Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln’s Assassination

How did Robert E. Lee take the news of Lincoln’s death?

By an odd chance, Lee arrived home in Richmond on the afternoon of Holy Saturday, the day Lincoln died. Lee did not yet know the news, but the small crowd that awaited him at his Franklin Street house clearly wished him to—in some way—lift their spirits. He chose not to do so. Acknowledging their presence with a wave of his hat, Lee went inside to his ill wife. When he learned of Lincoln’s death, perhaps the next day, Lee was appalled. He realized the potential for more strife.


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