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Announcement to the Army of the Death of President Lincoln

April 16, 1865




The following order of the Secretary of War announces to the armies of the United States the untimely and lamentable death of the illustrious Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States:


Washington City, April 16, 1865.

The distressing duty has devolved upon the Secretary of War to announce to the armies of the United States that at twenty-two minutes after 7 o'clock on the morning of Saturday the 15th day of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, died of a mortal wound inflicted upon him by an assassin.

The armies of the United States will share with their fellow-citizens the feelings of grief and horror inspired by this most atrocious murder of their great and beloved President and Commander in Chief, and with profound sorrow will mourn his death as a national calamity.

The headquarters of every department, post, station, fort, and arsenal will be draped in mourning for thirty days, and appropriate funeral honors will be paid by every army, and in every department, and at every military post, and at the Military Academy at West Point, to the memory of the late illustrious Chief Magistrate of the nation and Commander in Chief of its armies.

Lieutenant-General Grant will give the necessary instructions for carrying this order into effect.


Secretary of War .

On the day after the receipt of this order at the headquarters of each military division, department, army, post, station, fort, and arsenal and at the Military Academy at West Point the troops and cadets will be paraded at 10 o'clock a. m. and the order read to them, after which all labors and operations for the day will cease and be suspended as far as practicable in a state of war.

The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired, and afterwards at intervals of thirty minutes between the rising and setting sun a single gun, and at the close of the day a national salute of thirty-six guns.

The officers of the armies of the United States will wear the badge of mourning on the left arm and on their swords and the colors of their commands and regiments will be put in mourning for the period of six months.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:

W. A. NICHOLS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Abraham Lincoln, Announcement to the Army of the Death of President Lincoln Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/202929

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