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

Lincoln on the Mountaintop

How did the newspapers respond to Lee’s surrender?

On Monday, April 10, 1865, the New York Times outdid itself with: “Hang out your Banners! Union! Victory! Peace!” Labeling the surrender “The Work of Palm Sunday,” the Times hailed the surrender ceremony, saying it boded well for reconciliation between the North and the South. The Times announced that a two-hundred-gun salute would be fired by every army, department, post, and arsenal in the nation.

The Confederacy still had, perhaps, a dozen newspapers, but only one of them reported Lee’s surrender in all its rich detail. The Columbia Carolinian had been forced to move north to Charlotte, North Carolina, after Columbia was taken by Sherman’s army, but its pages reported the end of the Army of Northern Virginia. The Augusta Constitutionalist kept up a defiant tone, saying, “The End is not in Sight.” Other Southern newspapers either glossed over the event or did not report it at all.


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