Lucy Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 18, 1865


Lucy Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 18, 1865


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination
Capitulations, Military--Confederate States of America


Lucy Curtiss writes to her brother Homer of her anxiety of not hearing from him between the fall of Petersburg and the fall of Richmond and of the death of Abraham Lincoln and the desire for revenge against the South.




Warren, Conn. Tuesday Eve, April 18th ‘65

Dear Homer    
I have so much to say to you + am so 
excited withal that I fear I shall not be able to
express my self intelligibly at  all. It is We received your
letter of the 10th just tonight after waiting a long, long
time for some word from our soldier friends.  It is
only just two weeks since your last  in front of
Petersburg but it has been the longest fortnight
I ever saw. It seems more to look on all those long
days of waiting as if it must have been two months
I have not really believed any of the time but that
you were alive + well but we could get no evidence
that such was the case au contraire knowing how
many fell in the struggle before Richmond, it 
would seem probable that some of our friends
were among the member, + the uncertainty was
anything but comfortable.  I wonder if you imagined
when you penciled the letter we received tonight
what a load it would remove from our minds.
Two weeks ago we wrote to 35 since these I have been 
kept from writing 1st by the thought that you might
be beyond the reach of letters, which drove all ideas
from my head + 2nd by a foolish superstition but
one that I think you will understand that if we
wrote you would never read the letters, but if 
we did not you would certainly know of it + remind
us of our neglect + your anger even did not seem 
so very terrible to me then.  Was there ever before
a Two Weeks so full of great events? and notwith
standing all we have gained in this time at its
close I feel more like crying than laughing

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for in the midst of our joy + triumph what a
bitter sorrow has fallen upon us. If the rebels
sought to distress the whole United States the most
possible they could not have hit upon more
successful plan than that of killing our
universally beloved + respected president
Abraham Lincoln, but in their fury of malicious
spite they seem to have forgotten that the deed
which has draped our nation in mourning, has
also driven fair Mary from her place on the thrown
+ that now they shall have justice more than they
desire. I hear no on speak of the late assassination
without classing their remarks with the hope that
no more mercy will be shown to the leaders of this
awful rebellion. All events are Providential. Lincoln
has guided us safely through the war + was just
the man to do it but when it came time to punish
the instigators, it needed some glaring sin to show
the full extent of their deserts + a sterner hand
than his to deal their blows…Since I first heard
of the presidents death snatches of Tennysons funeral
poem for the Duke of W. have been singing in my
ears. I must read it soon to see if it is really
appropriate to the occasion taken as a whole.
On the night we heard of Lees surrender the bell
was rung, houses illuminated, guns fired, rocks
blasted + every thing that would make a noise
was brought into requisition so that quite a racket
was kept up for several hours + I could think
of nothing but some passages in The Princess where
the wild trumpets blare + “iron clanging anvils
banged with hammers” are mentioned.
It is past 10pm we have lots of work to do tomorrow
so must be saving our strength tonight. I shall
write again soon to tell you all about Darius + the other
cousins + the rest of the local news.  We are all well
+ very happy now in spite of all misfortunes.            Luci

Original Format





“Lucy Curtiss, Warren, Conn., April 18, 1865,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed September 29, 2022,