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sides, it is true, but they thoroughly respected each other, for they knew they had done nothing but what they believed right.
The interview over, Lee went back to his army, and, with tears in his eyes, sadly said: "Men, we have fought through the war together. I have done the best I could for you. My heart is too full to say more." He then issued the necessary orders, and no sooner was it known in both armies that Lee had surrendered, than the men went to visit one another. Before many minutes, therefore, men in blue and in gray were sitting side by side, the Union soldiers sharing rations with their former foes in the friendliest way.
The very next day Lee made a farewell address to his men, who then went back to their homes, to work as hard as they had fought. Four years had now elapsed since the Civil War, or the "War for the Union," had begun. This war cost our country untold suffering, nearly a million lives, and about ten thousand million dollars. But it settled two important questions: that no state can leave the Union, and that slavery is forever at an end in our country.
On the fourth anniversary of the surrender of Fort Sumter, Anderson again hoisted the United States flag over its ruins. The war was so plainly over that joy all over the country was great, and even those who mourned were thankful that no more blood would be shed.
That evening, to please some friends who particularly wished it, President Lincoln went to a theater at Washington. While he was sitting there quietly in his box, John Wilkes Booth, an actor, stole in behind him. He noiselessly fastened the door, crept close to Lincoln, shot him through the head, and jumped on the stage, crying: "Sic semper tyrannis!" [So be it always to tyrants!] As he sprang, his foot caught in a United States flag draping the President's box, and he fell, spraining his ankle. Nevertheless, he sprang up again, crying: "The South is avenged!" and escaped by a side door, where, mounting his horse, he dashed away before any one thought of pursuing him.
Lincoln, in the meantime, had fallen forward unconscious. He was carried to a neighboring house, where every care was lavished on him; but he never recovered his senses, and quietly passed away the next morning. The people around him seemed stunned by this unexpected blow, and the whole nation, North and South, mourned for the murdered President.
. When Lincoln's death became known, all rejoicing was at an end. Houses decked in bunting the day before were draped in deep mourning; for every one felt that he had lost a friend. At first people were terrified, too, because that same night Secretary Seward, although ill in bed, was attacked and stabbed several times. It was later discovered that a few wicked people had made a plan to murder the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and General Grant, because they thought they would thus serve the Confederate cause.
But this wicked and foolish attempt failed, and those who had taken part in it were justly punished. Booth was pursued and overtaken in a barn in Virginia, and—as he defended himself and refused to surrender—was shot on the spot by one of his captors. The rest of the criminals were tried and either hanged or imprisoned for life.
LII. DECORATION DAY.
ALTHOUGH Lincoln was dead, and people were ali most stiff with horror, there was no break in the government. Three hours later, Vice President Andrew Johnson took the presidential oath.
On the 26th of April, 1865, General Johnston surrendered the last large Confederate army to General Sherman, at Raleigh (raw'ly); and on the 10th of May, President Davis was caught in Georgia. Some say he tried to escape by donning a woman's waterproof, tying an old shawl over his head, and carrying a pail, as if on the way to draw water from a spring. But the United States soldiers seized him, and sent him to Fortress Monroe. There he was detained for two years, and then he was bailed out by the famous newspaper editor, Horace Greeley. But Davis was never tried before a jury, and when he died in 1889, in New Orleans, he was surrounded by his family and friends.
Those who had taken part in the Civil War were never called to account for their share in it, except that they were not allowed to vote or hold office for some time. The only person executed was the jailer of the An'derson-ville prison in Georgia. He had treated the Union prisoners with fiendish cruelty; and in punishment for this inhuman conduct he was sentenced to be hanged, because even a jailer should remember that prisoners are his fellow
Libby Prison, Richmond,
creatures. So many prisoners were crowded into a small space in the Libby and Andersonville prisons, that the men suffered greatly, and many of them died there from hunger, filth, and disease.
The Confederacy being now a " lost cause," the United States army, numbering more than a million men, was disbanded. Grant's and Sherman's troops were reviewed at Washington by President and Congress. They formed a column thirty miles long, and as they marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, people from all parts of the country wildly cheered them. These soldiers deserved all the credit they received, for they had saved the Union. Now they were going home, to take up their daily work again, and handle the plow or pen with the same energy as they had handled picks and guns. The veteran officers of the Revolutionary War had formed the Society of the Cincinnati, and, following their example, the veterans of the Union army soon founded another society, which is known as the Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.).
The army was disbanded on the 24th of May, and soon afterwards some Southern ladies started a beautiful custom which has since become national. They visited the places where soldiers were buried, and, after decking with fragrant flowers the tombs of their own dead, spread blossoms also over those of the Union men.
There are now in our country over eighty national cemeteries, where nearly four hundred thousand dead soldiers have been buried. Every Decoration or Memorial Day these graves, as well as others, are visited and strewn with flowers, and little children eagerly listen to the speeches telling how bravely their grandfathers fought and died.
Before going on with the story of the great events which next happened in our country, you will enjoy hearing a few of the famous Lincoln stories, for you know he