowded and every body seemed delighted with the scene before them. During the 3d act and while there was a temporary pause for one of the actors to enter, the sharp report of a pistol was heard which merely attracted attention but suggested nothing serious, until a man rushed to the front of the President’s box waving a long dagger in his right hand, and exclaiming Sic Semper Tyrannis and immediately leaped from the box which was in the second tier to the stage beneath and ran across to the opposite side of the stage, making his escape amid the bewilderment of the audience, from the rear of the theatre, and mounting a horse fled.
    The screams of Mrs. Lincoln first disclosed the fact to the audience that the President had been shot, when all present rose to their feet, rushing to the stage, many exclaiming hang him. The excitement was of the wildest pos-sible description, and of course there was an abrupt intermission of theatrical performances.
    There was a rush toward the Presi-dent’s box, when cries were heard stand back, give him air, has any one stimu-lants. After there was a hasty examina-tion it was found that the President had been shot through the head above and back of the temporal bone, and that some of his brain oozing out. He was removed to a private house opposite the theatre, and the Surgeon General of the army and the other sur-geons wer called to attend his condition. On an examination of the pri-vate box, blood was discovered on the back of the cushioned rocking chair, on which the President had been sit-ting; also, on the partition; and on the floor a common single-barreled pocket pistol was found on the carpet. A mil-itary guard was placed in front of the private residence to which the Presi-dent had been conveyed. An immense crowd was in front of it all, all deeply anx-ious to learn the condition of the Pres-ident. It had been previously announced that the wound was mortal, but all hoped otherwise. The shock to the community was terrible. At midnight the Cabinet, Messrs. Sumner, Farns-worth, Judge Bates, Gov. Oglesby, Gen. Meigs, Colonel Hayes and a few personal friends, with Surgeon General Barhea and his immediate as-sistants were around his bedside. The President was in a state of syncope, totally insensible and breathing slowly. The blood oozed from the wound at the back of his head. The surgeon used every possible effort of medical skill, but all hope was gone. The parting of his family with the dying Presi-dent is too sad for description. The President and Mrs. Lincoln did not start for the theatre ‘till fifteen minutes after 8 o’clock. Speaker Colfax was at the White House at that time, and the President stated to him that he was going although Mrs. Lincoln had not been well, because the papers had announced that Gen. Grant was to be present, and as Gen. Grant had gone north he did not wish the audience to be disappointed. He went with apparent reluc-tance, and urged Speaker Colfax to go with him , but that gentleman had made other arrangements and with Mr. Ash-mead of Massachusetts, bid him good night.
    WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 15.-Maj. Gen. Dix: Abraham Lincoln died this morning at 22 minutes past 7 o’clock.
    E.M. Stanton
    Secretary of War
    New York, March 15, 9 A.M.
    Intense sorrow is depicted on all countenances at the horrible events that occurred in Washington last night and the grief of all good men is apparent everywhere at the death of the President.
    No flags were hoisted in this city this morning until the state of the President was known, when they were placed at half-mast.
    People appear perfectly horrified and the utmost rage is undoubtedly felt towards all known secessionists and rebel sympathizers.
    War Department 4, 10 A.M., April 1-
    Maj. Gen. Dix:- The President continues insensible and is sinking. Secretary Seward remains without change. Fred K. Seward’s skull is fractured in two places besides a severe cut on the head.
    The attendant is still alive but hopeless. Maj. Seward’s wounds not dangerous. It is now ascertained with reasonable certainty that two assassins were engaged in the hor-rible affair; Wilkes Booth being the one who shot the President, and the other, a companion of his, whose name is not known but whose description is so clear that he can hardly escape.
    It appears from letters found in Booth’s trunk that the murder was planned before the 4th of March, but fell through then because the accomplice backed out until Richmond could be heard from. Booth and his accomplice were at the Livery Stable at 6 o’clock last evening, and left there with their horses about 10 o’clock or shortly before that hour. It would seem that they had for several days been seeking their chances, but for some unknown reason it was not carried into effect until last night. One of them has evidently made his way to Baltimore; the other has not yet been traced.
    (Signed)
    E.M. Stanton
    Washington, April 15- When the excitement at the theatre was at its wildest height, reports were circulated that Secretary Seward had also been killed. On reaching this gentleman’s residence, a crowd and military guard were around its door, and on entering it was ascertained that the reports were based in truth. Everybody there was so excited that scarcely an intelligible word could be gathered, but the facts are substantially as follows: About ten o’clock, a man rang the bell and the call was answered by a colored man.
    He said he had come from Dr. Veerdier, Secretary Seward’s family physician, with a prescription, at the same time holding in his hand a small piece of folded paper, and saying in answer to a refusal, that he must see the Sec-retary as he was intrusted with particular directions concerning the medicine. He still insisted on going up although repeatedly informed that no one could enter the chamber, he pushed the servant aside and walked has-tily towards the Secretary’s room. He was there met by Mr. Fred Sew-ard, of whom he demanded to see the Secretary, making the same repre-sentation which he did to the servant. What further passed inn the way of col-loquy is not known, but the man struck him on the head with a billy, severely injuring the skull and felling him almost senseless.
    The assassin then rushed to the cham-bers, and attacked Mr. Seward, the pay-master of the United States Army, Mr. Hansel, a messenger of the State Depart-ment and two male nurses disabling them. He then rushed upon the Secretary who was lying in bed in the same room, and inflicted three stabs in his neck, but severing it is thought and hoped no arteries, though he bled profusely.
    The assassin then rushed downstairs, mounted his horse at the door, and road off before an alarm could be given and in the same manner as the assas-sin of the President.

    [Transcription by Alicia B., Ford's Theatre Society.]

  • Source

    Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers,Library of Congress

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    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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    The Nashville Daily Union. "The Rebel Fiends at Work". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/1201