Letter from Apr. 15, 1865

Letter To Brother David from Rufus

  • Full Title

    Letter To Brother David from Rufus

  • Description

    A personal letter, recounting the illumination of the city the night before the assassination of Lincoln. The letter goes on to detail that the author heard that “President Lincoln, Seward, Capt Robert Lincoln, and Secretary Seward’s son were all murdered last night”. The author states they can “hardly believe it but still it may be so”.

  • Transcription

    Martinsburg Va

    Apr 14th 1865
    Brother David
    I received your leter [letter] last night and was going to answer it but had to go to town on a grand review
    I tell you you ought to have sean [seen] us
    we went through all of the principal streets of the town.
    the was a grand illumination last night
    the whole force was out on review.
    first came our Regt [Regiment] then the first Vet. [Veteran] Md. Infantry then a batery of 32 lb parot [Parrott] guns.
    then a brigade of cavalry.
    it all passed of in good order
    after the perade [parade] was over we went to camp
    left our arms and went back to town to have a good time with the rest
    I went to call on an aquaintance [acquaintance] of mine.
    found him at home and his niece was there
    his wife wanted him to go out on the street to the speakers stand with her and the house was all of a blaze with spermacitie candles
    so it was not proper to leave it alone.
    so you see that someone must be be left in charge and after a while I was prevailed on to stay with the niece and keep everything strate [straight] and in place.
    wel by the way the lady was young and hansom [handsome]
    her name is Ann Snyder.
    she is nineteen years of age and can and does help her mother do the housework
    she can get as good meal of victuals as any of our New England girls and can play Yankey doodle Star Spangled baner Hail Columbia and any other tune to perfection.
    Apr 15th we herd [heard] this morning that President Lincoln Seward Capt Robert Lincoln and Secretary Sewards son was all murdered last night
    we dont [don't] hardly believe it but still it may be so.
    we shall hear for sertin [certain] this afternoon.
    well now about the cymbols we dont want any
    Anderson the man that wanted them herd that a n----r had som that he stowl [stole] from a rebel band so he went to see them and bought them for five dolars [dollars]
    they ar [are] the best ones I ever saw
    they are 14 inch and cost not less than fifty dolars.
    wel [well] cant [can't] think of anything more so I will close
    write soon
    from your Brother
    Rufus Merryan

    [Transcription by: Mary Cotterman]

  • Source

    Tucker Collection care of Museum of the Grand Prairie

  • Rights

    Use of this item for research, teaching and private study is permitted with proper citation and attribution to the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Champaign County Forest Preserve District. Reproduction of this item for publication, broadcast, or commercial use requires written permission. For permission please contact Museum of the Grand Prairie, Champaign County Forest Preserve District.

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  • Cite this Item

    Rufus Merryan. "Letter To Brother David from Rufus". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed September 22, 2023. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/436